• Phil Todd

Customer Research: Using market research to win with customers


Research needs – what can customers tell you?

Your customer base is an invaluable source of insight. Use it wisely!

Decide what and why.

  • What do you need insight and feedback on.

Brand? Product feedback? New initiatives? Market needs? Pricing?

  • Why are customers the best source in these specific instances.

Would a general market survey be better?

  • Is this a one-off need, or are you looking for tracking (i.e. revisit the issue again at a later date to get time-series data).

  • Plan now how you will analyse and actually use the data you gather.

Be clear: are you doing research, or is it really marcomms?

Choose your methodology

Choose your best fit methodology

  • Do you need qualitative or quantitative data, or a mix?

  • Do you need a discussion with some customers to dig deep?

  • How much data or insight do you need?

  • Think about your sample size

  • Think carefully about how much time you are asking of your customers to complete a survey or participate in an interview.

  • Does it feel reasonable?

At all times treat your customers and their data like gold dust. Because they are an existing revenue stream!

Customer time is valuable

Think of customer time as a resource.

If you have created a customer panel, schedule your research carefully.

  • Set expectations regarding frequency of contact, avoid ‘over-research’.

For 1-off projects, customers won’t be part of a research program so just design your research to maximise complete responses.

Add value to customers

Because customers are a current revenue source and not ‘random’ sample from the market, you need to

  • Engage with them more carefully

  • And add value to the research experience

What will they get out of the interaction? Make the research a positive brand experience.

  • Think about the worst-case scenario and avoid it !

  • Give them feedback, a reward for helping!

Think about a VoC platform

Many companies have built a Voice of the Customer process to invest value in customer views and insight.

  • If well executed, VoC becomes a positive brand enhancer

Customers who have signed up will more willingly participate in research

And can have opted in to receive added value from you

  • Eg discount, early access to product, access to special treatment or services

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