What does your customer really want to tell you?

We’d all like to know the real reason our customers are happy – or not.

Yet, more often than not, we put them through tedious surveys that force them into answering questions that don’t matter to them and don’t glean the truth.

Why is that?

Most organisations use standard, highly structured survey designs to get insights into their customers or employees, designs that tend to follow a 'linear' insight pathway.

This approach often misses the real issues at stake because it is based on the premise that you need to have understood what you are measuring before you create the measurement instrument.

What if you don't know what is actually driving the behaviours you are interested in?

The implication

1.       Disengaged responders - customer research and employee surveys are providing insight into things that don't actually matter to the person responding to your survey.

2.       Mis-measurement - You are measuring something, but often this isn't actually the right thing.

3.       Wasted money - research budgets are being squandered on trying to measure things in a linear fashion rather than listening to what your respondents are actually trying to tell you.

You Need to Engage

Organisations need ways to better engage with the respondents and capture what is actually going on in someone's mind.  It is not possible to capture this information from a highly structured linear survey.

Instead an ‘open ended survey question’ approach is required – where respondents can write what they really want to tell you in an open text field – rather than forcing them into some drop down or tick box they've resentfully selected or can't even be bothered completing.

This is where analysing open ended response data becomes very valuable.

Here's why:

1.       It gives you the opportunity to get 'in the mind' of your respondent.

2.       It works with a very simple survey design - you don't need to hold weeks of personal interviews for focus groups to figure out how you are going to survey your customers.

3.       You will achieve much higher response rates as you are not overburdening responders.

4.       It sheds time and money off your research budget while delivering insights you can easily action