Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Great Survey Design: Start With the Customer Survey Goals

“Begin with the end in mind” is the number two habit of Highly Successful People for a reason: You want to focus your energy on actually doing what counts – like reaching customer survey goals, instead of counting what you’re doing.

My favorite way to begin any survey project is to bring the team into a room and say “In the next hour, we are going to be spending about $50,000 (this is the estimated cost of everyone in the room for that hour) to discuss our customer satisfaction survey.  Let’s pretend that the results are in and that we have been tasked with  improving the customer satisfaction measure from 3.5 to 7.5.  Based on this information, what should we do next?”
This opening remark usually gets everyone’s attention because it brings home two very important points:
  1. Pulling people in a room costs a lot of money – so we’d better not waste any time.
  2. If you’re going to pull people into a room at $50,000 an hour – you’d better have something more specific than “measure the level of customer satisfaction” as a survey objective.

How to Set Actionable Customer Survey Goals

This is a crucial part of your survey project’s success. Setting the objectives right or wrong can make or break the project. And while it can be a tricky task – planning accordingly, and using right techniques will guarantee success. Join our upcoming Survey Design Webinar: Proven Methodologies for Surveys that Work, Wednesday, September 28th, 11am PST, when we will show you a few steps you need to keep in mind as you plan your survey to make it easier for yourself and to get the data you need.
Any project starts with objectives so also in a survey project, the first steps in setting actionable customer survey goals is to stop and think about why you are doing the survey in the first place. What decisions are you about to make where honest feedback will help you decide one way or the next?
  • If you’re launching a new product, how many customers do you need to “raise their hand” and say they will consider purchasing the offer you’ve come up with?
  • Are you considering expanding your customer service hours?  What hours are you considering?  How many customers have to say that they are interested in order to make this worthwhile to explore further?
  • What’s more important to your customer?  Would they rather see a sales rep to help them decide what they want or have the ability to place their order online with no sales support – but a lower price?
These are just a few examples of actual business decisions you may be considering but may NOT have considered including as a part of your survey process.
Whenever we’re given the opportunity to ask our customers questions and find out what they think, we suddenly jump into a sort of frenzy around all the things we would just LOVE to know about our customers.  We imagine the day that the report comes back and eagerly rustle through the answers as if this report were a sort of slam book we sent around the room to see how people answered the question “Funniest Person You Know.”
Customer surveys are serious business.  Most people didn’t like taking surveys when the economy was booming, and chances are your respondents are more pressed for time than ever.  Make it one of your personal customer survey goals – to make each question count, easy to answer and that you will get answers that will allow your team to take action. Here are some useful Market Research Questions To Ask Your Customers  which is a good starting point. And also 20 Not-so-Obvious Questions to Ask Your Customer on Your Survey.
When you’re done constructing your survey, create random answers to each of the questions.  For example, if the question was “How would you rate your online customer service experience” and you received a rating of 5 out of 10, what would you do next?  If you are not sure or you are unclear as to how you would handle that $50,000 an hour team meeting, then you need to make an adjustment to that question.  Keep tweaking the question and testing the question by simply making up answers at different levels to see if you will actually be able to take action on the results.
So the next time you’re ready to do a survey, begin with your end actions in mind  – set your customer survey goals and you’ll not only get better customer feedback, you’ll get happier, more loyal customers when they see you implementing the feedback they gave. You can also use any of our free online survey templates to start your research project.

About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer. She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers. Her blog is Strategy Stew.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Best Books for Every Market Researcher

Who has time to search for the best books to read? We have compiled a list for you with the best market research books to read this fall.

