Traditional market research is carried out under a strict code that maintains the anonymity of the people who are interviewed.
For consumer level work, this builds trust with the person being researched. However, in business-to-business markets, where there is an on-going relationship, anonymity can be extremely restrictive for both you and your customer. One-to-one research describes a range of techniques that enable your organisation to collect information directly from customers, benefiting the relationship overall.
What is One-to-One Research?
One-to-One Research describes a broad range techniques that are used to gather structured information from customers using your own staff as the conduit for the information. This includes collecting information via localised surveys, with local staff reporting results to senior managers, or account managers undertaking structured relationship reviews with their accounts. One-to-One Research was presented at the MRS Conference and at the Business Interest Group conference in 2000. The paper (27kB) for the BIG conference explains more about why One-to-One Research is necessary.
Central to One-to-one Research is that a relationship is built through dialogue and that formalised tools can help establish a deeper dialogue throughout your organisation. By increasing the level of understanding of what an individual customer wants (micro level) and having this in framework that can be analysed across all customers (macro level), you have can better set priorities for both the individual and the whole.
By having your staff involved you can get data that measures performance (quantitative), whilst allowing your staff to pick up the individual insights into why the customer is saying what they say (qualitative). The section on Service Quality Review provides a practical example of how One-to-one research works.
There are strong links between One-to-one Research and building a Customer Knowledge database, as the out-come of a One-to-one Research exercise should be available and usable within your organisation to help improve service and focus on the key aspects of the relationship.
Our Notanant Marketing Knowledge System embodies many of the principles that underlie One2One research. Principles such as collecting and sharing information as close to the front line as possible, developing micro and macro pictures at the same time, building and encouraging dialogues with customers.