Five steps to chat-based online focus groups success

Conducting a face to face, traditional style, focus group requires careful preparation to ensure the ninety-minutes spent with the panel of people is not wasted. Tasks such as checking your audio and video and making sure the refreshments are ready to be served.  You have people arriving in the waiting room where they are reading their consent slip, which explains their right and obligations by participating. The observers are already waiting for the group to start in another room looking at the group area through a one-way mirror or a video monitor. Just like traditional focus groups an online chat focus group takes the time to prepare but enables you to cut out a lot of the expense, time and logistics. However, you still need to prepare for the online group, and the more time you invest, the better the results. The advantage of online is that once you prepare for one group the easier, faster and cheaper it will be to conduct additional online focus groups. To get the most out of a chat-based online focus group follow these five steps for success. Schedule groups to run on a day and time that suits you and your participants. Forget about traffic and travel time, it’s no longer relevant, but do think about the times your participant’s might be sitting down to dinner or relaxing at home for the evening. Leave it too late and they become too relaxed and are likely to forgo participating at the last minute, start it too early you might not give them enough time to get home. Check with the recruiter, or the...

7 Reasons chat online focus groups deliver insight

Chat online focus groups involves bringing a group of people together in a web browser environment at the same time to chat about ideas and questions guided by a structured discussion plan. In a traditional focus group, people might sit around a table or in close proximity in the same room, but in an online chat focus group people are sitting in their home or in any location that has internet access. The online focus group moderator manages the group over a sixty to ninety minute time frame by activating topics in a structured discussion plan. It’s as close as you can get to focus group chat automation using a real person to control the flow of the discussion and the depth of the participant responses – in real-time. People logged in to the online focus group express their views, thoughts and opinions in response to questions or topics through live text chat. You might ask people if they would purchase a proposed product or service, and why! What do you need to do to improve an offer so your target market would be more likely to buy or use your service? It goes without saying, these are the types of agile conversations you should be having with your target audience on a regular basis. Seven reasons why chat online focus groups work It is a perfect solution to engage a group of geographically dispersed participants of between 6 and 12 to get the answers you need on any topic. No need to wait for transcripts to be scribed form audio recordings the text chat transcripts are available right...

Case Study: Sentiment Text Analysis

The client “TasNetworks is a Tasmanian state-owned corporation that supplies power from the generation source to homes and businesses through a network of transmission towers, substations and powerlines.” The objective To uncover the sentiment and topic clustering hidden within the verbatim responses collected by the monthly ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Ease Of Doing Business’ survey over a twelve month period. The customer verbatim sentiment analysis The textual data for each response was analysed for sentiment using a sentiment model which identifies the positive/negative/neutral polarity in the textual communication. The local polarity of the different sentences in the text is identified, and the relationship between them evaluated, resulting in a global polarity value for the whole text for a participant’s comment. This was done on a comment by comment level and scores were aggregated to provide a monthly or total score. The customer verbatim comment topic clustering We identified the text clusters by grouping a set of texts in such a way that comments in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar to each other than to those in other clusters. The clustering text algorithm receives a set of comments and returns the list of detected clusters. Each cluster is assigned a descriptive (topic name), a relevance value (indicating the relative importance of the cluster when compared to all other clusters), how often this descriptive topic is found, and the list of text elements that are included in the cluster.  Each comment may be assigned to one or several clusters. We then identified the scale and size of the sentiment and clusters based on the frequency and score. This provided...

Customer research in digital transformation

People expect a superior level of customer experience from businesses and organisations that use online channels to sell, distribute and support, their products and services. Customers expect you to know them, to be aware of their shopping preferences and know what solutions will solve their problems today. Digital empowerment means it’s now easy for customers to criticise a brand or rave about their product and services. It is because of this customer empowerment that digital transformation, for many organisations, will require the reshaping of the customer experience. Surprisingly, not all digital transformation projects place customer learning at the top of the digital transformation agenda. Interference from internal politics and silo protectionism unhinge and redirect the very best of intentions. Who owns the customer and information process can often result in a schoolyard spat between Customer Service, IT, Sales and Marketing. These are conflicts that leaders need to immediately address! Clearly, all parties need to be involved in the process and not just those who manage technology or define its use. Leaders need to be free to communicate effectively with their teams and share customer information which demonstrates the importance of each touch-point and the contact moment in the customer’s journey. To be effective, when it comes to understanding the customer’s journey, everyone needs to be on the same page. There needs to be clearly communicated benchmark and targets across the business for driving customer understanding. Leaders need to be free to communicate effectively with their teams and instil the importance of each customer touch-point and contact moment in the customer’s journey. Only then can everyone work together to proactively...

7 recruitment tips for online qualitative research

Free participant recruitment Guide! The key to successful people recruitment for online qualitative research projects begins with the first contact. Being able to clearly articulate what you expect of participants and how you will reward them. Recruiting for online research is different from traditional recruitment methods and requires an agile and proven online approach, as well as understanding how to engage participants once they enter the group. Participants recruited need to be able to jump on-board and learn how to use the online technology while participating, and without having to be trained in how to use the software before the group begins. A requirement for participant training only adds to the cost of recruitment and creates unwanted friction before the project has even started. 7 tips for online research automation recruitment: Don’t be afraid to inform – include a summary of the purpose of online focus group or discussion. To do this you need to understand what you are asking them to do and what value their contribution will make? The incentive reward is vital, but you will get an improved buy-in if you can help participants identify with the subject matter. We all like to be valued, and the same goes for individuals’ opinions. If people feel their views are appreciated they would be more likely to log into your group after a long day’s work. Set clear expectations and confirm – include a clear list which provides a summary of what people can expect when agreeing to participate in an online focus or community discussion group. A confirmation email should outline what a participant can expect on...

How to capture customer feedback & marketing insights on smaller budgets

Hoping customers’ will find you amongst a mass of marketing clutter? Unfortunately, the majority of online marketing is devised and delivered using gut feel and the best guess approach. Large companies can minimise their risk by allocating large budgets and resources to commission an ongoing program of market and advertising research. This investment takes removes the marketing guess work, reducing the potential for an adverse return on the marketing investment. Marketers within these organisations benefit by being able to access current and relevant customer feedback, opinion and purchase intention. This first-hand information is used to formulate a cut-through sales and marketing campaign. This marketing power apparently gives those organisations a competitive edge! What about those mid to small sized businesses who don’t have the budgets to conduct any customer research, never mind ongoing customer research? But would undoubtedly benefit from the same degree of consumer engagement and questioning. It would certainly put them on a level playing field and even enable them to find a market niche in which to compete better. With advances in available online technology and the accelerated adoption of online social media, the solution for small to medium sized businesses in now closer than you think. Agile online market research now delivers actionable insights without blowing the whole marketing budget on one project! Typically online agile market research will save you about 30% to 50% on the cost of running traditional face to face research. Three important questions to consider: Is there a better way to find out what customers really want? What makes one customer choose you and another go to your competitor? How...