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...

Agile research method – user experience diary

Obtaining real customer experience insights and not just making assumptions based on secondary (analytics data) is absolutely critical before finalising your concepts and requirements. There is no substitute for talking to real people about what you are proposing before investing real money in App or Website development. This article shows you how to use an agile user experience research method know as a user experience diary. Using an agile research user experience diary enables you to run ideas and concepts by a selected group from your target audience. An online user experience guided diary is a cost effective and time sensitive option to find out if people will understand and accept your idea. Agile methods of testing using online user experience guided diary enable you to set some tasks for individuals to complete over a particular period. The objective to confirm their needs and find out what works and what does not. You can ask a group of people from your user audience questions and present concepts to comment. From a user’s point of view, it is a one on one conversation with the diary and the organiser or moderator. You can also include a topic which includes wireframe images and selects a topic task to have individuals click on a website wireframe image based on a set of instructions you provided. The combination of both visual input and qualitative data in the form of comments provides both action and behavioural feedback Why an agile research user experience diary? Stay informed subscribe   First Name Please add your first name Email Address Please add your email address Submit A...

Agile testing of product and service ideas

“Test your ideas early and test them often!” a statement applied to both physical and digital products and services. When developing an idea into a product or service, it is far better to start testing at inception than wait until the horse has bolted. An idea evolved using co-creation, and agile testing is more likely to meet the needs and expectations of the target market. Agile testing of products or services shouldn’t be an afterthought, rather the cornerstone of your product development project plan. So why wouldn’t you test a product or service idea before going into full release? For large organisations, with established budgets, there aren’t any excuses. For small to medium sized businesses who work within fixed budgets – particularly start-ups – there are conflicting priorities, and it can be difficult to sell the value of pre-testing an idea. The discipline of agile testing can be especially challenging when dealing with entrepreneurial personalities, who tend to have an emotional attachment to the “next big thing”. For a person’s ego, it is a personal risk as well as a commercial one, especially if others shoot down the idea or financial backers push the founder to alter the idea from its original form. It’s only human nature not to want to hear your idea is not worth anything. For some, the personal attachment ‘s too great, and as a consequence, objectivity is thrown out of the window. But, the reality is that if it does not solve a real world problem, it’s just not going to fly. A failed product or service can be a costly exercise and leave...

Pop up insight community and discussions

A pop-up insight community is an instant discussion focus group made up of a group of people from your target audience. It provides a platform from which to facilitate short-term conversational engagement to deep dive into a any topic. A pop-up insight community typically only lasts for a few days and is made up of a between twenty and thirty people. This method requires that you focus on a particular topic rather than many different subjects. In fact, trying to create a pop-up insight community with too many topics or including more than 30 member participants would make it very difficult to pull out actionable insights in just a few days. Only having a short time of intensive engagement means that you will need to focus your attention on a particular topic. Increasing the number of topics beyond two or three central themes will definitely add to your community management and moderation resource overhead. A pop-up insight community uses a unique method of participant recruitment. Using ISO certified panel partner and integrated recruitment screening, participants move from screening to group participation in a shorter amount of time than traditional research recruitment methods. Set up your community discussion and have it up and running within a day with the results starting to accumulate within the first 24 hours. Recruitment from a Facebook group or page is an option worth considering, as is recruiting participants from your in-house CRM or contact list. Using a robust recruitment process, you can quickly screen individuals for specific demographic and behavioural characteristics. The screening process works by placing the screener survey link on a Facebook...