Our Approach ::: Leverage




"From the first phone call inquiring about their employee perception services to the actual presentation of the results to our staff, the SDS Research team has been thorough, obliging, on time, within budget and absolutely a delight to work with. They were more than willing to work with us on all aspects of the survey and provided the much needed "impartial, third party" presence we needed to assure our employees that their concerns would be handled in a totally professional manner. Thanks to your entire team for making our survey a meaningful experience for our entire organization."

- Richard J. (Dick) Salentine, SPHR Manager of Support Services, ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc.

"Bandera Electric Cooperative Inc. has engaged the services of SDS Research for many years. The staff at SDS is committed to providing professional customer service. Their proven experience and expertise in assisting BEC with a well rounded report enables our Cooperative to better support our members. SDS provides the details which allow BEC to utilize it as a benchmarking tool and a higher level of customer service can be provided to our members."

- Debbie Corley, Member Relations Supervisor, Bandera Electric Cooperative, Inc.

"Working with SDS Research on our latest customer survey was an exceptionally positive experience from beginning to end. The Alert Program allowed us the opportunity to respond immediately to customers’ issues or concerns. The survey results were presented in a clear, personalized, professional manner. We look forward to working with SDS Research again the future."

- Jessica DeWitt, CP-TEL

"Our company, Venture Communications, has been using TouchPoint Tracking provided by SDS Research. As we made the decision to implement the program, we found that we were unable to make this type of follow-up call for less than what SDS Research charges. It is a very cost effective option for this type of customer feedback. SDS has been responsive to our needs, and has customized several aspects of the reports based on our request. I have been satisfied with the service, and the quality of the information we are receiving."

- Rod Kusser, Member Service Manager, Venture Communications Cooperative

"We were looking for a company with a proven track record and an understanding of Public Power. SDS has that track record and we were pleased with the focus and attention they put forth to customize our member survey to meet our objectives. The process of contacting and conducting the interviews was handled in a professional manner. SDS also provided routine status updates along the way, stayed on budget, and prepared a quality presentation report."

- Mark Otersen, Division Director, Marketing, ElectriCities of N.C., Inc.

"In conducting our yearly customer survey, SDS Research has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and responsiveness in supporting the objectives of our company. Survey work has been implemented with virtually no negative feedback from participating customers. I recommend you give serious consideration to using them for the valuable services they provide."

- Curtis Child, RC Willey Home Furnishings

"I can't say enough good things about the staff of SDS Research. They are experts at customer research. They bend over backwards to analyze survey results and to make specific recommendations. They are very knowledgeable about customer research."

- Barry Echols, Marietta Power & Water

"SDS Research provides a quality customer service training program and great service at a very reasonable price."

- Bob Fugett, IID Energy

"It is not every day that I can wholeheartedly recommend a company. It is a real pleasure to be able to do so in this case. If you are considering a survey of your customers, I believe SDS can deliver the best product and the best value obtainable."

- Ken Spradlin, Clarksville Department of Electricity

"SDS performed exemplary work in all facets. Their proposal was easy to understand and the quote was very competitive. The project started on schedule and was wrapped up right on cue. We couldn't ask for more; you stayed on schedule and on budget. We recommend SDS to anyone and would be glad to share our experience with anyone. Thanks again for the outstanding work!"

- Ken Spradlin, Clarksville Department of Electricity

"Thank you all for being so responsive and flexible with our requests. The information we are getting from this survey is really great and I think the change in the process is enabling us to repair some relationships we would not have had the opportunity to address otherwise."

- Jennifer Brannen, Director of Marketing, Customer Service & Retail

The goal of SDS research using triangulation is to identify areas or issues of the greatest importance, in order to make meaningful progress in the identified areas. This is the concept of leverage, as defined by Peter Senge in his book, The Fifth Discipline:

"Buckminster Fuller had a wonderful illustration of leverage that also served as his metaphor for the principle of leverage - the 'trim tab.' A trim tab is a small 'rudder on the rudder' of a ship. It is only a fraction the size of the rudder. Its function is to make it easier to turn the rudder, which, then, makes it easier to turn the ship. The larger the ship, the more important is the trim tab because a large volume of water flowing around the rudder can make it difficult to turn.

"If you knew absolutely nothing about hydrodynamics and you saw a large oil tanker plowing through the high seas, where would you push if you wanted the tanker to turn left? You would probably go to the bow and try to push it to the left. Do you have any idea how much force it requires to turn an oil tanker going fifteen knots by pushing on its bow? The leverage lies in going to the stern and pushing the tail end of the tanker to the right, in order to turn the front to the left. This, of course, is the job of the rudder. But in what direction does the rudder turn in order to get the ships' stern to turn to the right? Why to the left, of course.

"You see, ships turn because their rear end is 'sucked' around. The rudder, by being turned into the oncoming water, compresses the water flow and creates a pressure differential. The pressure differential pulls the stern in the opposite direction as the rudder is turned. This is exactly the same way that an airplane flies; the airplane's wing creates a pressure differential and the airplane is 'sucked' upward.

"The trim tab - this very small device that has an enormous effect on the huge ship - has the same effect for the rudder. When it is turned to one side or the other, it compresses the water flowing around the rudder and creates a small pressure differential the 'sucks the rudder' in the desired direction. But if you want the rudder to run to the left, what direction do you run the trim tab? - To the right, naturally.

"The entire system - the ship, the rudder, and the trim tab - is marvelously engineered through the principle of leverage. Yet, its functioning is totally non-obvious if you do not understand the force of hydrodynamics."

The principle of leverage is aimed at well-focused, well-defined actions that lead to real improvement and growth. The idea is that all the effort in the world, if focused in the wrong place, will only help the situation in the short term and may, in fact, be damaging in the long term. If focused in the right place, however, even small actions can be very effective. The key is to define the points of leverage that are not always obvious.

The SDS system is geared at uncovering and defining these leverage points in your organization through measurement and exploiting them through customized training programs that teach supervisors and managers to more effectively work with employees and employees to more effectively service customers, leading to improved employee commitment, customer loyalty, and organizational resources.