Voice-of-the-customer market research program

One of my clients is a computer manufacturer. I help them with their voice-of-the-customer initiatives.

For this project, I interviewed two dozen of client's customers around the world about their expectations and experiences with their computer equipment for their 2012 Customer Listening Program. The primary focus of this initiative was to help the client fine-tune their marketing messages. But in addition to the marketing messages, we also asked about how they used the systems, their decision-making criteria and process as well as how well the client delivered on their promises.

Although most interviews lasted about an hour, one was more than two hours long!

Biggest lesson learned, for me, was to limit the number and scope of the open-ended questions, since those could not be easily summarized in bars and charts.

The final presentation was built around two key charts. One chart focused on sales and marketing messages communicated vs. delivered. The other chart focused on purchase criteria vs. company's ability to deliver on its promises. And of course, there were plenty of requests and recommendations by customers.