December 2015

Five tips on how to get the most from your research results

It’s probably been a while since you commissioned customer research into a topic for which you were all keen to find the answers.

In the meantime, you’ve all been so busy organising the research that you may well have lost sight of why it was you commissioned it in the first place.

But at long last you receive the report and read it. And that’s when you either all shake your heads in disbelief about how could you have got it so wrong, or you start to celebrate that you’re clearly on the right track!

Now that you’ve read the report once, it’s time to begin the hard work that will turn the research into outcomes within your organisation.

You can start by thinking about doing one or all of the following five things:

1. Spend 10 seconds and think about whether the results are a surprise. If so why? If they’re what you expected, did you expect good or bad results? Make sure you have as many channels as possible for feedback. If your results are great and everybody loves what your area does, then ask yourself do they fit with the feedback from other channels?

2. Discuss the report with your researcher. They won’t know your business like you do but, if given the opportunity, they will want to know more. A research report is a great way to broaden conversations. It also allows the researcher to contribute ideas and lessons from past experience. Remember they do this for a living.

3. Tell people. Telling people about your results is seldom used, yet it’s the most powerful thing you can do. Prepare a bulletin, update your intranet page,  place a note on your email signature or receipt of job ticket. It’s as important to tell internal customers/stakeholders as it is to tell customers. Your staff speak to both, so they can tell people about your progress, be it receiving praise or explaining what the area is doing about its results.

4. Engage your staff in digesting the results. Break your team up and have them pick a piece of the report to review, present and make recommendations on. The team has to own the results. More than anyone, they know where the customer pain points are – they live with them every day.

5. Try not to focus too much on the comments reproduced word for word in the report. Comments may provide the colour and often the humour of many reports, but remember often less than 20% of respondents write a comment, so they shouldn't provide the basis of the findings. Their views can help shed a light on an issue but one comment does not make a crisis.

There are a lot of things to consider once you receive a research report. You can make your task easier by sharing, discussing, and collaborating on the results.For further information on getting the most from your research contact your CSBA Account Manager.

1 Southern Rural Water
2 GWM Water
3 Budget Direct
4 Wannon Water
5 Gladstone Regional Council
5 Coliban Water
7 Wodonga City Council
8 North East Water
9 University of Adelaide
9 Surf Coast Shire Council

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7. Tenancy Services Residential Tenancy Authority QLD
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