“Thank you, I really enjoyed our conversation.” This is the typical way in which customers end a market research call or customer advisory board meeting.
It still amazes me how many people love being involved in market research – especially customers. They don’t see it as a chore or just another thing on the “to do” list. On the contrary, they love being involved and appreciate the opportunity to air their opinions. Even when I talk to unhappy customers or to participants who clearly don’t connect to the pain we’re testing, they often end a call with sincere gratitude for being given an opportunity to be heard.
This is particularly important because people are often worried about asking their customers to participate in research. Your company probably asks a lot of its customers already. They are asked to be sales references, PR references, and beta testers. Many companies are hesitant to add a research project on top of everything else they ask their customers to do.
But companies need to realize that customers LOVE being asked to do market research. Not all of them of course, but the ones that are not interested will say no quickly. Most customers feel that being involved is empowering. They appreciate the fact that they get to voice their opinions anonymously and that there is no preparation on their side and no action items. In fact, involving customers in market research is a great way to increase customer loyalty.
Another incentive for customers is the participant stipend or honorarium – the money we give participants in appreciation of their time. Cash is always nice of course, but Dimensional Research also gives research participants the opportunity to direct their stipend to a charity of their choice. Just in the past month I’ve learned about several great causes through the choices of our research participants.