5 Steps to Finding Action Driven Data with Market Research

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again – companies who ask for customer feedback on a regular basis and act on the data received are more successful and competitive than those who don’t.

Though listening to your customers seems simple enough, it is not as common of a business practice as it should be. According to Forrester, while 74% of companies want their business decisions to be driven by data, only 29% think they’re successful at connecting the insights they collect to concrete actions.

How can you ensure research data is actionable? Use our example of how a financial institution utilized a customer experience survey to find definitive, measurable, and actionable feedback to increase customer satisfaction across all branch locations.

5 Steps to Finding Action Driven Data with Market Research

Market research is a catalyst for organizational change. Learn how to collect action-oriented insights in 5 steps.

Step 1: Determine market research objectives

In this example, let’s say a bank or credit union is looking to hire a market research company to conduct research to understand customer likes and dislikes regarding customer experience (CX) and service.

In order to meet the financial institution’s objectives a market research company suggests conducting an online customer experience survey to address CX and in-branch experiences with customers from all branch locations.

The market research company recommends using online surveys because they are cost-effective and offer a quick turn-around for measurable and quality feedback. An online survey will provide a strong ROI for the bank or credit union.

Step 2: Conduct CX fieldwork

In this example, the financial institution is testing customer experience across all brick and mortar locations. Keeping this in mind, the market research company applies screening criteria to the online survey, which qualifies or disqualifies interested respondents based on those who visited a store recently, and so on.

This criteria allows the market research company to route survey participant’s to the correct line of questions.

To collect responses for the customer experience survey, the market research company sends an email blast to the financial institution’s client list which includes a mix of customers across all branch locations.

A valuable line of questions in this survey example is asking about both the importance and satisfaction with CX in-branch criteria as shown below. The example uses a 5-point scale for each series of questions.

It is critical to keep online surveys short and concise to boost engagement and response rates. Don’t make these 6 common surveys writing mistakes.

Step 3: Basic CX analysis

Arguably the greatest asset of partnering with a market research company is receiving detailed reports from the data collected. Whether it be a high-level report or a more consultative approach with key themes, recommendations, and action items, this data acts as a starting point for organizational improvements.

Taking the survey question examples from above, here is the basic outcome of importance and satisfaction ranking of factors.


From here, you can see what customers feel is most important when doing business with the bank or credit union vs. what they are most currently satisfied with. For example, where “variety of products on site” may have ranked as a little importance, it proved to be a factor which scored highest in satisfaction.

Step 4: Deeper CX analysis

Receiving the data from any type of market research is just the beginning. It is most valuable to partner with a market research company who doesn’t only execute and conduct the research, but provides consultation services to allow for comprehensive and digestible feedback.

Basic levels of analysis is not good enough for our bank and credit union market research company. For this financial institution CX experience survey example, let’s breakdown three types of analysis reports a market research company could provide for a survey like this.

1. Quadrant analysis or a 2x2 matrix allows two types of criteria to be clearly sorted into four lists with different recommendations.

Tasks rated by customers as highly important, but with low satisfaction ratings are urgent areas for improvement. In this example, “wait time to see staff” is ranked as the most important factor for customers, however it is what they are least satisfied with. This becomes a strategic priority area for the bank to fix.

2. Cross-tab analysis allows for a deeper dive by separating the research data into components such as store location, type of customer, etc. Market researchers are able to identify problem areas and search for context by pulling out themes from open-ended question answers.

Running the analysis among the total sample size is important, but often insights and themes can be spotlighted once the data is compared across segments.

3. Advanced analytics uncover hidden trends in the respondent data through correlation and regression analysis. Correlation analysis measures the association of two variables, where regression analysis describes how dependent variables impact a dependent variable (such as overall satisfaction).

What this regression analysis shows above is the cleanliness of the store has the largest overall impact on overall satisfaction with the in-branch experience. So although the basic analysis shows wait time was the most important criteria (stated), the advanced analysis shows cleanliness of the branch is actually the most important criteria (unstated).

Regression does an excellent job at filtering through survey data and uncovering hidden trends in the data which truly impact overall satisfaction through statistical analysis.

Step 5: Take market research data to action

With these key findings, the financial institution understands the biggest area of improvement is the wait time to see their staff members. For example, to offset this dissatisfaction, the bank or credit union may choose to schedule more tellers and client representatives during busy business hours.

Diving deeper into the advanced analytics, a bank or credit union has also seen that cleanliness of the store has the largest overall impact on customer satisfaction regarding in-branch experience. Taking note of that, the financial institution may choose to a hire a cleaning company to come in during non-business hours to maintain the clean appearance of their branches.

It's important when conducting market research to not only collect the data, but to make the appropriate changes in order to move your business forward and meet the demands of your customers.

Additional tip: Boost CX review scores with an online reputation management tool

An additional action item a bank and credit union should consider is the integration of an online reputation management (ORM) tool. This is a relatively inexpensive service, likely provided by a market research company, which offers significant ROI and value to improve online perception of an organization.

These invites requesting a review are automated, allowing for constant customer feedback with little work done on your end. In this example, a client of the financial institution is sent to a landing page requesting a 1 to 5 star rating for overall satisfaction with a specific branch.

The ORM tool then filters and notifies the bank or credit union if the review is poor. The poor review is intercepted and not posted online which gives the financial institution the opportunity to review and potentially resolve the issue with the customer without having negative publicity posted online for all to see. Most importantly, an ORM tool allows for real-time data to put into action immediately.

Vice-versa, if the rating is strong, Drive Research can route customers to a Google branch review page, Yelp, etc. to increase ratings for each branch online. Customer ratings have a large impact on consumer choices of products and services.

Take a closer look at improving customer ratings with our online reputation management company.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

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