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Does your consumer market research tick all the right boxes?

Conducted well, consumer market research (CMR) can help drive significant growth; badly designed it can lead to customers walking out the door.

March 2nd 2015, by glyn

Consumer research – getting it right

Today’s consumer-focused companies face significant challenges around customer loyalty, customer retention and driving market share. Topping exec’s agenda are the interconnected challenges of loyalty and market share: improved loyalty drives the critical customer advocacy that increases market share.

Many of those companies depend on market research for uncovering their customers’ desires. The actionable insight it delivers helps them understand the steps they need to take to increase their customers’ loyalty.

Where might you go wrong with CMR?

Consumer market research programs are made up of five key stages: questionnaire design, questionnaire testing, data collection, data analysis and reporting. 

The front-end questionnaire is absolutely critical to the success of the program; it’s the primary driver for all back-end activity. A poor questionnaire can have a huge knock-on effect, putting the remainder of the study in jeopardy.

Yet poor questionnaire design is one of the most common – and most dangerous – mistakes we see organisations make when conducting market research. A badly designed questionnaire might, for example, not measure customer expectations or include the questions your client wants answering.

If your questions are wrong, you’ll ask your customers the wrong thing and their answers won’t address your research objectives or, if you are a research agency, those of your client. Then outputs won’t be correct or your data actionable. In the worse cases data might be actionable but incorrect, steering an organisation into implementing actions that might drive customers away, hitting profits.

Another common problem we see is poor interview techniques during the data collection phase. Interviewing that doesn’t reach out to an organisation’s customers can be very damaging.

The reporting output is also important. Easily understood reports can easily be turned into effective action plans that will drive improvement. However, if reports are hard to interpret, clients can lose trust in the data then be reluctant to implement actions based on the reports’ findings.

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Many years of experience makes all the difference

Our staff at TTi have many years of experience in the consumer market research industry. Our most senior members of staff take a direct involvement in the design phase of our research programs. The program benefits from their wealth of knowledge from day one.

They ensure the research program has the correct structure and questions from the start so we can guarantee our approach supports the research objectives throughout the research process.

After the design phase we then confirm the quality of research by testing our questionnaires. We take a sample of the client’s customers and arrange interviews with them to get a feel on how a respondent perceives each question and how easy each question is to answer.

We work very closely with our clients throughout the process, ensuring we ask the right questions, taking on board their ideas and listening to their needs, which is absolutely critical. Understanding what your client expects from you is a powerful tool; though it is the ability to harness information and advice a client on how to use it which sets good research apart from bad.

There’s much more consumer market research happening today, and that’s a really good thing. But are you getting it right?

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