How to Get Feedback Data You Can Use
Focus group participants should provide you with qualitative, directional information regarding your business, such as:
- from where they currently buy product categories that you carry;
- what they need and expect from you;
- other products to consider offering;
- page layout ideas; and
- what they want to see in terms of product copy, especially as it relates to helping buyers determine which products to purchase.
What can you expect to hear from focus groups of your customers? Following are examples of what we sometimes hear from them:
- “There just isn’t anything I want to buy.”
- “I’ve ordered from them before, and the colors aren’t true to what’s in the catalog.”
- “I didn’t expect the fabric to be what it was, based on the description and photos.”
The objective of focus groups is to gather qualitative, directional information. Since they’re qualitative in nature, they’re usually followed up by a form of quantitative research such as the following.
2. Phone surveys offer the opportunity to speak with many customers, get detailed data and control the number of completed surveys by client segment. The latter is important for data analysis from varying customer segments. For this type of quantitative research, we generally request the catalog client give us its best buyers and lapsed customers, whom we then call.
In addition to quantifying the information discovered from focus groups, phone surveys allow us to investigate other issues such as:
- lifecycle of purchases;
- customers’ reasons for buying from the catalog;
- the impact of competitive offers;
- the quality of merchandise and assortment;
- how easy or difficult it was for customers to navigate through and order from the cataloger’s Web site; and
- customer lifestyle and demographic questions.
A good research company will design the telephone questionnaire, conduct the phone surveys, tabulate and analyze the data, and write a final report on its results.