You Won’t Know If You Don’t Ask
Qualitative research is an effective means of collecting information from clients and prospects through questioning and conversation by an unbiased third party, providing depth, breath, and insight. The extent to which, could never be captured through use of CRM tools, machine learning, or even online surveys (that do have a place… I’ll explain at the end).
The three forms of qualitative research that Ideba does most often are client satisfaction (CSAT), sales win/loss, and voice of the customer (VOC) and when applied in unison they can have a profound effect on business sales, marketing, and operations.
Client satisfaction research talks to all clients indiscriminately about their experience working with a company. They are bucketed out by demographic such as user-group identifiers, project management teams, etc. They are short, 15-minute calls asking for general benchmark satisfaction scores (1 to 10), onboarding/training experience, how the work quality and experiences compare to competitors, and key areas that may of be interest to company in question.
CSAT results are shared – with client-identifying information – as soon as interviews are conducted. This provides granular insight and allows for immediate escalation should the need arise. Then the interviews are compiled and assessed for common themes, trends, and dynamics.
Win/loss research interviews sales prospects after they have gone through the pitch process (scoping, demo, and proposal) for clarity around why a deal was won or lost. If won, the lesson is around repeating and further refining what went well. If lost, the lesson is based on what not to do again.
Win/loss research is highly effective at uncovering how competitors are positioning themselves in relation to the company; value statements, pricing models, key strengths/weaknesses.
Voice of the customer research is more selective when deciding who will be interviewed for a longer-form, 40-minute interview that drills into much more intimate consumer behavior and opinions such as how relationships evolve over time and desires for roadmap.
VOC research is conducted almost exclusively with an executive or decision-maker demographic with authority to speak on behalf of their institution; analysis of feedback is quite in-depth with nuances that could have strong effects on business and revenue.
There is only one more research style to cover, which favors answering questions with larger sample-sets and power in numbers. Quantitative research is usually conducted by sending an online survey to more than 10,000 potential participants with simple to answer questions such as: have you heard of this company? Or, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to purchase in the next 6-12 months?
Beyond answering specific questions, quantitative research is useful at gathering contact information for further marketing, because if someone is willing to take 5-10 minutes to fill out an online survey, they are more likely to take a sales call or act on a promotion than those who chose to ignore the request – all contact information is provided in final reports.
Hopefully, now readers have a good understanding of these four primary research strategies that Ideba’s clients have been finding success in for over 10 years. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, so we can help!
-Lee Sumner, Research Director