Tag Archives: forrester research

TMRE Spotlight: Paul Long, CPA Canada

At TMRE, we unite leaders across market research, consumer insights, strategy, innovation, marketing, analytics, shopper insights, media research, UX, customer experience, business intelligence, competitive intelligence and more, dedicated to blending art and science to fully understand today’s consumers.

As we curate best practices across industries and disciplines from practitioners in Market Research all over the globe, we’d decided to spotlight a few notables from the trenches.

Meet Paul Long, here’s what he’s shared with us:

Paul Long

Paul Long is Manager of Market Research at Charter Professional Accountants of Canada, the member organization for Canada’s professional accountants.  He previously worked as a Research Consultant for a market research company, and as a Consumer Insights Manager for a Canadian grocery retailer.  Paul tweets at @paul_long and is an occasional blogger at www.paullong.ca.

What do you do and how did you get started?

I currently work as market research manager for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). In my role, I work on both qualitative and quantitative projects. Much of the research is directly with CPAs. Some examples include the CPA Canada Business Monitor, which asks CPAs in executive roles with Canadian companies to give their opinions on economic trends. We also do a lot of financial literacy work with the public.This has included survey work addressing issues such as debt management, retirement savings and, most recently, summer spending. CPA Canada’s research assists our organization in determining ways it can continue to play an active role in helping Canadians learn more about personal finances.

My first job in market research was as a part-time telephone interviewer for a market research company while I was in graduate school.  After that I became a phone room supervisor. Once I finished my studies, I started looking for research jobs, eventually working at a market research company, and after that, in the customer insights department for a Canadian grocery retailer.

What interested you about MR?

I was first aware of market research because of my interest in politics, and following political polls and watching pundits on television. It didn’t occur to me until later that the big research companies that were conducting political polls were also conducting research on breakfast cereals and car preferences.

How do you feel the industry is changing? 

There are so many different ways that the industry is changing!  Gamification, drops in response rates, growth in mobile research are just a few. To concentrate on one element, as a client-side researcher I will focus on the growth in DIY research. Declining research budgets seems to be a common trend these days in many client-side research departments. The challenge for client-side researchers is to efficiently allocate their departmental budgets so that they outsource what is clearly outside of their level of expertise, and maximize efficiency in the work they conduct internally.

This has offered a great opportunity for suppliers providing advanced but easy to use out of the box applications for corporate researchers to position themselves in a niche area.  At the same time, full service companies are having to compete for a piece of a smaller pie. Consolidation among research companies has been going on for quite a few years, and it will likely continue.

What is your best tip for researchers in the trenches to become a catalyst for impact?

Again, from a client-side researcher perspective, I would say to other client-side researchers to provide value to your internal clients — explain what the data means, not just what the numbers are.

What’s one book you think we should read?

While it is not specially a market research book, I would recommend Groundswell, by Josh Bernhoff of Forrester Research and Charlene Li of Altimeter. One of the main themes of the book is that in a Web 2.0 world companies no longer have control of their brand, because of the conversations on social media. Due to this they need to take part in the conversations online, and neither ignore it nor try to suppress it.

I think one can draw a parallel with market research. It has been changing rapidly for maybe the past 15 years or so. In much the same way ignoring the changes that have taken place in market research methods, and ignoring newer methods is not helpful to anyone.

What Tech should we keep an eye on?

I’m curious about wearable technology, Google Glass or watches with similar applications as smartphones. Will some wearable device at some point in the future have a mainstream research application? It would appear unlikely, but mobile phones wouldn’t have appeared to be a good candidate for research devices before smartphones dominated the space, so who knows?

Random fact?

In three different years, I have taken part in a two-day 120 mile bicycle ride for charity — from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

Let us know if you would like to appear in our Market Research Spotlight next.

Live from #MediaInsight: How Digital Has Disrupted Consumer Behavior Forever

This morning on the last day of our inaugural Media Insights & Engagement, James McQuivey, Ph.D., VP, Principal Analyst, FORRESTER, and Author, DIGITAL DISRUPTION, spoke to us about how How Digital Has Disrupted Consumer Behavior Forever.

