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The age-old questionnaire has been a trusty steed that has carried the area of market research through many years. But as with any aspect of our ongoing evolution, it was bound to reach a stalemate. That’s not to say that questionnaires are dead and buried, but rather that they need to be rethought in order to remain relevant and useful.

Not all customers or respondents are willing to answer a multitude of questions aimed at improving your business. If answered effectively and diligently, the questionnaire can without a doubt be a priceless tool to determine what value your customers receive from your business, but the fact is that not many people have the patience or tolerance to sit through the amount of questions needed to get a full overview of what your business should be doing to improve.

Offering something in return is a possible attempt that can be made to get responses to your questionnaire, but whether or not they’re engaged responses is uncertain. There is always the possibility that answers aren’t 100% honest in these instances because customers simply want to charge through them to get the prize at the end.

So what must businesses do to get the insight they need, while at the same time engaging their customers in a way that can benefit them?

You Can’t Expect A Different Response To The Same Stimuli

In order to navigate the tumultuous world of customer perception, one simply needs to think in ways that align to the customer. That statement is becoming somewhat of a cliché, but it’s true. Instead of asking them what they think of a certain campaign you’re running, rather ask them how they would do things differently. Elicit a different response by asking a different question, but also give them the opportunity to express themselves fully, even if it comes in the form of a heated online rant. Give your customer the space to show you what would make them show appreciation. In their own words, in their own time. This kind of information is not baited and gives the customer a platform to voice their concerns or compliments. At a base level, this information is certain to offer value, but how the customer words their feedback can also be taken one step further.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) In Market Research

Natural Language Processing (NLP) in this context can be succinctly described as using artificial intelligence to sift through content and free text in order to gain some form of insight and meaning. The ways that humans use their words can be examined to gain deeper insight into what they’re really saying. People who don’t want to offend, but still want to get a point across will use certain tell-tale words that express their frustration, in a passive aggressive way. Certain words are indications of a distinct sentiment, which will tell a business what customers are saying and thinking about what they have on offer.

It’s not only questionnaire answers that be analysed for sentiment, but your social channels, forums, customer service chats, reviews, and basically anywhere on the web where free text is offered.

The information is all there, ready and waiting to be handpicked and sorted into meaningful insight. It’s what you choose to do with it that matters.

Ready to take the next step in your market research efforts?

Let Interact RDT guide the way. Contact us today.

 

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