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Applying Customer Delight to Improve the Market Research Process


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We have blogged about the need for improved transactional easea between brands and their consumers. In many markets, it is this ease (or lack thereof) that forms the brand identity in the consumer’s mind. This effort is in response to our observation that some brands are supplanting their traditional loyalty programs with empowered employee models designed to deliver customer delight. We decided to put our money where our mouth is. We share our experiences investigating the transactional elements of market research from both the participant side (from signing up to the actual participation process on through to incentive/follow up) and the insight consultant side (from obtaining project bids through group completion). Our objective is to identify actionable opportunities to introduce/improve transactional ease, establish increased engagement, and share the outcome of this unique market research partnership. - Delighting customers in unexpected ways is the key to inspiring positive word of mouth. What would delighted participants mean to the industry? Could such an approach impact data quality?

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Applying Customer Delight to Improve the Market Research Process

  1. 1. Applying Customer Delight to Improve the Research Experience 2015 Corporate Researchers Conference October 5-7, 2015 Research ● Guiding Decisions ● Driving Results Stephenie Gordon @strephking Mary Aviles @connect4insight Sandra Bauman @baumanresearch Jill Donahue @JillEDonahue
  2. 2. 2 If you applied enlightened hospitality to the research process, could you influence customer delight? 1
  3. 3. 3 Nothing matters more than how you make customers FEEL
  4. 4. 4 Members of the the MR Supply Chain share a common goal IMPACT Corporate Researcher Client Agency Representatives Insight Consultants/ Market Research Suppliers Data Collectors Participants/ Respondents
  5. 5. 5 7-day digital in August 2015 2 focus groups in New Jersey, August 31 Bauman moderated & provided project management PROJECT DESIGN SAMPLE Schlesinger provided recruitment and donated facility time, n = 13 FocusVision donated Revelation platform usage, n = 17
  6. 6. 6 What DELIGHTS Respondents?
  7. 7. 7 “He took the time and shared from his own personal experiences.” “The way he presented himself, ‘Good evening, sir.’” “She likes her job. She cares. She values me as a customer.” “She remembered me even a couple of days later.” “I was expecting a war and she just took care of it.” “They value my time.” “I was treated with respect.” “She trusted me. I was more than a number.” “They were fair.”
  8. 8. 8 Appreciated, Loyalty Content, Comfortable Surprised, Satisfied Respected Victorious, Accomplished, A winner Special, Unique, Authentic Validated, Relieved Valued, Important Happy, Excited, Euphoria
  9. 9. 9 Respondent Journey Email with link to pre-screener Complete pre-screener Screened in Follow up screener call Selection/ confirmation email Confirmation/ rescreen call day before Arrival and additional rescreening at facility Early bird drawing (sometimes) Wait in lobby Participate in group Walk out (& collect incentive) Post group chat in the parking lot (sometimes)
  10. 10. 10 Respondent Journey Hopeful, curious, anxious Hopeful, curious, anxious (Will I be selected?) Disappointed Hopeful, curious, anxious (Will I be selected? What did I answer last time?) Annoyed by repeat questions; feeling distrusted, like someone's trying to trick them Skepticism as to if it's rigged Satisfied, still curious Residual engagement & continued collaboration Engaged, impactful, involved, entertained, informed, collaborative. Sometimes annoyed with activities or topic Curious, anxious (Will I say something stupid?) Unclear about facility staff vs. moderator roles
  11. 11. 11 How you know your participant is delighted? TOP 3 LIST Which results in a sense of… • Satisfactionat the end that they didtheir part, have imparted their unique perspective “I want to leave feeling satisfied; that it was worthwhile.” They are looking for an EXPERIENCE that is… • Collaborative, gratifying • Fun, entertaining • Learnnewinformation “I feel special. The [moderator] spends time with you. I feel like they’re trying to improve things. The moderator validates me.” Respondents want to FEEL… • Like they have an impact • Like their opinion matters • That they have insider information “Somebody’s going to actually listen. A lot of times we just sit there, do our work and be quiet. Your opinion doesn’t really matter. In here, it does.” QUALITATIVE 1. Emotional conversation overcomes rational conversation. 2. The participant is anxious for the product/service to hit the market, wants to be contacted as soon as it does (Proof of a successful screen/group). 3. Researcher receives positive feedback from participants (a hug, comments about how fun/interesting the study was, conversation continues into the hallway).
