Modernizing Research Design: The Poor-to-Perfect Scale for Utilities Studies

2 min read
Jan 23, 2024 2:26:39 PM

Modernizing Research Design:

The Poor-to-Perfect Scale

Over time, changes in technology, market conditions, and consumer behavior drive challenges with voice of the customer measurement.  Data collection, access to audiences, and operational logistics have evolved, and so must the measurement ecosystem. ​J.D. Power recognizes the need to proactively adapt, to ensure continued success for clients.​ As such, by 2025 all utilities studies will be transitioning to a modular methodology that includes an updated poor-to-perfect scale. 

What IS the Poor-to-Perfect Scale?

Modular studies are transitioning to the fully anchored poor-to-perfect rating scale. The poor-to-perfect scale will be used by survey respondents to rate their satisfaction. This is a six-point scale that includes the following rankings:

  • Poor
  • Just Okay
  • Good 
  • Great
  • Excellent
  • Perfect 
Example of Poor-to-Perfect Scale

Example of Poor-to-Perfect Scale

Why Switch?

The 6-point poor-to-perfect scale was chosen after multiple rounds of various scale testing. The poor-to-perfect scale was chosen for many reasons:

  • It allows better discrimination than the current 10-point scale
  • It is easier for mobile participants to use (and can be displayed responsively, depending on the device the respondent is using)
  • We found that with the 10-point scale, very few respondents used anything in the lower range of the scale, signaling that greater discrimination was needed among respondents that are relatively satisfied with their experience/product 

The poor-to-perfect scale allows the inclusion of the top anchor of "perfect" which will be chosen only when an experience or product is truly exceptional 

Which Utilities Studies will this Affect and When?

All U.S. utilities studies will transition to the modular methodology with the poor-to-perfect scale over time.

The Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study has transitioned for the 2024 study.

All other utilities studies will transition to modular and poor-to-perfect in 2025. View study dates and details here >>

How will J.D. Power Keep Me Informed?

We understand you may have questions, and we are here to help. Our dedicated team of industry experts will be with you every step of the way as we modernize and improve our methodology. 

  • October 2023: Clients attended a special modular methodology presentation at the Utility Client Conference
  • November-December 2023: Modular transition discussions with clients continue as study results publish and client read-outs take place
  • Q1 2024: Utilities Intelligence leaders are available to walk you through the details of the tranisition; reach out to schedule a session
  • Q2 2024: Overview webinar with real-world data examples will be held; date and details to be announced 
  • Ongoing:
    • Practice leaders will be touching on the modular transition in wave results webinars and other client interactions 
    • Modular transition information will be included in many communications like the Utilities Insights Newsletter 
    • Utilities Intelligence leaders are available to walk you through the details of the transition; reach out to your account rep schedule a session or contact us here >>
    • We'll be sharing information about other modernization initiatives (such as the new router enhancements) in the coming weeks 

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