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Customer Research

Connecting with your customers through market research
Customer perception is essentially how potential or existing customers view an organisation.

Customer Research

Revealing your strengths and weaknesses.

Do you know what your business does particularly well? Can you identify the areas where your organisation under performs? Find out how positive and negative experiences affect your customer relationships with our customer research service.

Mackman Research are customer research specialists who offer tailored methodologies to help you to understand the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of your customers as they journey from initial search, right the way through to purchase. Customer relations don't always run smoothly, and pain points can cause hidden snags.

In order to assess the effectiveness of your current internal practices and subsequent customer interactions, you must gather detailed information relating to customer journeys. An obvious place to start is by measuring customer satisfaction levels or tracking the customer relationship. By doing this from start to finish, you can see if there are any common issues. If you have a suspicion that there are obstacles affecting your customers' experience but don't know where to start looking, or simply want to monitor service levels, we can help you. Our clear methodological approach will give you the answers that you need to create a strategy and move your business forward.

Our customer research service spans a range of options and research methods to suit the unique needs of your business and customers. From customer experience and usability audits through to satisfaction surveys and sentiment analysis, we can reveal what really matters to your customers.

Customer icon

Customer Experience

Why is the overall customer experience so important?

Creating an unparalleled customer experience will generate more promoters with a high lifetime value. Customer experience is measured over the entirety of the customer journey. If a transaction is taking place online, this could be assessed by how straightforward it was to complete a desired action, and how easy it was to navigate and use a website. If conducted face-to-face, customers may base their experience of a brand on the attentiveness of employees, whether they were able to find what they wanted, and their general impression of whether they felt valued. This experience starts from the instant that customers engage with a physical location or online platform. Customer experiences guide their expectations for the future.

By gaining insight into your customers' experience and improving it, you could benefit from an increase in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, favourable recommendations, and reviews. These benefits can apply to all sizes and models of business, whether you rely on e-commerce, subscriptions, or enquiries. At Mackman Research, we measure customer experience as part of our customer research service using tailored metrics that will help identify your business's individual needs. This could incorporate asking customers about the ease with which they can access the product or service they're looking for, considering their overall feeling towards a brand, or focusing on specific touch points they were satisfied or dissatisfied with.

Customer Perception

How does customer perception research differ from other types of customer research?

Customer research encompasses the impression of your brand, including its ethics and ethos, its quality, or premium offering. Here people may be influenced by direct and indirect advertising, actual experience, or promoters and influencers. Meanwhile, customer perception considers brand, product and service awareness to assess your messaging, brand identity, and position in the marketplace.

Customer perception can be determined through factors such as advertising and other forms of media coverage. Similarly, customers' views of a brand are influenced by other people's opinions, expressed either in person or online via social media and Google reviews (for example). But one of the most important factors in shaping perception is personal experience, which ultimately translates into the positive promotion of your brand. Unlike customer satisfaction, customer perception is not determined by direct experience alone. Instead, customer perception research tends to focus on consumers that are yet to purchase from you, in order to build a picture of how you are perceived. These views are then layered with those of existing customers who may only be aware of a portion of your services. 

Measuring perception is a great way to address misrepresentation, re-align your targeting, and improve your messaging. Find out how our customer research service can help you to discover how your business is really perceived. 

Customer Perception, Customer Research Service | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency
Customer Satisfaction, Customer Research Service Illustration | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency

Customer Satisfaction

Measuring customer satisfaction enables you to monitor each and every point of contact that a customer has with your business or organisation.

It is more important than ever to measure customer satisfaction, not least because customers are becoming increasingly brand loyal.

So, how does customer satisfaction differ from customer experience? Whereas customer experience relies on the impression left on a customer over the entire purchase process, customer satisfaction is a measure of how happy a customer is with a business, product, or service. This could entail asking questions that evaluate how well a certain aspect of a business performed, where this did not meet with their expectations, and most importantly, how can it be improved upon.

Why bother exploring satisfaction levels if my products are selling well? Well, it is important to constantly measure customer satisfaction levels, even when your products or services are in demand. We are all aware of purchasing trends that seem to be unaffected by satisfaction, and those big brand names who are just awful to deal with over the phone. Yet we still buy their products because we need them or simply like them. However, high levels of customer satisfaction builds trust in your brand, and creates customer loyalty which leads to customer (and brand) longevity.

During your customer satisfaction research we can explore even the most minute touch points to reveal an area of your business that really impacts on the overall satisfaction levels of your customers. Mackman Research has a proven track record of delivering customer satisfaction market research to premium brands and leading organisations. Find out how our expert team can help you to pinpoint those service areas that need attention so that you can forge long-term customer and brand relationships. 

Contact Mackman research today 

For an initial informal discussion with a senior member of our team either complete the contact form or call us on 01787 388 038. We would be interested to discuss your requirements in more depth and how best to move forward.

Sentiment Analysis

Explore the thoughts and feelings of customers via the trail of sentiment that they leave online.

