Customer research is an integral business practice driving improvements and adding value across the organisation. All too often however, research practices fall short of providing customer-driven insights. Results have proven time and again that there exists no correlation between customer satisfaction surveys and repurchase, yet companies continue to propel these methods.
Customer metrics used by firms today tend to be rear-view mirrors reporting the past or dashboards reporting the present. Given today’s market and competitive pressures, it is imperative that businesses glean customer-centric information to really drive them forward.
According to Noventum, companies should be developing adaptive foresights by exploring changes in their environment and by anticipating customer behaviour. Although most businesses already have raw data to hand (from research, complaints, service, account management and sales), but they need to be asking; how do they analyse that data to draw meaningful insights and how do they generate richer raw customer-driven data?
Ask yourself what type of customer research your business is conducting. If it’s customer satisfaction or loyalty surveys, they actually provide very little information towards developing adequate customer insights. Analysis reveals there exists very little correlation between satisfaction scores and re-sales. What’s more the results gleaned from these surveys are mostly circumstantial with answers dependent upon the customer’s motivation for responding (to complain or to compliment) and dependent upon who is asking the questions (a known contactor an independent third party) and dependent upon the respondent’s mood. So how can companies circumvent these disparities and what research should they conduct that is ultimately reliable?