Customer experience and satisfaction research is all about identifying potential problem areas, and addressing those issues to meeting customer needs. And meeting customer needs is the key to retaining customers and contracts.
Market Connections has deep experience conducting customer experience and satisfaction research. This is, in part, because we believe it is a best practice for any company’s growth strategy and we strongly encourage our clients to implement customer experience programs.
On Tuesday, December 13, we are hosting a webinar on best practices in retaining customers and contracts. As a preview, Researcher Director Dave Glantz shares his thoughts on the power of customer experience research.
Customer experience and satisfaction research gives you good insights into the big picture of your company’s performance, either on an individual contract or as a whole. It will tell you whether your customers intend to stay with you, the reasons for dissatisfaction if they don’t and where your organization could improve. This kind of feedback is valuable to monitor regularly, and acts as a highly effective early warning system.
For example, you think you’re doing well, but in Q3 the satisfaction drops on certain attributes. That means something is going on. The research will help identify the issues and nip a problem in the bud, ensuring a minor inconvenience does not become a reason for going somewhere else.
Whether you do it quarterly or every six months depends on the nature of the study and how quickly the company can respond.
One thing that is especially helpful is that often these studies ask respondents to rate questions on a scale. If an answer falls in particular range on that scale, it will trigger a follow up question probing why the respondent feels that way. That alone provides important information. It can also provide the basis for conducting follow on research with focus groups to explore any underlying issues.
Perhaps because I specialize in qualitative research, I have a bias. I believe that because businesses are complex, there are many subtleties that may drive the outcome of a study. As executives and managers look for more strategic insight, focus groups provide a deeper dive. After all, there is only so much people will write in a text box.
If you can get six or eight colleagues in a room, or have one-on-one conversations, you can find much richer and nuanced information about their challenges and goals, how you are meeting those needs and what you should consider moving forward.
If you have never implemented a customer experience or satisfaction program, I recommend starting with a round of exploratory interviews to get a better handle on what the customer’s goals and challenges are. If you know your audience well, this step may not be necessary. If you don’t already know what makes your audience tick or what matters to them, that is a sign to do this type of research.
Regardless of whether you are starting with historic data or starting from scratch, the more information the researchers have on what the customer’s expectations are, the more they can customize the study and focus group questions to address those things.
This type of research is all about identifying potential problem areas, and addressing those issues to meeting customer needs. And meeting customer needs is the key to retaining customers and contracts.
Webinar: Best Practices in Retaining Customers and Contracts
Laurie Morrow, Market Connections’ Vice President of Research Strategy, has led dozens of customer experience projects for federal contractors. On Tuesday, December 13 she will share best practices in customer experience research, and how to leverage results to ensure business growth. In this webinar, you will learn:
- Why customer experience research is important
- Pitfalls and best practices
- How to leverage results
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
11:30 a.m. EST
Duration: 30 minutes