5 Steps to Finding Action Driven Data with Market Research

April 26, 2019

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. 

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 serie



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 companyFor 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 tru