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Distributor & Partner Network Survey Details

When it comes to building and enhancing your critical business relationships, measuring First Customer satisfaction as well as partnership concerns, issues, attitudes, priorities and investment intentions is as important, if not more important, than measuring consumer and end-user satisfaction.

If you don't know where you stand with your First Customer network, you're at a competitive disadvantage. Proactive management of a company's relationship with its First Customer network, based on clear and valid network feedback is essential to winning in a competitive, multi-tier distribution environment. In other words, if you’re not successful in winning the hearts and minds of their First Customer network, you may never get a real shot at winning consumers and end-users.

The First Customer Network Survey:
A Primary Tool for your Multi-Tier Business Success

First Customer satisfaction surveys require special expertise in survey design and business content understanding. The relationship between a First Customer network and a manufacturer or service company supplier is one of interdependence and is often personal, complex and highly sensitive to change. Each depends upon the other for success, makes demands and has expectations and hopes of how the other will behave and perform.

Because wholesalers and resellers play a dual role as both the First Customer and partner in creating sales to customers and end-users, the dimensions of their satisfaction as a customer and their needs as a business partner and reseller are numerous and specific to their industry. At GuideStar Research, our experience shows us that wholesaler and reseller surveys tend to be longer and more detailed than average customer satisfaction surveys.

Survey Content Dimensions

Following is a sample list of some frequently used content areas found on First Customer Surveys. Each of these dimensions may include 4-6 questions or more:

  • Products, Product Lines
  • Services and Service Quality
  • Field Organization Quality and Support Services
  • Pricing and Margins
  • Sales Promotion Programs
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Local, Regional, National and Global Marketing Programs
  • Logistics - Order Processing and Delivery
  • Credit and Payments
  • Investment and Acquisition
  • Training and Development
  • Incentives
  • Communications/Feedback
  • Leadership, Vision, Strategies
  • R & D - New Products/Introductions
  • Key Account Sales
  • Key Account Service
  • Current Investments and Investment Plans
  • Importance of Dimensions
  • Competitive Comparisons

Survey Design and Implementation

GuideStar Principal Consultants have special expertise and experience in developing and managing First Customer surveys with distributor, dealer and franchise networks. These surveys are designed to develop baseline information for periodic trend tracking surveys that assist in improving First Customer satisfaction, investment and loyalty.

We have developed a practical process for assuring successful First Customer surveys:

  1. Establish goals, objectives, content, detailed design (including reports) and business plan for the survey program

  2. Conduct qualitative research in the form of interviews with company senior management plus interviews and focus groups with representative First Customers to surface and define their key issues, concerns, priorities, needs and expectations

  3. Develop customized survey questionnaires combining appropriate pre-existing dimensions and question sets with new custom dimensions and custom questions to reflect both the client's needs and the First Customer's needs

  4. Prepare and deploy the survey questionnaire using the most cost- and time-efficient methods or combination of methods feasible with the target population

  5. Manage the data collection and database preparation

  6. Prepare statistical findings, analysis and reports

  7. Present findings to you and groups of participants, acquire feedback and co-develop short-term and long-term action items and plans

  8. Incorporate feedback and action planning into reports and prepare recommendations

  9. Assist as desired with post-survey communications and plan refinement and implementation as appropriate

  10. Tracking trends from period to period of partner network attitudes, perceptions and intentions, especially investment intentions, provides important guidance to leadership on the kinds of results they can expect from the network and areas of strength, weakness and opportunity. GuideStar’s Online Report Center is especially useful in this regard as clients can examine trends in their partner networks at both a macro and micro level, from a global network overview to individual partner results, on a 24/7 basis.

  11. Network Member Customer Surveys - GuideStar can also provide individual network partners with customer survey services and confidential access to the Online Report Center under the sponsorship of our corporate client. Our corporate client benefits from the global end-user and customer satisfaction findings while individual network partners collect their confidential customer satisfaction data with confidence.


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