Creating the link
It is with a certain amount of humility that I acknowledge this fact: I am not a marketing research expert. Despite working for over 20 years in this space, I still would consider myself an Operations and Operations Research expert that has worked within Market Research – specifically customer experience research and customer experience surveys.
I have always enjoyed making the connection between customer feedback and the operational needs of a business that can help them to improve the experience of their customers.
While that might be my area of greatest interest and expertise, I’m still fascinated by the entire customer journey – particularly the role of marketing and conversion. I would contend that marketing and promotion in particular are the “promise” to the customer that we ultimately measure in our customer experience management platform.
One of the most significant links to understanding your customers is understanding the consumer that has you in the consideration set.
To that end, that understanding includes both consumers and customers.
Gathering insights internally and externally
Consumer insights might be collected from a variety of sources: market research, product/services reviews, purchase history, customer service/sentiment data, and even the impact of weather on shopping behavior.
As it should be, most marketing research is focused on the idea that the marketing spending should yield the outcome of a sale – consumer insights and Customer Experience is no different.
However, these insights are often viewed in independent spectrums. Much like individual customer touchpoints in Customer Experience, too many marketing research projects are targeted with a singular goal in mind, then filed away after that.
The power couple
However, from an operational perspective, all of this data can help tell a story from discovery all the way through either customer loyalty or customer churn. Understanding customer churn is one of the key components of Customer Experience and the reason for the introduction of QuestionPro NPS+. It also is one of the primary uses of consumer research and insights.
Along with maximizing customer lifetime value, delivering on personalized customer experiences, planning inventory/pricing, targeting promotions, and market expansion/contraction – customer experience research and consumer insights research can be analyzed to maximize profit and the customer experience.
Understand any impacts on the Customer Experience
That could be the view of your product or service features in the marketplace which will be how your customers compare you to your competitors. This might be assessing your brand promise against expectations much in the way that it’s done using the wallet allocation rule and understanding share. Some days, it might be predicting how the weather – or a global pandemic – will influence shopping behaviors.
Undoubtedly, this all seems to be common sense, but it isn’t commonly done. Too often this data sits in isolation in organizations. It is a reason to have a Chief Experience Officer or Chief Customer Officer to bring together all these siloes. It is also the reason we introduced the QuestionPro Insights Hub. I have seen many questions added to Customer Experience studies because someone else in the organization knows that these conversations are happening with customers, but does not realize that someone already has the answers. It is about connecting insights, finding common answers, and building an approach to improve the experience – if necessary bring in a Customer Experience operations expert to help guide the journey.
Does everything connect? Not necessarily in the way you may expect. One might suggest that closed-loop customer feedback has no connection to market research. However, with QuestionPro you can start to look at root cause analytics from closed-loop actions and connect them to market insights – building on more than just trending NPS.
It is also the reason we are reshaping the purpose of closed-loop feedback – making it operate across research and – even deeper – those data connections. More on that upcoming.
Take a dive into the consumer market trends for 2022
Purchase behaviors and consumer trends have seen numerous changes over the past year. At QuestionPro, we have been monitoring and researching these global trends to track fleeting and permanent changes and track consumers’ outlooks. We will share data about the consumer pulse and outlook and look at the factors driving change and what you can expect as brands and marketers going into 2022.
Please join Dan Fleetwood and Stephen Kraus for a perspective on consumer trends and marketing opportunities in the year ahead. They will talk about the rise of alternative economies, macro and micro-level trends, and what you can do to add real value. Learn more here.
You can also learn about changes in various categories and what transformative consumer trends you need to embrace to retain and bring in new customers and to stay above the curve in maximizing the experience for your current customers.