Why should businesses carry out customer panels?
Customer Panels are a great approach to gathering in depth research from your prospective or current customers. You may be launching a new product or service and need to carry out market research, or you may wish to gather insight from your current customers on the level of service being provided, or the quality of your service or product.
How our panels work
The business must decide exactly what it is that they want to find out and what format would best suit. My View offer different solutions from Group Customer Panels or Focus Groups. The host of the panel will engage the participants in different discussion topics, to gather the required insight and feedback. An analysis report will be compiled following completion of the overall number of panels required. Clients choose who is present either through the bracket of mystery shopping or the highest paying customer. This may be incentivized with vouchers or something else decided by the business.
Clearly currently gathering in person is challenging but not completely impossible. Pre-covid My View would organize a room with 10 – 12 people consisting of either employees or customers. A current option to allow for this valuable format is to carry out the sessions via webinars. These would be structured questions on a product or service clearly decided by the business and dependent on what it is they need to know. These group panels can work better than telephone calls, because with a group the discussion is much more interactive and organic.
Are there any disadvantages?
This sort of forum must come from a place of honesty, so it needs to be the right cross section of customers. This does not mean tweaking the selection in such a way as to only pick people that will say positive things, it’s more about choosing either a varied group of customers or the right demographic or gender if a business needs to research a specific product. The saying it’s only as a good as the data is so true and means what you uncover must be meaningful and produced in the right way.
Alternatives to panels
In the current socially distanced times, a one to one focused interview may feel safer. This format can work well if a client really wants to drill down into the mindset of their customers and come away with some individual feedback and valuable insight. My View will ensure this data is provided in a comprehensive report with detailed analysis. If this format still causes concern, My View can arrange questions to be carried out online. We deliver this by giving customers specific time slots to log on and answer pre-agreed questions from the client. Generally, they respond to the questions via electronic messaging. Although the drawback is that you miss that organic interaction with face to face panels, in the ‘new normal’ this still offers valuable insight for businesses to move forward and kickstart sales.