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Brexit, the elephant in the boardroom

November 18th 2019

How effective market research can help your business survive Brexit uncertainty

  • Your customers are still your customers and expect a satisfying experience
  • Buyers' behaviours may change, so you need to engage with them now
  • Use the right tools to get to grips your customers' expectations and requirements, so you meet them early on
  • Employee engagement may suffer - expectations around support and communication from you will change

You cannot escape the fact that Brexit is, whether you like it or not causing ripples of uncertainty across UK companies in all sectors. That uncertainly gives way to the inevitable dilemma of do we ride out the storm and harsh trading conditions and deal with the impacts as they happen or do, we get ourselves in a position were once Brexit happens or doesn’t our customer's experience is exceptional?

During periods of uncertainty, it’s healthy as business owners to question our strategies, our actions and approach to activities. We often seek out confirmation that what we do is still right and examine what needs to change.

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

Of course, it’s always prudent to ask whether just because something has always been done a certain way it should continue, but before embarking on a ‘belt and braces’ overhaul and reconstruction of your business, it’s important to remember that some bedrock elements to your business will stay the same, Brexit or no Brexit.

What will change? What will remain the same?

Firstly, your customers, whoever they are, will still buy and they still need a satisfying experience. This means providing well priced services and products that work efficiently, being served by knowledgeable, helpful people and delivering sound customer service at every stage of the customer journey.

Secondly, your buyers’ behaviours will change. Yes, they are still likely to purchase from you, but what they want from you may be different, and their value alignments will change.

How do we know this?

We have the benefit of experience from years of conducting customer satisfaction benchmarking, both for individual clients and as part of our cross-industry analysis. We know that in uncertain times subtle changes in customer expectations occur. Identifying and responding to these shifts is vital for achieving sustainable success.

How do we do this?

By overcoming Brexit uncertainty with customer and prospect Research, We’ve helped lots of companies understand and adapt to shifting customer expectations during periods of change like Brexit.

  • Effective Research Methods for uncovering customer and prospect buying motivations and behaviours range from light touch insight gathering tools, such as short satisfaction surveys sent to customers via text or online, through to more complex qualitative research studies such as our CEQA (Customer Experience Quality Analysis) framework

  • Market research is also a powerful tool for identifying untapped opportunities to drive new growth. Validating these with market testing to ensure the best approach also makes the chances of breakthrough success much higher.      

Make sure employees are engaged

As with the financial crisis, what we see in challenging periods is a need for companies to make sure employees are engaged and that its core values and vision for what happens pre and post-Brexit is communicated clearly to staff.

If you’re not already measuring employee engagement– now is the best time to start. As well as gaining insight to your teams’ motivations and what staff want from you as an employer, having an engaged workforce onboard during uncertain times brings far-reaching benefits, from helping retain top talent (dis-engaged people are much more likely to jump ship) to having staff that are prepared to put in extra effort – such as delivering shining customer service – helping the company stand out.          

An ideal starting place for measuring staff engagement is via a tailored employee pulse or barometer survey. Staff pulse surveys are short, regular surveys which give fast, accurate insight into engagement levels. Unlike template surveys, our questionnaires are tailored to ask the questions pertinent to your company’s activities and values, enabling you to bring about meaningful change. They also glean numeric engagement scores along with staffs’ verbatim comments, giving maximum insight into employee morale and engagement triggers.

Other benefits include:

  • Real-time visualisation and reporting, enabling companies to read and respond quickly to company mood   
  • Detailed understanding of motivators of staff engagement, where engagement falls away and where action is required 
  • The ability to measure the impact of internal and external change on staff feeling across all departments and functions, facilitating informed decision-making about next steps
  • Benchmarking of staff engagement and satisfaction compared to closest competitors, so companies can enhance their staff engagement strategy accordingly and push ahead  

If you’d like to know more about how our customer, prospect and employee research solutions can help your business, contact me on 01753 214038 or fill in the form below.