5 reasons why turning consumer research into a new communication channel is a great idea.

Traditionally, consumer research has been about asking questions to consumers to understand their behaviors. No matter what method is being used, once the survey is over, the communication usually ends. If you think about it, in a way, this approach is “using” the consumer to extract his opinions, and then treating them almost like a date you’ll never call back.

5 reasons why transforming consumer research into a new communication channel is a great idea.

Out with the old, in with the new

We live in a feedback economy, and consumers are more willing than ever to provide feedback to and engage with brands in meaningful conversations, so shouldn’t consumer research also be an open dialogue with respondents?


The truth is that traditional methods have failed to evolve along with the modern consumer. Web panels rely on a network of paid respondents that are recruited to answer to many surveys. Phone interviews, really? Who wants to chat with a stranger for 20 minutes in exchange for nothing? And we’d be lying to you if we say that we don’t cringe at the sight of a smiling guy with a clipboard on a metro station exit.


For it to be a conversation, consumer research needs to evolve into a bi-directional interaction. One where brands can solicit consumer feedback but also be able to engage in a dialogue that makes the respondent feel heard (it’s part of our human nature after all), and that their opinions and their voice count.


Consumer-centric? Check!


From a consumer experience perspective, these early interactions can make a whole difference when it comes to trusting and becoming loyal to a brand. Modern consumers, especially younger generations, live in the era of “seamless” experiences and real-time interactions, and feedback is one of the most critical forms of these interactions. People want to shape the way they shop, consume, and connect with businesses.


In our experience launching consumer surveys through social media, we’ve found respondents are more willing to answer questions since they get asked about things in the area they live or frequent. They have a bigger sense of accomplishment since they feel they are helping to shape the community they want to live in. Bottom line: When businesses ask them for that feedback, they need to connect with their interests and make the whole experience feel personalized.


What’s new?


With this in mind, our product team set sail to make replying to respondents possible through our interactive dashboard. The way it works is that when consumers answer a questionnaire, as our client, you’ll be able to see their answers populating in the comment section and simply replying to them directly. As easy as that!


Potloc Dashboard Reply to comments feature


Let’s say you see something that raises a red flag, or consumers not really understanding your offering, or someone that just needs a clearer answer, with this feature you can manage the communication. The same way you wouldn’t leave a Google My Business or a Facebook review unanswered, we give you the opportunity to reply to the community and establish that bi-directional communication we talked about above while personalizing the experience to every respondent.


Why is this a good idea?


We’ll give you 5 reasons:


  1. It allows you to establish a relationship with engaged consumers early in their customer journey, opening a new channel of communication with people who care about your offering.
  2. Personalized conversations generate positive sentiment and increased loyalty. You not only asked me a question, but you also followed up and cared about what I had to say.
  3. Since we can reach both shoppers and non-shoppers, you get to connect with people who might now consider buying from you, while retaining existing customers.
  4. Your promotions and offers have now a new channel to live and thrive. While we don’t incentivize respondents to answer our surveys, you can offer them discounts or coupons after they have answered.
  5. You get to be the cool brand that actually cares. After all, our motto is that we don’t treat consumers as numbers, but as actual people. Remember people don’t want to be marketed to, people want to buy from people.


So, whether you want to just say thank you, follow up on touchy topics or go full-on marketing with this audience, the fact that you can now have a conversation with them is right on awesome.


Are you ready to try? Talk to one of our research experts.