Make sure your clients understand the process

Problem: The client doesn’t seem to know what market research is, or what it can do for them

This is hardly a unique situation, but it is one that can be easily overcome with a greater emphasis on communication and client engagement. Most companies operate on a standard hierarchical structure. The team you met with to negotiate the research project are unlikely to be the same people you work with or for on the project, even though it may affect their day-to-day operations. 

The onus is upon the research team to fully explain the processes and methodologies it will use to complete the project. Moreover, it’s important that this knowledge is shared not just with the project team they will liaise and interact with, but also department heads, C-Suite and personnel who will be directly impacted by the insights it may generate.

Ask all of the questions

Smart clients are the best clients. Making sure that the questions being asked are actually the ones which the client needs to have answers for is key. What do we already know? What do we actually want to know about? These should be among the first things a research team asks the client. What is the best approach to achieve that? At this stage, the team can then discuss the methodology options with the client, to ensure that they know the route to be taken and the kind of data it will develop. Consider spending more time with the client after delivery, to see the process through and make sure that insights are presented in a way that fits the client’s communication process, so that they are easily understood.

If the client understands the process, then the insights it can deliver will be much more easily adopted and, potentially, actioned.

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