COVID-19 alert: Read about eased restrictions for businesses in Greater Brisbane from 1am, Friday 22 January.
Choosing the right customer research methods
Accurate, well-planned customer research helps you make smart decisions about how to market and position your business. Choosing the right method of customer research will help you answer important questions about your customers.
Identify your research goals
To choose the right research methods, you need to clearly identify your research goals. Here is an example of some research goals you might set for your business:
- find out our customers' needs
- find out our customers' preferences
- work out how to make our customers aware of our products and services
- work out what motivates our customers to buy from us
- work out how to improve or change our products or services to meet our customers' needs.
Find the research methods that meet your needs
After you identify what you need to know, then ask yourself which research methods will give you that information. This table shows you how to list the questions you need answered, and identifies the research methods you can use to answer them. Organise your questions under the 7 Ps of marketing that influence your business – product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence.
|What we need to know||Research method|
|Why would customers buy our product instead of our competitors' products?|
|How do our customers feel about the names of our products?|
|Will my customers want to buy this product?|
|How do our products compare with those of our competitors?|
|Do our products and services meet our customers' needs?|
|How do our customers perceive our product relative to our competitors' products?|
|How much are our customers willing to pay?|
|How sensitive are our customers to price changes?|
|How does our pricing compare to our competitors in terms of value for money?|
|What are the best ways to promote our products and services?|
|What response am I likely to get from a certain promotion?|
|Where will our promotional dollars be best spent?|
|How effective are the different promotional activities?|
|What will motivate our customers to buy?|
|Is our place of business easy for customers to access?|
|Are our customers able to access our business more easily than our competitors'?|
|Do our current distributors sell our product in a quality manner?|
|Do people research us on the internet before coming to our store?|
|Would people buy from us online?|
|Do I have the right people with the right skills and attitudes?|
|Do the salespeople selling our product provide adequate service?|
|Do our salespeople require customer service or product training?|
|Do our customers find it easy to do business with us?|
Do our customers like the layout of our stores?|
How recognisable is our brand?