Don’t send a market researcher to do the job of a VoC customer experience analyst

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Don’t send a market researcher to do the job of a VoC customer experience analyst

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never send a market researcher to do the job of a VoC customer experience analystWhen a co-worker offers to jump in and help with a project, an extra set of hands and an all-for-one attitude is a welcomed change from the siloed mindset that plagues many work environments. But when designing a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program for the contact center, it’s not so great to be sent help from the market research department.

A market researcher and a customer experience analyst are not interchangeable. In fact, the differences are quite pronounced when one considers their research approaches, data collection, measurement methods, and outcomes sought by results. Don’t send a market researcher to do the job of a VoC customer experience analyst.

Why shouldn’t you welcome the market researcher to your team? By the nature of their training market researchers ask the wrong types of questions for VoC customer experience programs. Imagine you work in the marketing department and someone asked you to file the company’s quarterly taxes. You know how to balance your own personal checkbook but have no idea how to apply the sophisticated science required at the corporate tax level.

Market research-focused questions are designed to get market research answers, not the experiential and emotional data you need for an effective program. You need a VoC customer experience analyst who will design the right methodology and measurement tools to secure the right data for the basis of a good VoC program. The two methodologies are quite different and should not be interchanged.

customers-grade-the-callsIt’s not uncommon for my work with a new client to start with a basic undoing of the work of a market researcher. Too often, the work cannot be easily retrofitted and becomes more of a restart. Market research VoC data are too far removed from how the customer experiences the relationship with the organization – the purchase, the service and support, the warranty, the emotions, etc.

Market research is on top looking down on things while customer experience research is in the foxhole. A new set of customer experience-focused questions is needed. Overcome the barrier to success by agreeing that the market research department is very good at what they do for the organization but that the Customer Experience Center is focused on transformation.

Be firm with the need to separate market research out of your VoC customer experience program. Doing this will keep you from the pain and suffering of getting data that doesn’t help you and the anguish of having to start all over again on the right path. Who has time for that?

If need speak to the Doctor about your market research problem in your VoC efforts, complete this form now for a no obligation consultation.

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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  • Adam Ramshaw


    I agree with your separation of Market Research and VoC customer Experience but are you able to be more specific with the differences? Perhaps some examples of the techniques used by each or the ways that questions are different.

    Looking forward to your insights.

    Adam Ramshaw

    • Adam,

      There is one primary distinction between the two. Market Research seeks to understand preferences, desires, and intentions of customers. And VoC customer experience seeks to understand the perceptions and actions of customers.

      A simple example would be, a market researcher may want to know about how to best interact with a customer (email or phone) and a VoC customer experience researcher would want to know if the service experience improved the brand perception. These are very different constructs and should not be combined in the data collection process.