Research-Business Feedback Loop

I’ve been working with a client for a while to instigate a customer panel they can use to gather feedback.  When the old VP of Marketing dreamed the idea up a few years ago, it seemed like on of those too-good-to-be-true ideas.  Almost instant feedback from customers via short surveys to panelists with a 24 hour turn around.

Well, it took about 3 years to finally come to fruition, but I’m happy to say this client is using their new panel in exactly this way.  And it changes the nature of customer feedback.

VP’s are literally turning to the panel two to three days before important meetings/decisions and getting a pulse on an issue.  It’s usually only a few questions to gauge knowledge of an issue, get some feedback on an idea, etc.  We’re using some sophisticated text analysis tools to mine some of the mroe detailed responses as well.

In this day and age of Social Media and Customer Feedback Loops made possible by new technologies, many people will be asking why this is a big deal?  Well, lots of companies (particularly large ones) weren’t built with these types of feedback loops as part of their DNA.  They need to be manufactured and incorporated into the decision making process.

Manufacturing/creating them is the easy part, getting senior management to take them seriously as trusted sources of customer feedback is difficult.

You can have all the fancy analysis and visualizations you like (and believe me I’ve tried a few), but until you get people trusting the data, none of it will ever work.  Trust is built by time and exposure.  You just have to keep at it and prove consistently that the information is useful and relevant.

It’s great to see it all come together though.

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