Raving Fans is a well-known customer service book written by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.  The book claims to provide a revolutionary approach to customer service, stating that satisfied customers just aren’t good enough now a days. Here is part two of some quotations that I noted from the book and how they impact a market research provider in Upstate NY like Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS):

Read Part One quotations 1 to 3 by clicking here.

market research provider upstate ny

4. If you were the client and had no limitations, what would you want your research provider to do for your business?

“When you decide what you want you must create a vision of perfection centered on the customer. [Using a grocery store as an example] I began to paint what the perfect grocery market would look like.  I could picture the valet parking and someone to tell them about a wonderful special.  I saw store advisers and computers helping people make the best choices to save money and eat a healthy diet.  I saw a manager for each department always on the floor to help customers and ensure their area was perfect…I saw an assistance program where (people) are available to help elderly shoppers around the store to read the small print on labels and lift heavier items…I saw lots of checkout lines (and automatic checkout lines) so no one had to wait in a long line.”

In the context of market research services, a provider should strive to deliver on all facets of customer service to the client.  In a perfect market research world, this could mean surveys being designed, tested and up and running in 24 hours, using call center employees with 20+ years of phone survey experience for all calls, real-time access to incoming data, or fast turnaround on reports.  It’s important to note that each client and each research project has a different view of “perfect.”  Some like email contact, some preferred to be called, while some prefer in-person contact.  Some like to be updated continuously, while others will check-in on their own.  Some reports need to be turned around in 48 hours while other clients would like the research firm to go more in-depth on findings and spend more time developing findings.  As a market research provider, it’s important to understand your client’s expectations and deliver on them.  Just hold off on the valet parking.

5. Understand what exactly your prospects want from a market research provider and build your business around those key benefits.

“All you need to do is discover the customers’ vision of what they really want and then alter your vision if need be.  (You need to have your own vision as a business in order to understand your customers’ vision.)  When you find out what customers really want, what their vision is, it will likely focus on just one or two things.  Your vision has to fill in the gaps.”

At its core, market research firms do research.  Some providers do research for Fortune 50 companies while others do research with the local town diner on the corner.  Some market research providers cover both and/or everything in-between.  Many market research providers will spend countless hours trying to understand why a specific segment of the market visits their store 10 times more than another segment.  At the same time, this market research provider won’t spend five minutes all year-long doing any research on their own firm, addressing questions like: Why do businesses choose us as a market research provider?  What are our competitive strengths?  What can we offer that no other firm can offer?  It almost seems too simple, but sometimes market research providers are so focused on looking outward to help our clients grow through research, we often neglect using research to help within.

6. Truly dissatisfied customers may not (and probably will not) complain.

“Perhaps ninety-seven percent of our customers are so fed up they can’t even be bothered to complain and tell us where we’re going wrong.”

This quote points directly to the need to commission market research with customers.  I’ve read statistics in the past that say anywhere from 90% upwards of dissatisfied customers will not complain to the source.  That means there is a whole base of dissatisfied customers in the market that you (as a business) are unaware of.  By using a survey and proactively calling or emailing past customers, you provide them a forum to voice their feedback.  Now that you have it, you can take action on correcting problems you may have never knew existed.  In itself, this is one of the largest benefits of engaging in satisfaction surveys.

This concludes the two-part series on key takeaways from Raving Fans – and their market research implications.  The book was a quick read and offered some good pointers revolving around customer service.  The Bunker would be interested in hearing your feedback in the comments section below.  If you are interested in speaking to a market research provider in Upstate NY, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 315-635-9802.