  12. 12. 12 But quant can be: • Lack of “humanity” • Impersonal But quant can be: • Lonely • Isolating • Impersonal But quant can be: • Noimmediate gratification • Not sure I’mcontributing QUANTITATIVE In quantitative research, delivering respondent “delight” can be more challenging. Which results in a sense of… • Satisfactionat the end that they didtheir part, have impartedtheir unique perspective They are looking for an EXPERIENCE that is… • Collaborative, gratifying • Fun, entertaining • Learnnewinformation Respondents want to FEEL… • Like they have an impact • Like their opinion matters • That they have insider information “Sometimes I’m confused. I know what my answer is, but I’m not sure what to check based on the way it’s worded.” “Once you put in your answer, then you will be able to see everybody else’s. That’s a little better.” “Somebody actually reads my answers? Or is the computer going to tabulate…Nobody really reads anything, right?”
  13. 13. 13 Respondent Persona Experience Goal à Courtesy, efficiency, transparency & collaboration What goals? What attitude? Working mother of three grown children. Divorced, but remarried. New grandmother who just returned from the birth of her first grand baby, a girl, in North Carolina. Mid 60s. Huge Rachel Ray fan. Cooks in her free time and runs an eBay business selling collectibles. • Feels she has a unique perspective & wants to share it • Wants to feel involved, make an impact and be paid to do so • Wants to leave the research experience feeling satisfied that she's imparted her knowledge • Likes having insider information on products/services that are not on the market yet • Likes to see the results of her collaboration, instant gratification • Hopes to learn something new either from the topic or fellow respondents • She'd like some additional transparency in the market research process/players • She gets annoyed when she feels like her time is being wasted or not valued • She's not likely to complain about a bad service experience, but she will rave about a great one So What Takeaway? “In here, your opinion matters.” WANTS HER VOICE HEARD This persona wants to be heard, that their INDIVIDUAL contribution made some kind of an impact Danielle Simmerman
  14. 14. 14 What DELIGHTS Researchers?
  15. 15. 15 “An Insight Consultant is someone who not only can design a study, but also help me interrupt the results. For that I will pay more because, like L'Oreal, you are worth it. In short, if you understand the customer, their business and their problems and your sole purpose in life is to make their business— smarter, better, faster—you are a value partner.” (CRC) “Certainly the term ‘Insight’ has been replacing ‘Research.’ I do not like it. Insights are rare and tend to be breakthrough. I am not sure that using ‘Insight’ graduates someone because I know too many clowns using the word.” (CRC)
  16. 16. 16 What do researchers see as elements of DELIGHT? “I appreciate the camaraderie.” (IC) “Different/unique perspective” (CRC) “Two heads are better than one” (CRC) “Power of a team” (IC) “Complimentary expertise” (CRC) “Open to new ideas” (IC) “Healthy discussion that improves the project” (CRC) “Encourages me to bring new thinking” (IC) “Push each other’s thinking” (CRC) “Advocates for each other’s work” (CRC)
  17. 17. 17 What do researchers see as elements of DELIGHT? Open Mindedness & Trust “You’ve got my back and I’ve got yours.” (CRC) “You will always be my ‘go to’ for market research because I know I can count on you.” (CRC) “You trust me implicitly.” (IC)
  18. 18. 18 What do researchers see as elements of DELIGHT? Open Mindedness & Trust “Knows what the project means to me professionally.” (CRC) “I felt smarter at the end.” (CRC) “Makes me look good.” (CRC) “Makes me more confident in my recommendations.” (CRC) “You brought the results to life with your storytelling.” (CRC)
  19. 19. 19 Corporate Researcher Persona Experience Goal àAnswer the research question(s) with confidence What goals? What attitude? Seasoned professional with 30 years of research experience. Started out his research career on the supplier side, but transitioned to client side eight years ago. Works in financial services. Married 18 years to a compliance officer. 3 kids. Two in college and the last one, his baby girl, in high school. Active in his free time, likes to kayak and ice fish. Huge Green Bay Packers fan. • Wants to answer the research question on time and on budget • Wants the results of the project to garner attention within his organization, prompting more research projects • Loves when an outside source, like a financial analyst or media outlet cited his research • Wants inroads into other internal clients he's not worked with before • Seeks to discover something new or unexpected • Longs to see evidence that the findings were acted upon • Picks research partners who collaborate thoughtfully, who encourage new thinking • Thinks that happy respondents are more engaged and thus supplier deeper insights • Risks his professional reputation every time he signs on a supplier • Believes the best relationships are founded on trust in each other to do their best work So What Takeaway? “I want to feel smarter at the end” This persona wants professional proof that their work has made an impact on their business Leo Marley FOCUSED ON THE OUTCOME
