When the boss wants market research who you gonna call?

When the boss wants market research who you gonna call?

Too often companies who are seeking market research believe that quantity is important instead of focusing on the quality of the audience.

If a company is membership based then it would be ideal to select a random cross section of members as well as visitors to gain true insights into the company.  We have seen over the years when conducting market research for membership companies that the management may “skew” the selection process of who should attend the Focus Group or complete the survey so as to determine the outcomes that are favourable to them.

In my expereience over the years, when conducting market research for membership companies some may “skew” the selection process of who should attend the Focus Group or complete the survey so as to determine the outcomes that are favourable to them.

To gain more accurate results, having a smaller number of people in the audience who are not just there for the “free meal or petrol voucher”, who are willing to comment on questions while providing feedback on marketing materials or product design etc provides quality analysis with the facilitator being able to spend time drilling down into questions without trying to “contain the yapper” in the room or the one who just wants to complain.

So why would the boss want to undertake market research?

We all believe that our product or service will “help” someone or a businesss in one way or another. Whether it be; time saving, safety, stability etc.  Market research provides feedback from a variety of people that allows the business owner to see their product and service from multiple view points.

Market research provides feedback from a variety of people that allows the business owner to see their product and service from multiple view points.  We  can sometimes become so engrossed with our offering that we don’t always see other opportunities and through market research these can be realised and discussed.

What method should you use? What are some do’s and don’ts for each? 

There are six key measuring tools to assess and analyse your customer offering:

  1. Mystery Shopping
  2. Focus Groups
  3. Online Forums
  4. Benchmarking
  5. Trends Analysis
  6. Competitor Audit / Positioning Map

Mystery Shopping using trained / qualified Shoppers is an excellent way to assess all three categories as it looks at the following aspects:

  • Image
  • Marketing
  • Service
  • Compliance (if appropriate)

A well-designed survey that is completed by a number of Shoppers over a selected period of time that looks at every working part of the business and the knowledge of the staff, is what you are needing when requiring analysis that measures all aspects of the business.  However, all Mystery Shoppers aren’t created equal, nor are all surveys.  One company we know sent under-qualified shoppers out to a venue, where they simply walked around and interviewed all those they could find willing to talk to them, who turned out to be the people waiting in line to use the restroom.  Not surprisingly, the result was that 97% of the people surveyed said that the venue needed more toilets!

When selecting a Mystery Shopping company, make sure that their shoppers are trained to accurately rate what they are seeing and understand what the client is looking for.  Each of our reports are tailored with specific questions providing valuable information to management in pursuit of improved customer service.

Collation and Analysis of the Data

The data has to be collated and the results provided in a succinct manner that answers any specific questions that the company requesting the market research have included along with a definite “yes/no” conclusion if that is what they are seeking.  Graphical and statistical analysis needs to be visually pleasing with colour and shapes representing the results.

Personally, I believe that a score given without a comment means nothing and can be easily manipulated.  A comment that supports the score provides the reader an insight on why the audience has answered in a particular way or through the shopper’s eyes what they have observed in the business.

Scores and Comments

A score without a supporting comment does not provide insight into your business, your staff or your customers.

If you find that the boss wants some insight and reuqests some market research, be sure to take some of these points into consideration and try some. Be sure to let me know how you go!

 

 

Michelle Pascoe

Michelle Pascoe is an international speaker, accredited trainer and assessor and author. She has an undeniable passion for the customer service industry, with a strong focus on mystery shopping and team motivation. With a proven track record and vast experience, Michelle specialises in every aspect of service operations and processes - looking holistically at the overall impact on the customer experience. In 1994 Michelle founded one of Australia’s most respected training companies, Optimum Operating Procedures and Services (OOPS). Her experience since then has led to a diverse skill set and range of experiences, with her current expertise providing knowledge in mystery shopping, service benchmarking, surveys and focus groups, competitor audits, staff training and leadership development. In Michelle’s primary role as a speaker and accredited trainer and assessor, Michelle combines her extensive experience and specialised knowledge with an absolute commitment to igniting the potential in each and every individual, so they can achieve outstanding results. Program participants from various industries such as hospitality, Government and professional services sectors, walk away from her presentations feeling inspired, educated and equipped to deliver outstanding service experiences. Michelle recently co-authored the book - The VIP Principle – Discover How Guest Experiences Drive Long Term Growth, as a way of educating readers on the power of VIP customer service for the 21st century customer. From employing over 80 staff to working with multi million dollar clients, Michelle continues to spread her wisdom and inspiration across the globe. She passionately coaches the leaders of tomorrow, and truly believes in the potential inside every individual. Michelle’s belief is that no matter what industry you are in, service is the key point of difference in creating an essential human connection, and most importantly, life-long loyal customers.

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