In our previous correspondence, we discussed the value in having increased knowledge of your current customer base by understanding two of the four dimensions of customer satisfaction. Knowing how well your products and services align with your customers current and future requirements helps focus a large portion of your growth strategy. The third dimension of meaningful customer satisfaction research, competitive position, provides a clear picture of your performance against competition.
Many companies rely on internal salespeople and marketers for insight into their customers. While helpful, customers reveal limited information to someone pursuing their business. Externally focused customer satisfaction studies are highly valuable, as they provide an in-depth customer needs assessment that evaluates your performance and value against customer requirements to determine alignment as well as identify performance gaps.
If you are looking for growth opportunities, increasing share with existing customers is usually the fastest and lowest risk growth option available. Properly designed customer satisfaction research delivers the critical pieces of information needed to develop a winning revenue growth strategy: the product and service attributes most important to your customers, your performance on each attribute, your competitive position relative to each attribute, and the critical few attributes that drive your customers to recommend your business to other potential customers.
Driven by a dramatic increase in the global internet penetration, online surveys are becoming a popular method for collecting primary research. Delivering faster responses and higher response rates at substantially lower costs, online surveys streamline the methodology of collecting survey data versus traditional telephone and print surveys.
tom research typically employs extensive or targeted primary research to go beyond what can be uncovered through secondary research. In-depth interviews are the most versatile form of primary research, and are appropriate when targeting detailed perceptions, opinions, and attitudes. In-depth interviews are particularly effective when the goal is to capture sensitive feedback. These interviews can be conducted in-person or over the telephone to gain deeper insight to specific objectives by probing for quality responses. This offers an advantage over self-completion methods, such as surveys, because the respondent is more likely to give their full attention and the interviewer can deduce the quality of each response.
To deepen the understanding of a market, custom research employs extensive or targeted primary research to go beyond what can be uncovered through secondary research only. In-depth interviews are the most versatile form of primary research, and are appropriate when targeting detailed perceptions, opinions, and attitudes. In-depth interviews are particularly effective when the goal is to capture feedback that is sensitive. These interviews can be conducted in-person or over the telephone to gain deeper insight to specific objectives by probing for quality responses. This offers an advantage over self-completion methods, such as surveys, because the respondent is more likely to give their full attention and the interviewer can deduce the quality of each response.
Before you actually start to conduct your research, you must be familiar with the different types of research and what they include. Custom market research offers solutions tailored to individual business needs, so each customized market research project will be unique. Structure and timing depends on a number of key elements, including complexity of project objectives, determined size of primary research components, difficulty in recruiting target participant segments, etc. Though a research company may have experience conducting research in a specific market, it is important to bear in mind that each project is tailored to a specific business nee, and a sound process is often more important than market expertise. In fact, market expertise can often introduce bias. The fluid process of custom allows for changes and “tweaks” to improve the output as information is collected.
Any custom research project will have as the main deliverable the data analysis and recommendations based on the data acquired during the project. How that data is acquired (typically through a combination of secondary and primary research) is critical and very important in terms of project validity. Through the combined research approach the project, most often, will be designed to acquire both qualitative and quantitative information.
For most businesses, the concept of market sizing is readily understood but not easily accomplished. Many get stuck on establishing boundaries or defining the market before they even get to the data analysis and implications of their research. Determining market size can answer strategic questions about levels of investments in the business and profitable growth targets. Market sizing can also serve as a quick understanding of the potential for a B2B market opportunity in terms of volume or value, and is therefore pertinent to business strategy and decision making.
At its core, insights uncovered by B2B market research provide companies the information necessary to make better informed strategic decisions. Most research projects have two dimensions to consider: type and scope. Defining the best type of market research project is most often driven by the need for a deeper understanding of either: customers, competition, or a target market, while the scope is determined by the depth of the data needed to provide the insight for the strategic decision at hand.