Best Market Research Books

Best Market Research BooksFirst on the list of best market research books is the 4th Ed. of The Market Research Toolbox. If you’re a product or marketing manager, quality professional, executive or small business owner with some exposure to market research this is a great refresher course. McQuarrie lays out the foundation for contemporary market research and takes readers by the hand from secondary research and big data through complex topics such as conjoint. If you’ve got a big brand or customer research project on the horizon and want to get back up to MBA speed, this is the read for you. 
These days you’ve got to be creating “personas” for every marketing activity you do; your blog, your product, your service, your conference or event.  Adele Revella is a  leading authority on buyer personas, this book provides comprehensive coverage of a compelling new way to conduct buyer studies, plus practical advice on adopting the buyer persona approach to measurably improve marketing outcomes.
Best Market Research BooksIt’s new, it’s expanded, it’s sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide – and it’s worth a re-read.  This has to be one of my favorite business books of all time and I have to admit that I’ve actually purchased this newer version because the updates were worth it.  The philosophy of the book is the same; competition should NOT occupy your thinking, rather it’s identifying unique areas of distinction that will attract customers.  Snap it up — Again!
Best Market Research BooksI always like to say that if your customers are complaining about price, they have no idea why they should choose you.  Well, this book will blow the roof off of anything you ever thought you knew about how prices were set.  The authors show how companies use what they know about you to determine how much you are willing to pay for certain products and services. You’ll get an insider’s view behind the curtain of how big data is used in real time to set the perfect price.
Best Market Research BooksYes, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about customer feedback and didn’t even know what to ask.  This book covers it all in just the right amount of detail.  If you’re part of a customer engagement team or product marketing team, this book will serve as a fantastic resource.  You’ll learn how to use customer analytics, what to measure and how to measure. Even if you’re a customer analytics pro, this book has all the latest information on measuring social media and customer behavior.
Why People (Don’t) Buy: The Go and Stop Signals by Amitav Chakravarti , Manoj Thomas
Best Market Research BooksIf you’re a sucker for a great academic, in-depth read on buyer behavior (or not), you’ll want to check out “Why People (Don’t) Buy”.  It provides a step-by-step guide to consumer insight. The authors include engaging stories and surprising findings,and  it provides a handy framework for why people do what they do, and how you can use that information to be more effective. The authors use the stop-go’ framework to shed new light on why certain strategies work while others generally fail.
Are you as much of a business book junkie as I am? What do you consider as the best market research books? Which are your favorites?  Share their titles and tell us why you liked them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Effective way for dealing with disgruntled employees

Government solution expert at QuestionPro. Passionate about innovation and public sector insight collection.
Manage Unhappy Employees by Starting a Weekly PulseThe days of the quarterly survey are dead. Across the private sector, smart agencies are shifting away from their disinterested and callous employee engagement systems and are seeking new ways to manage unhappy employees, moving to employee analytics tools that are increasingly active, inclusive, and frequent. The trend, however, is clearly slow to catch on in the federal government. 

Our federal employees are often neglected, unsatisfied with their jobs, unable to efficiently report to their supervisors, and are often times, even disappointed about the mission of their agency. The dissatisfaction is very dangerous, as federal employees are the engine behind the services being provided across the nation, therefore it is important to manage unhappy employees well to mitigate this circumstance. 
The 2015 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, known as FEVS for short, reports a score of 64% on the employee engagement index. While this is an improvement from some years with far lower rates, there is still an immense amount of untapped potential in the workspace.
One would expect that the increasing adoption of innovative technologies to improve employee satisfaction in the private sector would be reflected in the public sector as well, but this not the case. The public sector can still make some big and smart technical changes to manage unhappy employees better!
What are our federal government agencies doing wrong here, and what can be done better? 

The critical issue

It all starts with the frequency with which you listen. Say you have a federal employee named Stacy who joins in January. Now, Stacy is extremely dissatisfied with her job right from the beginning, maybe because her tasks are mismatched with  her strengths, or maybe her supervisor is not listening to her insights. Dissatisfaction will always exist in these forms, but there is the critical issue that often goes unnoticed.

Neither her supervisors nor the senior management will even know that Stacy is dissatisfied and therefore less efficient in her job until they conduct the quarterly or annual review. 

Stacy is detached from the mission of the agency, unsatisfied with her job, and is more of a source of inefficiency in the agency. 

Now imagine this…there are a THOUSAND (if not more) Stacys in your federal organization. 

What is the solution? How should they manage unhappy employees?

Employee disengagement is a universal problem to which QuestionPro has developed a solution  – Employee Engagement Software to supercharge your workforceQuestionPro Workforce helps government agencies tap into their often unharnessed potential. Instead of the annual or even quarterly reviews, you can now run weekly pulse surveys, conduct far more efficient 360 reviews, and even map the Organizational Health and Genome of your federal agency. 
Ask your federal employees, just one question, once a week, that they can answer on their cell phones or computers when they get into work on a Monday. You are no longer making your federal employees complete a daunting 50 question quarterly survey but are frequently keeping track of your agency’s pulse, thereby enabling yourself to recapture any lost efficiency.
So there it is, a simple solution, to change that shaky and frankly disappointing 64% employee satisfaction FEVS score, to a much higher percentage. Make federal employees more satisfied, listen to their voices, unlock their talent,and improve the services provided to the nation. 

Don’t let your Stacys go unnoticed.

Start a weekly pulse now with QuestionPro Workforce.