Now that we’re in the new year, many of us are energized to implement new tactics and strategies to not only achieve, but exceed, our company’s goals. But how do you factor in customer research?
Insight from your patrons – or donors, if you’re a nonprofit – should be an integral element of your strategic planning. How does your customer prefer to engage with your products or services? You can use this insight, along with information such as sales history, interpretations of the marketplace and new competitors, to make this your best year in business yet.
The primary data collection strategies detailed below allow you to measure brand awareness, brand affinity and positioning, as well as understand your customer’s purchasing habits and preferences. Once you go through the process to learn more about your customer base, you can use the information to address concerns and expand on successes.
Here are three key ways to collect your customer’s insights:
Fundamental: Customer Feedback Surveys at Point of Purchase
A customer feedback survey at point of purchase or organization engagement is a simple way to begin. Technology makes gathering information even easier. You can also use the survey to request customer emails and build a community database for special offers or reward programs.
Advanced: Focus Groups
Focus groups of five to 15 people provide the opportunity to engage in dialogue with your customer. The moderator can probe further on certain topics to learn even more about the issue — an option not possible if using an online survey. Most focus group participants are not shy about sharing their opinions (positive and negative!) and think highly of the company that is seeking their input. They applaud the fact that the company is interested in delivering a better product, service or experience.
Ultimate: A Mix of the Two
A mix of focus groups and online surveys is a more complex process, but the results will be more comprehensive and useful since you’ll receive expanded answers.
It’s a wise strategy to conduct a series of focus groups to garner qualitative data while running a similar online survey simultaneously to gain quantitative data. Then, follow up with a second online survey to test concepts.
Next Step: Interpret the Findings
Now that you’ve gathered customer insight through online surveys, focus groups or a mix of the two, what should you do next? Use the responses to make your team and company better. Take time to interpret the findings, and work with your leadership team to respond internally to customer challenges and successes. The impact of customer feedback is only as good as your response and action plan.
Are you a business or nonprofit leader looking for assistance in collecting and interpreting your customer’s insights? We can help! Customer engagement surveys and focus groups are just two of the ways we can set your business up for success. Connect with us today.