The consumer has already been disrupted. Will you join them? It’s now necessary from the business side to create these experiences and relations in a way that has been unprecedented before.

You must join them and disrupt yourself.

Digital disrupters raise the bar:

they build better experiences
create stronger customer relationships
deliver efficiency, doing it faster than competitors

 Digital Disruption Economics:

More people empowered, more ideas, going to market, operating at a 1/10th of the cost with 100x the power.

Media Industry examples: more people create and distribute content for free, creating a super abundance of content options. (not replacing content, but enhancing the offerings)

Whoever has the relationship with the viewer, wins.

To participate you must digitally disrupt your customer relationship.

Media companies will want to distribute to these screens.

  • Retailer will want to use them to sell products
  • Manufacturers will want a direct connections
  • Platforms will try to own the whole experience

Who wins the relationships? Because in the end that’s who wins.

It’s a senior level decision to get every one ready and prepared to do begin connecting at every customer touch point.


Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

How HP, Forrester, Dell and Others Master the Customer Experience

Translating data insights into an actionable plan is the foundation for building a successful and emotionally connected brand.  The 2014 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summitshines an important lens on measuring and aligning data, along with linking attitudinal metrics to behavioral data across the enterprise. This three day open forum allows for high-level knowledge exchange with the most distinguished leaders in the customer experience space. 
See for yourself – download the brochure for full program detail and session descriptions: http://bit.ly/1fhJFi9

Our visionary speakers on data and linkage include:

KEYNOTE: Employees are the Key to delivering your Customer’s Experience
Peter Neill, Former Chief Customer Officer, Level 3 Communications

The ability to deliver upon a differentiated CE falls upon your employees and how your culture enables them and your customers. Your employee experience requires investment and shouldn’t be left to chance if “how” you deliver is equally as important to your customers as “what” you deliver. It’s critical to incorporate employees and customers into your VOC Program – Measurement, E2E Analysis, Action, Communications, and Recognition.

KEYNOTE: Personal Intelligence: The Power of Personality at Work
John D. Mayer, Renowned Professor of Psychology, The University of New Hampshire and Author, Personal Intelligence

John is a groundbreaking behavioral psychologist and key innovator in intelligence research having written more than 125 scientific articles, books, and psychological tests, including the internationally known Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. John argues that understanding personality is the key to our well-being. We are all curious about what people are thinking and what makes them tick. This urge to understand others helps us to adapt successfully to the world around us. Mayer talks about personal intelligence at work and the use of personal intelligence to understand our customers.

Twelve Year Customer Experience Journey
John Sullivan, Global TCE Leader, HP Financial Services

The key to the success of this twelve year journey could only happen through an engaged employee workforce. This presentation deconstructs the twelve year journey of a global company with over 1,500 employees supporting customers in over 50 countries competing for loyalty and wallet share in an industry and marketplace that provides superior customer experiences. John focuses on identifying and segmenting customers; internal as well as external, implementing a measurement process that gives continuous feedback and how to turn this information into meaningful, measureable action that would drive customer loyalty.

Making Promises, Keeping Promises: Building Brand and Loyalty Through Customer Experience
Kerry Bodine, Former VP and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Research Practice, Forrester

Companies are waking up to the fact that customers’ perceptions have a profound impact on business metrics ranging from brand equity and customer loyalty to increased revenue and cost savings. But for businesses to succeed, they need to get serious about the way they define, implement, and manage the customer experience. This session will explore how to make the connections between experience, brand and loyalty, the role that various touch points play in creating customer expectations and delivering on them and how marketers need to collaborate with the rest of the organization to ensure a high-quality customer experience.

….and, many more industry leaders!

