In order to find out their customers interests and thoughts about the business, Tesco have carried out a number of research techniques.
As Tesco wanted to improve their value-for money offers, they carried out research on their customers to identify long-term preferences and differences between consumer groups (e.g. better-off and poorer customers). This research was carried out every two years and involved asking a large sample of Tesco customers to state 49 possible store factors in order of importance. In 1997, Tesco looked at the top 30 of these factors for each of the customer groups- 'up-market, 'mid-market', and 'less affluent'. For the 'up-market' segment, the most important factors were standards of hygiene, quality of food overall, and value for money. For the 'less affluent' segment, the most important factors were standards of hygiene, value for money, and quality of fresh meat. This was the same for the 'mid-market' segment, showing that all of Tesco's customers valued their standards of hygiene a the most important attribute when they are shopping. This suggests that research such as this is important as companies cannot guess what their customers want. Therefore, Tesco have used these results to produce a better service to their customers.
Also, Tesco has monitored its performance relating to competitors, using a survey called 'Image and Attitude survey'. This surveyed around 11,000 customers over a year on ten measures: overall value for money, quality, price, chioce of branded goods, own-label range, own-label quality, service levels, store environment, stock availabilit and range. The results were reported every four weeks and covered nine supermarkets. Tesco showed a long-term improvement in perceptions of overall value for money. They used the results of this survey to improve some of their techniques and try to beat competition.