It’s no secret that customer experience is the modern battle ground for companies looking to gain a competitive advantage. It’s also becoming more and more apparent that the most successful brands are capitalizing on the ever-increasing flow of customer data to guide their decision making. According to ThinkJar, 70% of companies that deliver exceptional customer experience use customer feedback.
Since it’s not a matter of “if” but “when and how” to collect and analyze customer insights, the focus should be on strategy and getting the most bang out of your buck.
There’s certainly no shortage of DIY research and analysis tools available to anyone with internet access. Right now you could log into your favorite survey software and fire out a few questions about customer satisfaction. You’d have direct control over how the questions are worded. You’d have immediate access to response data as it is collected, and you could feel as though you’re streamlining the process by quickly launching, closing and analyzing the results. You could most definitely conduct market research projects internally and use the results to guide decision making. But is that the best way to go?
Let’s apply the same logic to a different scenario. You could save time and money by cutting your own hair every couple of weeks. You already have the scissors, you have the mirror and it’s not a complicated process. After watching a few “how to” videos online you could most definitely act as your own stylist and take control of your hair-do destiny. But chances are you won’t do that… at least, not again.
The point is, just because we CAN do something on our own doesn’t mean it’s in our best interest to do so. Sometimes the best option is to seek outside assistance. Here we’ll cover a few of the benefits of partnering with a third-party research or data analytics company to ensure your market research projects run smoothly and efficiently.
THE THIRD-PARTY ADVANTAGE:
- Unbiased Analysis
Like it or not, it’s human nature to be drawn toward the answers we like and pulled away from the answers we don’t like. This bias, albeit unintended, can have dire consequences in the business world.
Sometimes the truth hurts, but facing the truth is the only way to make tough decisions that are in your best interest. By leveraging an outside team of data experts you will gain impartial insights based on objective analysis.
- Fresh Eyes, Fresh Perspective
We’ve all been so deeply involved with a project that we become hyper-focus on one set of details which distracts us from another set of equally important details. As the saying goes, “you can’t see the forest from the trees.”
The opportunity or solution we seek may be right under our nose, but it takes an outsider with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective to see it. Every author has an editor to review and provide input before going to print. Similarly, key decision makers benefit greatly from third-party insights to ensure minor details don’t turn into costly errors.
- Streamlined Approach
A successful customer insights project requires a detailed strategy, strict project management and detailed results analytics. However the internal staff, time and resources needed aren’t always available. As a result, companies either cut corners or forego market research altogether and make decisions based on presumptions which rarely end well.
The involvement of an outside research partner will relieve your team of the day-to-day research project responsibilities, it will maximize the impact of your available resources, and it will ensure important deadlines are met so that the larger operation stays on track.
- Industry Experts
There’s no such thing as a stupid question; especially in the world of market research where the entire focus is on asking questions. So it’s to be expected that somewhere along the way your project will hit a snag or reach a crossroads leaving your team to ask its own questions; are we taking the right approach? How do we avoid pitfalls? What do we do now? In this situation you can either ask Google for static (possibly outdated) input, or you can pick up the phone and call your team of trusted industry experts who know exactly what to do based on your unique project details. This becomes an invaluable source guidance and support.
Furthermore, while there’s no such thing as a stupid question, questions can be poorly worded or misguided depending on the ultimate research objective. To ensure results accuracy and analytics reliability, asking the right questions in the right order are necessary steps toward valuable consumer insights. Partnering with an experienced team of research experts is like having someone fluent in a foreign language while traveling, rather than flipping through the pages of a translation dictionary.
- Cost Efficiency
The world of consumer data and business intelligence is rapidly evolving, as are the types and costs of consumer insights technologies. From methodology to results analytics, brands that leverage trending and innovative strategies are the brands that turn data-driven insights into a competitive advantage.
By partnering with a third-party provider who specializes in market research and data analysis, you can move forward with confidence knowing you are leveraging these trending and innovative strategies without having to continually update your own internal systems and processes. In other words, you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck.
There are certainly benefits of having an internal market research and consumer data analytics team. Unfortunately, due to the high overall investment needed hire, train and retain staff (not to mention the costs associated with hardware and software) it’s not always a realistic option. Even when it is a realistic option, it’s not always the most prudent way to address your market research needs.
Regardless of where you’re at in your customer data evolution, it never hurts to build relationships with companies that specialize in the world of market research and analytics. Worst case scenario you learn a few things about the industry; best case scenario you find a partner that will take your brand to the next level.
Oh hey, by the way, did I mention that we are one of those companies that specialize in market research and customer data analytics? We totally are!
For the past 30+ years we’ve been growing alongside the world of big data, business intelligence and market research. So if you’re interested in having a conversation about data or market research, we’re ready when you are. Just give us a shout!