Mention code TCEL14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:  http://bit.ly/1fhJFi9

Join us and the greatest customer experience strategists of our time and together we’ll advance business relevancy through customer strategy.
The TCEL Team

10 Ways to Improve Your Digital Customer Experiences

Whenever customer experience professionals are asked how important it is to improve their digital experiences, they affirm that it is absolutely critical. But, there is still an ongoing struggle to identify what digital experience improvements they need to make. 
Customers today need to have great experiences when they interact with an organization’s digital presence, but what can businesses do to improve digital experiences? A new report from Forrester Research, ‘Top 10 Ways to Improve Digital Experiences,’ shares 10 pieces of advice:
10. Flex Your Analytics. A factual basis can be established for understanding where visitors go inside a website or app as well as what they do.
9. Conduct Expert Reviews of Digital Touchpoints. There’s user data and then there are ‘heuristic reviews,’ where experts ‘ who can either be users meeting the characteristics of targeted users or usability experts ‘ try to accomplish specific customer goals.
8. Reach Out to Customers.Get feedback from the people who are encountering the digital experience, with data is derived from surveys, customer feedback forms, emails, support calls, chat sessions and social media posts.
7. Adopt User-Centered Design Process. This involves customer research, idea-generation and iterative prototyping.
6. Take Advantage of the Inherent Characteristics of Digital Touchpoints. This provides the sane advice to use the features ‘ and the size of the screen ‘ of your targeted device. These can include interfaces that are optimized for a touch tablet screen or real-time data in a mobile app that changes content or offers based on location.
5. Get Outside Help When and Where You Need It. This includes tech help as well as specialists for, say, researching customers in their native environments.
4. Plan for the Post-Launch. This is often overlooked for how those great features and customer feedback are going to be maintained over time.
3. Bolster Your Brand. This is a common focus of companies looking to enhance the digital experience. But this distills the wisdom down to understanding your company’s positioning or supporting brand attributes in what is seen and done.
2. Measure Digital Touchpoint Performance Against Business Metrics. This offers the advice to figure out business objectives, ways to get there, how to measure customer response from all digital and non-digital channels and ROI.
1. Unify the Overall Customer Experience. This is a hot topic, as companies and their agencies try to present a unified experience across channels, which means a data consistency about the customer’s interactions and a consistency of feelings about the brand.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCic

Stand Out from the Crowd: Create Innovative Customer Experiences

How can your business create an innovative customer experience (CX) that helps your stand out? It’s harder than one might think.
According to a recent Forester report, ‘Customer Experience Innovation Demystified,’ everyone talks about innovation, but no one knows quite what it is or how to get it. Today, the biggest driver for CX innovation is differentiation that will distinguish a company in the marketplace. Thirteen percent of respondents are shooting for a better CX than any company in any industry. The report states ‘innovation that drives differentiation and long-term value is the key to getting there.
Additionally, more and more companies want innovation. Customers have higher expectations than ever, upstarts are using technology to compete, and competitive advantages do not last long. Forrester points to customers being wow’d by new apps like Google Now, to Warby Parker’s Net-based competition with established retailers like LensCrafters, and to USAA’s short-lived advantage with its mobile check deposit app.
However, the strategy and planning do not match the ambition. Three-quarters of respondents focus on making incremental improvements, not radical ones. And, less than a third said they connect CX improvements with results that have business consequences. Not to mention, the majority of respondents said their companies plan CX innovation by watching their competitors or companies in other industries, 62 percent expect technological improvements will help them innovate, and only 53 percent develop ways to understand customer needs.

Ultimately, Forrester says that CX innovation differs from normal innovation processes because it goes beyond traditional methods. CX improvement enhances current customer needs, while innovation solves unmet ones. Companies need to reframe their business opportunities as meeting customers’ unmet needs. To do so, of course, involves looking at the company’s CX from the customer’s needs.