Customers are able to express their opinions more freely than ever in a world where the Internet is prevalent in every aspect of life. Poor reviews and negative comments can adversely effect the success of a business, and vice versa with favourable feedback. This means that understanding the emotions of customers is essential, and listening to customers through sentiment analysis is one method of keeping a finger on the pulse of public opinion.

A digital footprint may consist of millions of emails, social media conversations, support tickets, articles and online documents, which would be difficult to collate and sift through without expending a great deal of time and effort. This is where sentiment analysis comes in, allowing you to home in on a specific aspect of that digital thread.

Sentiment analysis identifies customers' feelings towards a brand, product or service through analysis of online feedback. It can be carried out on any text, but when used on comments, survey results or reviews on business's social media and websites, these feelings are classified into categories. These categories are separated by polarity (positive, negative and neutral) or sentiment (happy, sad, angry). Using machine learning, Mackman Research can utilise bespoke algorithms carry out social media monitoring, brand monitoring, and voice of customer (VoC).

For example, we can analyse aggregated NPS or other survey responses to gain an objective assessment of customers' views of your brand. In addition, we can assess thousands of social media comments on a company post to determine customer responses, or compare reviews of your brand with those of your top competitors.

Sentiment Analysis, Customer Research Service | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency

Customer & Audience Segmentation, Customer Research Service Illustration | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency

Customer & Audience Segmentation

Want to know how to target specific customer personas or make sure that you cater for all?

Customer and audience segmentation can focus your messaging, help you to refine your services, and shape your future strategies for growth.

Simply put, customer segmentation is the process of arranging your customers into groups according to type, with these groups being distinguished from each other by certain attributes. Each and every customer is unique, and as such, they have specific needs and expectations of a product or service. Catering for all possible expectations, particularly for SMEs, is virtually impossible - however, by segmenting your audience, you can get a more complete idea of who your customers are and what they are looking to gain from their interaction with your business.

Segmentation data has a wealth of applications, from creating targeted messaging to product development, strategic expansion into new markets to increased customer retention such as spending patterns, socioeconomic group, age, and interests.

You know your customers better than anyone, and that is why we create customer and audience segments in collaboration with you as part of our customer research service offering. We like to spend time with you in order to gain an in-depth insight into the needs and behaviours of your customers. Our time with you is designed to prompt reflection on the behaviours, needs, frustrations, and communication channels with your audience in order to develop customer personas. Sometimes this process provides us with enough information to segment your customers, and other times we apply additional data collection methods to test assumptions and create through persona profiles.

The ultimate output of customer and audience segmentation is to create personas that embody your customer types. At Mackman Research we like to take this process one step further by segmenting your audiences and identifying opportunities for growth. Our approach is tailored to the size of your organisation and the complexity of your range of customers, and our process calls on your expertise to complement ours. Find out how we develop personas that enable you to speak directly to the right segment at the right time.

Mystery Shopping

How does mystery shopping work, and why use it?

Mystery shopping provides an independent view of the customer experience, producing data that can identify key business areas that require focus or refinement. This encompasses aspects of customer service such as the engagement of staff, staff knowledge about your products or service, observations about the environment, and speed of service.

Understanding the customer journey is key to ensuring the success of your business, and when incorporated into competitor research, mystery shopping can also be used to benchmark your service levels against those of your competitors.

We use our considerable experience to observe and monitor the entire customer journey, from arriving at a venue to completing a purchase. Projects can be undertaken face-to-face or by phone and can be used to assess people skills and behaviour, the physical environment, and processes and procedures. Many organisations like to create a continual programme of mystery shopping in order to track customer care and experience over time. This process helps to identify staff training needs and gaps in service provision. It is important to note that mystery shopping also reveals those areas of your business that are performing particularly well, providing excellent experiences to customers. Here we can help you to shape training strategies and your wider organisational culture.

At Mackman Research our expert mystery shoppers can make contact with your company and its various sections in order to assess your levels of service, customer care and staff capabilities. Often this is performed a number of times so that we can capture the shopper experience from a variety of angles, from telephone sales right through to billing. 

Have a mystery shop in mind? Learn more about our mystery shop services.

Mystery Shopping, Customer Research Service | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency

Net Promoter Score, Customer Research Service | Mackman Research, Market Research Agency

Net Promoter Score

Gain a simple indication of your customers' loyalty

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, provides a simple way of understanding and interpreting your customers' level of loyalty. Many consumers will be familiar with NPS surveys, as they are a common method employed by B2C companies, for example, in-store and on receipts. The NPS measurement is taken from the results of one question:

'How likely is it that you would recommend [company/product/service] to a friend or colleague?'

This is measured on an 11-point rating scale, ranging from 0 ('not at all likely') to 10 ('extremely likely'). This question can be followed up by an open-ended request for elaboration to provide verbatim responses, with the aim of predicting customer loyalty or identifying areas for improvement. By analysing the results, a Net Promoter Score can be derived, which provides a 'big picture' indication of how your company is performing. Aside from the simplicity of NPS surveys making them relatively straightforward to administer, NPS results can be taken on their own, or in conjunction with a larger project.

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