  20. 20. 20 Insight Consultant Persona Experience Goal à Make their client look good, acquire new knowledge What goals? What attitude? Market researcher with 25 years in the industry. Spent all but the last three as a consultant, joined an agency 3 years ago. Experienced in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A skilled moderator, she can put anyone at ease. She's a combination of business sense, know how and intellect. Married, no children. Loyal Netflix binger, avid reader, loves biographies and non-fiction. Hates grocery shopping. • Wants her clients to be so happy that they ask her do more work for them • Loves when someone she's never heard of inquires based on what they'd heard/seen of her work • Likes to see the immediate research phase move seamlessly into the next phase • Likes seeing the results of her work out in the world (e.g., on the grocery store shelf) • Is delighted when she hears the CEO rattle off verbatims or refer to a respondent by name months after the research concludes • Wants to use her expertise and be valued for pushing the thinking • Loves being part of a productive team • Wants to feel trusted, not micromanaged So What Takeaway? “We are a feedback loop for people to give input to companies that affect their lives.” This persona wants repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals Lillian Mars SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND WHY
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. 22 The research is referenced more broadly within or with out of the organization Researcher is asked to do more research (dig deeper or another project) CEO (or key client contact) cites specific verbatims/ refers to participants by name long after the project is over Big picture research moves seamlessly to the next stage The team discovers something new or learns something they did not expect The researcher is asked to present to an audience external to the immediate research team Researcher is asked to be part of a larger project team because of the stellar perception of their work There is evidence that the research was acted upon 03 01 02 04 05 06 08 07 What does DELIGHT look like in this partnership?
  23. 23. 23 So, how do you apply enlightened hospitality to the research process, in order to influence customer delight? 1
  24. 24. 24 “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou QUALITATIVE: • Fewer screener steps • Clearer communication • Explain/acknowledge repetition • Clearly label staff & guest roles • Train staff & moderators on hand offs • More productive wait time • Immediate & longer term follow up • “Meet the researcher” QUANTITATIVE: • Response categories & lexicon • Collaboration (w/moderator & each other) • Visually interesting/engaging • Open end conclusion • Opt in follow up (reciprocate their investment)
  25. 25. 25 “We have to be friends before we can date.” - Edwin Roman, ESPN CORPORATE RESEARCHERS: • Identify the skill gaps you’re trying to fill • Be transparent about expectations and timelines • Be open to PURPOSEFUL new methodologies and technologies (shared risk) • Take a stake in participant engagement • Reach out with follow on requests • Provide candid feedback (proposals & results) • Share the love INSIGHT CONSULTANTS: • Use proposal to educate/expose • Develop and share resources • Provide mini-debriefs (asynchronous) • Deliver results for consumption, sharing • Continue to be a resource, even after results • Show you’re invested long after result (share valuable material when you see it, progress check in)
  26. 26. 26 So What? Improved data quality? Greater participation? Stronger partnerships? Elevated perception? Others?
  27. 27. 27 Thank You A very special thank you to all our CRC, IC and Agency participants who were very industrious for the small payoff, Starbuck’s card…it really does take a village!
  28. 28. 28 contact Stephenie Gordon @strephking Mary Aviles @connect4insight Sandra Bauman @baumanresearch Jill Donahue @JillEDonahue 201-444-6894