The 4 Phases of Customer Maturity

These days the list of things that can go wrong in creating and managing the processes that comprise the execution of the customer experience is endless. Despite the complexities in managing all aspects of the customer experience, companies’ intentions are in the right place.
In fact, a Forrester study has revealed that companies are ambitious when it comes to customer experience (CX). Forty-seven percent of executives use CX as a competitive differentiator in their industry. But their efforts are weak as just 53 percent measure CX quality consistently, leaving half without a way to tell if they’re succeeding. Additionally, less than a third track everything the firm is doing to improve experience. Only 15 percent follow a design process ‘ meaning that 85 percent of firms have no systematic approach to determine what a differentiated CX looks like.
Forrester found that CX leaders achieve customer maturity when they follow a path: Repair, Elevate, Optimize, and Differentiate. Recently, Principle Analyst Megan Burns shared the four requirements necessary to advance each phase with 1to1 Media.
1. Repair
Before they set out to create experiences that satisfy customers, firms should first fix the experiences that pain customers. By doing that, CX leaders begin to change the way their businesses operate. In these initial steps, they must identify problematic customer experiences, prioritize the fixes, coordinate implementation, and measure results.
2. Elevate
In this phase, Burns says to share customer insights routinely, measure thoughtfully, and use the metrics to reward. Most importantly, take best practices and made them standard.
3. Optimize
To take CX from OK to good, companies need to develop sophisticated CX toolkits. That’s why, in phase 3, customer experience leaders should: model the relationship between CX and business results, build strong experience design practices, and sharpen employees’ CX skills.
4. Differentiate
Burns said that organizations that succeed at differentiating their CX do so because they’re unwilling to think differently. This requires companies to deploy advanced research techniques to mine for new types of insights. It also requires the development of a business architecture that’s based on customer journeys instead of internal processes.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 

10 Key Customer Experience Stats for 2013

Today, a better customer experience can contribute to greater customer loyalty. But how do you define a great customer experience (CX)? Steven Woods, Group Vice President and Software Development at Oracle, says it is based on two things: understanding a buyer well enough to know what they are interested in and then delivering this message. The CX should be a reflection of everything that makes up your brand ‘ not just the products or services, but its attitudes, values and differentiation.
In addition, Vice President of Customer Experience at Forrester Research Harley Manning says we can prove that CX correlates to loyalty. A CX correlates to willingness to consider for another purchase, willingness to recommend, and reluctance to switch providers. If you want good word-of-mouth, and if you want to keep your customers, it’s unlikely that anything else you do matters more than delivering a superior experience.
Today’s consumers are more likely to choose a company that offers a superior and personalized CX. Personalization is becoming a mandatory component of the CX. That being said, according to Technically Marketing, here are 10 important CX stats to keep in mind for 2013:
Eighty-six percent of buyers will pay more for a better CX, but only 1 percent of customers feel that vendors meet their expectations.  
  • Forty percent of organizations cite ‘complexity’ as the greatest barrier to improving multichannel CX. 
  • Only 37 percent of brands received ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ CX scores this year.  Sixty-four percent of brands got a rating of ‘OK,’ ‘poor,’ or ‘very poor.’  
  • Eighty-nine percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor CX. 
  • Customer power has grown as 73 percent of businesses trust recommendations, while only 19 percent trust direct mail.   
  • Eighty-six percent of customers will pay more for a better CX.  
  • Only 26 percent of companies have a developed strategy in place for improving CX.  
  • When asked what were the key drivers for a customer to spend more with a company 40 percent said improvement in the overall CX, and 35 percent said provide quick access to information and make it easier for customers to answer questions.  
  • CX is a high priority for consumers in a negative economy as 60 percent say they often pay more for a better experience. 
  • About 13 per cent of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. 

The moral of these stats is the better the CX a company provides, the more likely customers are to purchase again and to recommend your company’ and the less likely to go to a competitor.

