By Felicity Zadro, Managing Director, Zadro
The last thing you heard from a staff member might get stuck in your head, but it’s not the basis for good business strategy. That is why we often recommend carrying out insight projects for organisations, so we can move past the anecdotes and get to the crunchy truth about what is really going on in the hearts and minds of your most important people – your staff and your customers.
Insight research is when we carry out surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls and ethnographic observations to understand how your audiences perceive, know and feel about your brand – inside and out.
Zadro recommends insight surveys when we need to uncover truths about a brand or culture, usually after a major shift in an organisation’s environment e.g. changes to government policy, new competition; after a merger or acquisition; after new management is in place or even when companies get the sense, ‘they have to move to the next level’ and something is stopping them.
Usually, we will survey and interview people, and for the leaders, this can sometimes be a scary thing – interesting, but a take-a-big-breath-and-hope-for-the-best scenario.
Most management teams I’ve worked with have a hunch about what is going on in their organisations, however an Insight Survey can test that, see if it is widespread or isolated and get a clearer picture of the situation. Often the results reveal a nuisance of an issue that is the gold to making change.
After interviewing each of the 10 staff members of a business a few years ago, I found out that the low moral of the team was due to the boss not paying the staff on time over the Christmas break TWO YEARS prior. Some staff who I interviewed didn’t even work there two years ago, but in such a tight team, they had learnt that the boss ‘wasn’t to be trusted’, ‘was only out for himself’, and ‘didn’t care about us’. Two years had been wasted. I got them all in a room, coached the leader to acknowledge the issue, explain his side of the story and asked everyone to draw a line in the sand. Needless to say, things got a lot better after that. The culture had been pinpointed to one issue.
In our surveys, one of the questions we ask is centred on attaining a Net Promoter Score or NPS. The NPS is used by the world’s leading organisations to find a quantitative, comparable way of determining client loyalty.
The inventor, Frederick F. Reichheld, in his seminal article, The One Number You Need to Grow, published in the Business Harvard Review in 2003, says,
“Many companies – striving for unprecedented growth by cultivating intensely loyal customers – invest lots of time and money measuring customer satisfaction. But most of the yardsticks they use are complex, yield ambiguous results, and don’t necessarily correlate to profits or growth.
The good news is: you don’t need expensive surveys and complex statistical models, You only have to ask your customers one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague? The more “promoters” your company has, the bigger its growth.”
This question gives us a simple but important yardstick, something that can be measured year on year. For when you focus on getting “more promoters and less detractors” your priorities and strategies become clear.
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