Tell me what you want… what you really, really want

Consumer research is great. Having data that can help you formulate and support your strategies is every marketeer’s dream. However, without the correct interpretation and context, using research to optimise your planning can lead to much bigger issues and simply perpetuate an issue.

What do we mean by this?

Most of the consumer research you see will point to price as a major consideration – but if we take that at face value and look only at price, rather than value, all we are doing is creating a race to the bottom. A race in which everyone, ultimately, loses.

Here’s a more specific example…

In some recent research into the mobile phone market, we had a well-qualified, significantly large sample which found that 56% of all the customers asked would rather solve customer service problems on their own, than through a customer service support function. This is in a category which as a utility, can be complex and cause huge anxiety when not working effectively.

So, at face value, over half our respondents didn’t want any personal help, no advice from a real human being, no one to help take the problem away – they would rather sort it themselves.

In theory, this meant that the client could take money out of their large customer service budget, streamline the headcount, invest in bots, and run the whole thing more effectively – optimising their overall marketing budget.

These findings bothered us so much that we did some more research to dig a little deeper.

By asking the question in a slightly different way and by probing a little deeper we actually found that 58% of the same sample desperately wanted to speak to someone quickly and efficiently to get support.

The real issue was that customer service in the sector was felt to be so bad that people didn’t even want to engage with them. In fact, poor customer service was the top reason cited for people switching brands. And we all know it’s a lot harder to get customers back that to keep them.

What does this tell us?

So, in fact, the real customer demand was for better faster customer service. A fact we would never have known if we hadn’t looked at it from the viewpoint of a customer, rather than a statistician.

At BPL we always look at what the customer really, really wants. We call it Powerful Simplicity, because the answer is usually simple once you see it, but it gets real results.

If you have a project which could do with a new perspective or if you just want a second opinion, get in touch, we would love to help.