In This Issue
A team of us from CSR will attend the upcoming Quirk’s event in Brooklyn on March 3rd and 4th. If you are also planning to attend the conference, please let us know; we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee or glass of wine!Questions? Click here to send us an email with your request.
- Vol. 15, Issue 1, January 2020
In This Issue
As most of you know, CSR is based in Boston. January is a tough time of year in New England, especially this year. That’s why all we can say right now is, “ouch.” But we’d never leave you, our research compadres, in the lurch. Read this month’s issue, “Vitamin D for Researchers” for a few “pick me up” suggestions during this difficult time of year.
Vitamin D for Researchers
In any year, January in New England is painful. The holiday season is over, there are no school vacation weeks for a while, and we hunker down for a looooong winter of shivering and shoveling. This year is much worse than usual because our beloved New England Patriots didn’t survive the first round of the playoffs. Is this what being a fan of other teams is like? Yuck.
And yet, through the doom and gloom of January shines our love of market research. In the spirit of a wonky helping of Vitamin D (the “D” is for “data”), we offer the following research ideas to survive the winter doldrums:
Focus on the whole customer…
Just like many health providers and employers prioritize “wellness” and preventive health measures, as researchers, we prefer to concentrate on customers or prospects holistically. Rather than reacting to a specific problem (“sales for this product line are down – we have to find out why, now!”), we can find out customers’ wants and needs before the proverbial patient becomes critically ill.
Panels and advisory councils are a great resource for this type of “preventive care” approach. CSR has several clients that spend the time and effort to maintain B2B panels in order to interview members several times per year about interactions with that client organization, and therefore better understand the customer journey. Like taking a daily multi-vitamin, keeping in close touch with customers throughout the year provides a baseline view into the health of the relationship.
…and on customers you don’t normally focus on
The funny thing about being holistic is that, it covers literally everything. For example, iodine. Very few of us thinks about maintaining our iodine intake at a certain level, either through diet or dietary supplements. But, get too low on this very important vitamin, and you run the risk of having… goiters!
Some of our potential study audiences are like iodine. They aren’t always end-users of our products and services, but they directly contribute to the financial well-being of our organizations. Brokers, distributors, follow-up service providers, other intermediaries or platforms supporting or selling our products and services: Keeping these groups satisfied and loyal is important, but not always top-of-mind. When revitalizing market research efforts in the New Year, think about who you haven’t talked to recently, and conduct some research among members of that group. Don’t run the risk of getting research goiters.
Re-cast an eye on trackers
Some studies have eternal life. They were in field before we got here (to our jobs), and they will be here long after we depart. Huge, monolithic tracking studies are long-lived, but can seem a little “lifeless” because we’ve seen the results so many times. And it’s difficult to change the questions, of course, because then we then lose the ability to compare results to previous time periods.
This January, provide a boost to your tracking studies by giving them a shot of Vitamin Q (the Q is for “qualitative”!). Add some new open-ended questions to your survey, or conduct some qualitative interviews among customers to discuss interesting response patterns. For example, “you gave an overall satisfaction rating of 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, and also said you had a billing problem last month, tell me about that.” Customers will love that you noticed, and you will likely learn something new.
Here’s the Twist: Whether it’s Vitamin D, Iodine, or the cure-all Vitamin Q, we hope you all get the “boost” you need in order to have a happy and healthy January. Go Patriots (next year)!
Mixology (Putting Research into Practice)
Thinking seriously about updating your tracking survey (maybe this condition could be called “low T?”)? Click here for our previous newsletter, “The Trackers of our Tears.” As noted in that newsletter, here are some strategies we’ve successfully used to enhance tracking studies:
- Consider a qual-driven approach: While it’s often not fruitful to add open-ended questions to online surveys, it’s quite easy and efficient to ask closed-questions in an in-depth interview environment. Therefore, designing your tracking study around qualitative interviews would enable you to ask both open- and closed-ended questions in the same customer interaction.
- Try in-person, phone, or online chat components for your tracking study: Rather than simply adding some open-ended questions to an online survey, which does not allow for moderator or interviewer probing, make the experience as interactive as possible for customers and prospects. You’ll learn more, and they’ll be more engaged in the experience.
- Longitudinal Qualitative is a terrific tool to support executive community programs: Click here for an example of how CSR has successfully designed and executed this type of approach, and the unique insights that this tool enables our client to “mine” from the ongoing community interactions.
A team of us from CSR will attend the upcoming Quirk’s event in Brooklyn on March 3rd and 4th. If you are also planning to attend the conference, please let us know; we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee or glass of wine!
The Center for Strategy Research, Inc. (CSR) is a research firm. The “Twist” to what we offer is this: We combine open-ended questioning with our proprietary technology to create quantifiable data. As a result our clients gain more actionable and valuable insights from their research efforts.