Understanding and enhancing the interactions between businesses and their customers is a crucial aspect of improving customer experience (CX). Insights gained from CX research help identify customer perceptions, preferences, and behaviors, ultimately leading to enhanced products, services, and overall satisfaction.
Conducting effective CX research hinges on a fundamental factor: selecting the right CX research vendor. With their pivotal role in designing and executing research methodologies, collecting and analyzing data, and providing actionable recommendations, the vendor's significance cannot be overstated. In this blog post, we will cover the steps needed to find the right CX research company.
- Understand CX Research Needs
- Prepare CX Research Vendor Evaluation Criteria
- Start the CX Research Vendor Selection Process
- Collaboration and Management
Understand CX Research Needs
Before searching for a CX research partner, it is imperative to identify research objectives—the "why" behind the quest for insights. With clear goals, businesses can lay the foundation for a successful research endeavor. Aligning research needs with business goals is crucial for driving strategic decision-making and ensuring that the research outcomes directly contribute to success.
- Increase sales
- Reduce churn
- Improve satisfaction
- Increase company value
Defining the scope of CX research is equally important. The clarity in scope enables businesses to focus on specific areas of improvement or challenges that need attention. Clearly outlining the objectives, target audience, and desired outcomes can make the research efforts streamlined and effective. Furthermore, the scope acts as a guidepost, enabling the CX research partner to tailor their approach and deliver actionable insights that address a business's unique requirements. Below is an example of the scope that most companies should consider:
Relationship Customer Survey
Inviting candid feedback 1x or 2x a year reveals important, actionable insights.View Programs
The NPS metric serves as a powerful indicator of customer loyalty.View Programs
Know the real reason sales opportunities are won or lost.View Programs
Understanding precisely why customers leave can improve retention.View Programs
Post Onboarding Survey
Ensure that new customer relationships start off on the right foot.View Programs
Customer Advisory Board
Meet with a group of key customers for strategic discussions.View Programs
Prepare CX Research Vendor Evaluation Criteria
Choosing the right CX research company requires careful consideration of several factors. Here we outline a few of the most important ones.
- Research methodologies
- Service offerings
experience in the field
Researching their track record and portfolio gives insights into their capabilities and the types of engagements they have successfully delivered. Ask their team and look on their website for:
Research methodologies and tools used
Different CX research vendors may employ various techniques. Understanding the vendor's approach and ensuring it aligns with a company's requirements is essential for obtaining accurate and relevant insights. Some must-have methodologies are:
A partner with deep expertise can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to a company's industry. To ensure a partner is prepared to meet the required needs, assess their capacity to handle a specific research project, considering factors such as:
Be sure to look for online reviews and online articles that talk about any company you are considering.
Start the CX Research Vendor Selection Process
After identifying potential CX research partners, it's time to initiate the selection process. Conducting vendor interviews and presentations helps businesses assess a vendor's understanding of their research needs and compatibility with an organization's culture and values. The success of the research outcomes relies heavily on fostering effective collaboration between both parties.
To facilitate your CX company decision-making, we've crafted a user-friendly CX Vendor Comparison Checklist, available for download.Download Checklist
Ask for recommendations
To gain further confidence during selection, businesses can seek client references from CX research vendors. Evaluating previous client experiences and satisfaction levels provides valuable insights into the vendor's performance, responsiveness, and ability to meet expectations. Here are some examples of high-quality recommendations:
We recently engaged Evan and the Satrix Solutions team to help us launch a Relationship NPS program at Shiftboard. Satrix managed the survey and reminder communication process effectively, ensured we collected a statistically significant set of survey responses, and delivered effective analysis and insights from the results to help drive our organization to respond effectively to the voice of the customer.
The value-adds that Satrix provided us throughout this process is what really set them apart from others. They identified the key success criteria we needed in advance, and were proactive in driving us to improve our segmentation data and processes to maximize our value from an NPS program.
The team is knowledgeable, easy to work with, responsive, and always had ideas on how to address constraints or issues that surfaced. The coaching and process insights that Satrix provided us were as valuable as the direct survey work itself.
I would recommend the Satrix team to any organization looking to launch such an NPS program initiative.
Peter Draper - Vice President Customer Success at Shiftboard
Read their Case Studies
If available, businesses can request case studies that demonstrate the vendor's expertise in addressing challenges similar to their case. This information will help make a more informed decision.
Here is an excellent example of a case study that highlights the problem, the solution, and the results.WEX Case Study
Make an agreement
Once a CX research vendor is selected, the next step is to establish clear project requirements, deliverables, budget and payment terms, timelines, and any intellectual property rights and confidentiality concerns. These agreements ensure that both parties have a shared understanding and commitment to the project's success. Transparent and open communication should be clear at this stage to avoid misunderstandings and foster a strong working relationship.
Collaborating and Managing the Best CX Research
Collaboration and effective project management are vital components of successful CX research. Cultivating a collaborative environment allows for the seamless exchange of ideas and insights between parties. Transparent communication ensures that everyone is aligned and working towards common objectives.
This can be done through regular updates and feedback. Providing timely feedback can help CX research vendors make adjustments and refine their approach to meet expectations better. This iterative process of communication and feedback allows for continuous improvement and ensures that the research outcomes are on track and in line with the goals set.
Ready to Pick the Right CX Research Vendor?
Selecting the right CX research partner has a profound impact on the success of research initiatives. By understanding CX research needs, preparing evaluation criteria, engaging in a thorough vendor selection process, and fostering collaborative teamwork, businesses can ensure that the chosen partner aligns with the organization's goals and delivers valuable insights.