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COMPELLING REASONS TO PUT RESEARCH INTO ACTION

Why you don’t want to be a 10

Posted by Linda Kuster

May 18, 2017 4:57:08 PM

Have you had an experience like this? You purchase a product, check out of a hotel, or finish a meal at a new restaurant. The salesperson or other employee alerts you that you will be receiving a customer satisfaction survey and they would appreciate you giving them all 10s if you were satisfied.

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Topics: Customer experience, Customer satisfaction, Research bias

4 Steps to developing a customer intelligence system

Posted by Linda Kuster

Nov 10, 2016 3:57:58 PM


In business, we often focus on the competition or our bottom line, while assuming that we already know all we need to know about how our customers feel about our services or products. But, according to an article in Inc., two of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make are:

  • Not connecting with customers by providing a product they love
  • Building too many features into their products or services instead of offering something that solves customer needs in the most simplified way

The article advises that, "Your customers should love your product. If not, then you have a real problem. You need to find out why. The only way you can do that is by really listening and responding to their needs.”  

So how do super busy entrepreneurs and business owners carve out time to understand their customers better? It starts with developing an ongoing customer intelligence system designed specifically for their business.

A simple but strong system should include these four components:

  1. Mechanisms for customer-facing staff to obtain feedback and record it
  2. Regular evaluation of customer data
  3. Monthly or quarterly customer insights activities
  4. Annual evaluation of your customers’ needs and satisfaction level

This can be as basic or sophisticated as your budget and time allow - but leaders of successful organizations will tell you: put something in place.

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Topics: Customer experience, Growth Strategies, Acting on Market Research

Fueling growth through market research

Posted by Linda Kuster

Jun 30, 2016 9:26:20 AM

In a recent American Marketing Association (AMA) article, the authors identified seven challenges for marketing leaders today. The challenge they identified as the top, most-important one? How to effectively target high-value sources of growth. As the AMA article reminded marketing professionals: “With all the fascination with new marketing concepts, digital technologies and new tactics, there continues to be one foundational issue that is proven and reproven to have a disproportionate impact on the value you create for your business: identifying the highest-value source or sources of growth for your brand, product or service. Choosing the wrong target, or one of less value, will certainly lower your growth and return-on-investment potential. It might even fail completely.”

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Topics: Applying Market Research, Growth Strategies

Using Conjoint Analysis in Your Market Research

Posted by Lori Dockery

Jan 28, 2016 9:24:28 AM

In situations where businesses need help predicting how consumers make complex choices and what they value most, we often recommend using conjoint analysis. This powerful quantitative method for market research helps businesses determine how people value different attributes of a product or service in consumer and business-to-business markets.

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Topics: Survey Design Best Practices

Recruiting Highly-Qualified Participants for Market Research

Posted by Laura Barger

Jan 18, 2016 10:25:00 AM

One of the most expensive and critical components of market research is the recruitment of participants. In other words, who will participate in the market research study? In the market research business, determining who to sample and how many to include are key decisions directly affecting the validity and applicability of a study’s findings.  Once that decision is made, it’s often a challenge to create a diverse pool of participants.

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Topics: Cost of Market Research, How to recruit

How To Convert Occasional Customers Into Frequent Buyers

Posted by Linda Kuster

Jan 7, 2016 3:58:08 PM

Many companies have a set of loyal, primary customers who give most or all of their business to that company. This can be true for small businesses, such as a dry cleaner or design firm as well as large corporations operating across the world. Not surprisingly, these “big fish” usually command the highest level of service and attention.

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Topics: Customer experience

survey writing with stem students at open minds, open doors

Posted by Lori Dockery

Oct 23, 2015 2:05:19 PM

I recently had the opportunity to speak to some middle school girls about my job through the Open Minds, Open Doors initiative. Sponsored by our local area education agency, this innovative program invites young girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to learn about STEM career opportunities from people employed in potential career fields. As a research analyst who took a while to find my niche, I felt it would be good for these girls to know about the field of market research because it’s such a behind-the-scenes job, unlike the ever-popular veterinarian.

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Topics: Survey Design Best Practices

The 3 Rs of Branding

Posted by Linda Kuster

Aug 27, 2015 3:54:48 PM

As those eager students head back to school to build their skills in reading, (w)riting and (a)rithmetic, it may be a good time for you to review your own branding 3 Rs.  For many organizations, those key metrics are Recognition, Reputation and Recall.  While these are often critical goals from a brand’s perspective and excellent metrics to use in measuring an ad campaign, I believe it is always smarter to think about what is most compelling from your customers’ perspectives.  

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Passive Confirmation: A Simple Way to Keep Research Panelists Happy

Posted by Andrew Juhl

Jul 16, 2015 9:16:18 AM

Whenever we engage our panel to ask what improvements we—as the panel management team—could make to improve their experience, one of the suggestions we nearly always receive is, “Stop asking me for the same information on every survey.”

If you maintain your own customer panels or have conducted panel-based research in the past, you’ll likely understand our desire to confirm our profile variables (such as a participant’s employment status, marital status, income and location) as often as possible, since these variables are subject to change as people progress through life. Even if a mere 2% of our panel has changes on each of these profile variables from year-to-year,  that would have a substantial invalidating impact on our automated panelist selection process. We know from internal maintenance and process improvement that a 2% annual change in any of these profile variables is highly conservative.

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Dos and Don’ts For Question Types on Mobile and Tablet Surveys

Posted by Andrew Juhl

Jun 9, 2015 9:44:02 AM

As the rate of mobile customer engagement increases, staying on top of effective mobile research techniques becomes more important. One way we stay on top is by asking our research panel participants what works well and what does not. For instance, we recently conducted an internal study with our panel to get feedback about certain question types and how well they translate to mobile and tablet devices. For each question type, we asked if the question was easy to answer, if it displayed well, and we offered a text box for any comments they had. We learned many things that will help us develop even better surveys in the future, and we’d like to share four of the most valuable takeaways from this research with you. 

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Topics: Survey Design Best Practices