Drive Research, a market research company in New York, recently partnered with a leading thermal management solutions manufacturer to complete a customer loyalty survey and new product development workshops with its customers. These components were a key element of a broader CX program that the manufacturer continued to develop. This case study details the objectives, approach, and outcome of the market research.
When accumulating many customers around the globe for your business, it helps to keep a pulse on their needs. You never want to assume your customers will continue to give you their business by operating the same way. Every person, every buyer, every customer is different. It is critical to not group each into one lump sum.
So, how can organizations make the right moves and create the right strategies to retain customers?
A customer loyalty survey is a valuable tool to understand what drives customers to purchase your products and services. This methodology assesses customer satisfaction and identifies gaps in the customer experience. It is also a primary component of a full customer experience (CX) program that aims to optimize all touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
Qualitative customer workshops are also an excellent way to gather more detail and context beyond what a survey can offer. During this project, Drive Research held two large customer workshops with key OEMs to gather feedback on a new product being developed by the manufacturer. This feedback offered first-hand benefits and concerns about the new product.
A global manufacturer of thermal management solutions used a customer loyalty survey and new product development workshops to measure key aspects of the customer experience and portfolio growth.
The objective of the customer loyalty survey was to assist the thermal management solutions manufacturer in better understanding its customers’ experiences and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs).
The customer loyalty survey objectives aimed to uncover:
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), including individual factors
- Likelihood to Recommend, or Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Effort Score (CES)
- Likelihood to Repurchase (LTR)
- Additional secondary objectives
The data and findings from the survey would be used to develop strategies to assist the manufacturer in enhancing its offering and customer loyalty. The market research also served as a baseline for future CX research initiatives.
A second component of the market research involved sharing a prototype with key strategic customers. This product was shared with two OEM teams on-site an in-person. The new product development research aimed to help guide the client with key product features, product improvements, price points, marketing messaging, and potential launch strategies.
To address the main objectives, Drive Research recommended conducting online surveys to collect feedback from customers of the manufacturer.
Time and time again, online surveys prove to deliver measurable and quality data. Online surveys also offer a quick-turnaround time at a price that can fit within most research budgets. This is often why our market research firm suggests this approach for our clients.
Drive Research sent survey invitations to a list of contacts provided by the manufacturer. The customer contacts included a variety of customer types who each interacted with the manufacturer’s products in a unique way.
To further increase the response rate, several reminder emails and phone calls were made by the manufacturer.
Fieldwork for the survey began on August 21 and lasted until November 8, 2019. The survey took an average of 10 minutes to complete and included 43 questions. The survey received 145 responses.
Product Workshop Approach
Drive Research worked with the client to schedule two half-day workshops at the OEM's offices. Several key stakeholders were invited to the workshop including engineers, purchasers, marketing managers, and other experts. Oftentimes, these workshops can also be conducted as one-on-one interviews by phone or through web conferences.
The workshops were prescheduled and lasted approximately 3 hours each. Drive Research moderated each discussion. A formal workshop facilitator guide was designed to manage the discussion. The guide ensured all core objectives were covered in the conversation. The document also served as a guide and template for future new product development workshop discussions.
A market research report was delivered to the thermal management solutions manufacturer through a detailed PDF. This report included a background and methodology, an executive summary of themes, infographic, recommendations and action items, and next steps for market research. In addition, an appendix consisted of a detailed question-by-question breakdown of the results.
While the results remain confidential with the manufacturer, below are some of the objectives answered from the customer loyalty survey:
- What do customers associate with the client?
- How familiar are customers with client products?
- What factors are important when selecting a company?
- What is the customer experience like?
- How satisfied are customers with their primary contacts?
- How satisfied are customers with client services?
- How likely are customers to recommend the client?
- What competitors are used?
- What else do customers want to see offered?
Some of the objectives answered by the new product development workshops were:
- Where do you see the future of the industry?
- What will be the major disruptors in the space?
- What are your initial thoughts on the product?
- What do you like? What don’t you like? Is there anything that can be improved?
- What are the benefits of this product?
- What differentiates this product from what’s currently available on the market?
- What hesitations would you have with using the product?
- What do you think about this particular product design?
- Discussing color, size, speed, power connections, etc.
- Is there anything similar to this on the market?
- What type of industry would this be most successful in?
- What is the typical application for this product?
- Is there a premium you would pay for this product?
- If you were in charge of marketing this new product, what would you do?