Tag Archives: training

Stop the DIY Madness & Stop Insulting Corporate Researchers

DIY is not synonymous with in-house research. Can I be any
clearer?

I thought we put this to bed 5 years ago when ‘DIY panic’
first the market research industry. But given some recent presentations and articles,
it seems to be a hot topic again. As a 25-year veteran of the business, please allow me to illustrate how this topic is being incorrectly framed.

Market Research “Sides”

The market research world is often thought of as having a client-side
(corporate research functions) and a supply-side (market research firms,
especially full-service agencies).
Research done by corporate researchers is often excellent,
sometimes not. Sometimes it is done by highly trained professionals with solid statistics, qualitative method or related
skill sets. Sometimes it is done by people with ‘on-the-job’ training.

Research done by market research firms is often excellent,
sometimes not. Sometimes it is done by highly trained professionals with solid statistics,
qualitative method or related skill sets. Sometimes it is done by people with
‘on-the-job’ training.

The only difference is that in the corporate research world
there was a time when a lot of corporate researchers outsourced much of their
work. This was especially common, years ago, in the large CPG companies.  In these cases, the market research manager
was pretty much a purchasing agent: they knew how to match internal clients’
needs with external supplier talents, they were skilled in negotiation, and
they often participated at key project milestones (approving questionnaire drafts,
for example).

In contrast, and totally separate, there is DIY research.
DIY research is often done by people with little to no training, who typically
do not work in market research’whether on the client or supplier side. At one company
I know, the sales department has gone rogue a few times and had a college
intern do some low-end surveys. The surveys were not particularly good. And the
market research manager at the company was understandably not thrilled, for
many, legitimate reasons. But that is the sales department doing DIY. Not the
corporate researcher.

Among all corporate research work done, has the percent that
is outsourced shrunk? Yes. But that is not the rise of DIY, it’s the rise of’well,
call it insourcing if you want’I don’t really care. Just don’t insult our
corporate research brethren by labeling them all DIY researchers. Actually, do.
Insult them, antagonize them. I’m happy for the extra work.
And for those supply-side researchers who are ready to
embrace change, kudos. I am with Isaiah Adams, who in a
recent TMRE
blog post
, stated, ‘While this may sound like a depressing end-game, I
believe it actually increases the value of knowledgeable Market Research
professionals.’ Mr. Adams is correct.

This post is by guest blogger Kathryn
Korostoff of Research Rockstar LLC, the only
independent provider of online market research training (
Training.ResearchRockstar.com). Follow her on Twitter @ResearchRocks.  She is also offering a free training class to her new FOCI friends.

Behind the Scenes

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven. 

Visionary

Disruptor

Innovator

Industry Leader

I was talking to a junior colleague recently, who noted that folks with titles such as the above (bestowed on them by industry peers) are the ones who “get all the visibility” and typically get the funds to travel to conferences, speak at industry events, etc.

We praise the innovators, the disruptors, the folks who raise the thought level of the industry, and we absolutely should – precisely because they bring the game to the next level.

But in this post, I want to ensure we’re also praising the project managers, the data analysts, and the strategists who often provide real structure for the business and projects and their work often allows the industry leaders to shine, and the visionaries to have enough time to create their visions. We can have all the disruptive thinking and lofty goals in the world, but without the project planning, the task management, etc., it doesn’t get done.

Many of you reading this are leaders in your organizations: C-level executives, VPs, Directors and Managers. We all think heavily, deeply, and loftily about how to move our companies and our business forward. Please take a moment today to thank the project managers, strategists, programmers, PowerPoint designers, traffic managers, and others in your organization for keeping things running smoothly. And if you feel an imbalance on your team (perhaps too heavy in the visionary department and not enough execution?) consider adding those skill sets to your team, or add training for your existing staff.

Consider also bringing some of these folks to TMRE with you, to hone their skill sets in tracks such as “Consultative Skill Development” and “The New MR Toolkit.”

___________
More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.

Customer service classes now in session

KTUU of Anchorage, Alaska recently ran a report on a customer service course being offered by the Cook Inlet Tribal School. This two week course teaches students how to learn how to effectively deal with customers and manage their employees properly. As noted in the video below, there is a lack of workforce in Anchorage, so it shows when employers put their employees directly to work with out first training them on the basics of customer service. Watch the news report here.

Build your company on culture

Russ Vernon recently contributed a piece to the Ohio Journal that examined how you can focus keeping loyal customers throughout this hard time. It’s important that you stay relevant to your customer base, and keep your focus on your customer. You need to seek gaps that are in your market, in addition to you hiring processes, training and great customer service. So use all of these things not only to sell a product to your customer, but value as well.

Improving Contact Centers for Improved Customer Service

One of our media partners for our NACCM Customers 1st event, 1 to 1 Media, discussed the relationship between call centers and customer service on this post from their blog today. These are some of the points that the author noted after discussing ways to achieve success with individuals who worked there.- Managers want to use e-learning modules for training, but are torn about taking agents off the phones to train.
- There’s a need for bilingual capabilities, but confusion about how to implement them.
- Getting all departments in the enterprise, from R&D to marketing, to give all necessary information to the contact center for agent training purposes.
Department heads and executives need to spend more time in the contact center listening and learning.
Some contact centers are partnering agent training with recruiting.
Daycare workers (college educated moms) and retirees are becoming the hot new workforce in contact centers.
- Agents are getting coached about how to hear and manage a lifecycle change on a customer call.In summary, many of these points highlight on the need for improved training, and the importance of integrating the departments in a more cohesive manner. This is imperative for employees at these call centers, since they are often times the main point of contact for consumers.