Having run over 300 customer panels and communities Crowdtech has developed a world class expertise in this field and we are uniquely positioned to observe and understand the Industry shifts.
In recent years we have observed the usage of customer panels is shifting as Clients become increasingly familiar with the methodology and are more comfortable managing the technology themselves. Through gaining greater understanding of the possibilities of using Communities in their research plans, they are increasingly preferring connected communities more than customer panels.
It started with surveys
Initially, a customer panel was an advanced database with a cohort who were infrequently presented with a survey. Surveys alone of course were inadequate: they are mainly one-way traffic and do not always provide enough depth of information. Underlying motivations proved difficult to pin down with a survey.
Customer panel becomes a community
Customer panels gradually morphed into communities and Clients demanded a platform allowing them to bring their own customers into their organisation and encouraged customers to communicate with each other all supported by research methods such as a forum discussion, one-on-one’s in addition to the survey.
More ways to listen to customers
In the course of time Crowdtech has developed wider ranges of online tools to understand consumers: via a questionnaire, a challenge, a poll, a live conversation or keeping a diary. The biggest advantage is that customers like to be involved and this allows the deeper behaviour to be traced and measured through on-going dialogue with the same respondents.
The presentation has also changed
The presentation of the research has also changed. Investigations are visually appealing; they are short, beautiful with intuitive question types and little text. So many barriers to participate have been removed.
Link other sources to research data
The next step is to link external sources to the customer panel or research community, such as data from CRM systems, or data from social media. The answers become richer through this combination of data and investigations to-the-point where customers are no longer questioned on facts that an organization already has sufficient data for.