How to Calculate CX: Hypothesize, Test, Measure and Adjust

Investing to improve your business’s customer experience (CX) can determine its success or failure. When companies take time to plan their CX, it pays. In fact, according to Forrester Research, there was $1.3 billion in additional revenue for companies that improved CX. The ROI that comes from improved CX is related to increased customer loyalty ‘ each customer buys more, fewer customers are lost, and customers are willing to spread good news about your business.
The benefits that come from improved CX depends on your ability to measure your investments in CX, otherwise you won’t know which are working. Measuring CX will cause your investments produce a return because they generate new business, larger sales and even save money. When you start to measure CX, you need to take a step back from traditional product-centric measures of performance and focus on the basic functions of your business.
Image via blog.vitria.com
Everage Insights shares four steps you need to take if you want to be able to measure your CX.
Step 1 – Get into Your Customer’s Brain
First, get to know  your customer. This helps you set aside your beliefs about your product and move towards understanding their perspective. I’m sure you already know your customers – you have demographic information on what they like to read. But many businesses still fail to understand them.
Ask questions including:
  • Since I know what they read, why do they choose to read those blog posts or ebooks?
  • What problems are my customers trying to solve?
  • What questions do they need answered?
  • What kind of information did they need, but were unable to find?
  • Are my customers and their behaviors changing?

Step 2 – Identify Points of Contact
Measuring CX depends on identifying each point of contact your customer has with your business. A touchpoint can occur virtually or in the real world. Each contact your customers make with your product will determine how long someone sticks around.
Touchpoint metrics are specific to CX – they are developed to measure the attributes of each point of contact someone makes with your brand and how they relate to your businesses goals. By monitoring how well you meet customers’ expectations and how effectively you are achieving business goals at each touchpoint, you will know if and how you are impressing customers.
Step 3 – Develop Solutions
Now it’s time to develop solutions that can address these problem areas. If you measure touchpoint metrics for customer or technical support, you can theorize potential solutions to those problems. Until you measure these ideas, they are only theories -possible solutions to the problems plaguing your CX.              
Step 4 – Measure Metrics
Solution metrics, qualitative and quantitative metrics that measure the effectiveness of your solutions complement touchpoint metrics. Solution metrics can narrow your focus to the problem areas identified with touchpoint metrics. I ask myself one question: Are the problem areas improving or worsening after I implemented my solution?

Using solution metrics, you can test your ideas to see which effectively address the problems you identified and which fail to do so. Once you know which solutions are effective, you’ll know where to focus your business’s resources so you can see the biggest improvement in customer experience.  

Total Customer Experience Takeaways

Wordle: Total Customer Experience LeadersAs we begin looking forward to the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leader’s summit, we’ll be presenting some of the key takeaways from our 2011 event. Pictured here is a Wordle of our executive summary notes. I’ve stripped out the two most obvious words”Customer” and “Experience” to drill down a bit more into the heart of our takeaways.

One thing that immediately strikes me: how action-oriented these words are. “Make, create, integrate,” and “change” all jump out. That’s what we hope for from this event: that our attendees will leave with actionable insights that they can immediately integrate into their existing strategies when they return to the office.

Another big theme: Culture, Ecosystem & Employees. Kerry Bodine‘s session at last years event focused on this particularly, with the theme summed up in the following sentence “The Customer Experience Ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among your company’s employees, partners, and customers that determines the quality of the experience.”

To create a strong Customer Experience Ecosystem, Kerry recommended following these steps:
1. Map it
2. Co-create it
3. Socialize it

Don’t just target segments, go out and talk to people and create personas based on behavioral attitudes.

Did you attend Total Customer Experience Leaders in 2011? What were your key takeaways?

Tips on Gathering Consumer Insight in a 3D World

Here’s an interesting article from the Forrester blog in which Reineke Reitsma details some best practices in how to gather consumers insight in a 3D world. Here are her tips…Enjoy!

1. Dare to take risks. Approach research questions from a different perspective.
2. Start small. Invite executive members to meet with customers in an informal setting.
3. Stick to what’s relevant to you. Work with vendors to find a way to make the research methodology fit your specific needs.
4. Collaborate internally. Involve the research users from the beginning and introduce them step-by-step to the new methodology.
5. Failure doesn’t exist. Failure leads to innovation.