Research Landscape

January 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

We recently had a good question from a CEO who just heard about Adaptive Survey(r) Technology, “Why should I use Adaptive instead of SurveyMonkey or any other tool my people already know?”

One of our advisors, Professor Raghu Santanam from Arizona State University, jumped right in with a short definition of the various uses of research, “There are three basic uses for research…”

  1. Descriptive surveys are backward looking and captures what happened to what demographic in the past. CX or Customer Experience surveys are in this category.
  2. Confirmatory surveys confirm information you already know by taking a current reading. Some of these are tracking over time to see if anything changes – NPS or other tracking surveys for example.
  3. Discovery surveys are future looking where you want actionable insights that lead you to doing something.

Research Landscape V1Adaptive Survey(r) technology falls primarily in the Discovery category. It is used to generate new ideas, innovations or simply unexpected opportunities to delight customers. If you are looking for new and actionable insights in priority order, Adaptive is the right type of tool for you. Adaptive generates new ideas not conceived in a traditional design.

The first and only tool for doing Adaptive Surveys(r) is at

Once you see some results form your discovery survey, you’ll find that Adaptive is also a useful replacement for open-ended questions and collapsing ratings into one Adaptive Question(r) in descriptive and confirmatory surveys too. Many survey can be reduced by 80% using this method; you can turn 30 questions into 5 or 6 using this method. Adaptive surveys require dramatically fewer questions, yet provide more business insights.


The Hard Truth about Closing the Loop

November 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

By Sabrina Bozek, Waypoint Group

Collecting customer feedback for B2B companies requires a much different methodology than that used by a traditional consumer-oriented company. For one, B2C survey respondents are kept anonymous to allow for candidness and “honesty”. However, for B2B surveys, this doesn’t really work because relationships are at the crux of recurring revenue. To foster a strong relationship, Customer Success Managers needs to follow up with respondents and dig deeper to solve potential issues or even just say, “Thanks.” Acting on customer feedback is arguably more important than deploying the survey, since expectations are set by sending the request for feedback, and not acting can actually do more harm than good.


But this is all much easier said than done, and that’s the hard truth that most B2B companies face with closing the loop. It takes a bit of extra effort for someone in the team to set time to make phone calls or hand-write (what?) a Thank You note. You’ve got to find the right shipping address to send a little Thank You item or card. And how about those work-from-home-folks who aren’t in the same office as everyone else — someone has to look up these details. And you may not have an intern all the time to handle these “small” tasks.


But the thing is, it’s worth the time investment. Eventually, it will pay off. And using what are now considered “old-school” methods, like picking up a phone or hand-writing a snail mail note, are the best ways to make a splash. Chances are your competitors aren’t doing it—or they are and the experience will be enough to convert their business.


For example, we at Waypoint Group always tell our clients about the need to actively recruit survey respondents so that 1) responses come from all the right people and provide an accurate summation of your business model, and 2) make closing the loop easier post-survey.

While difficult, we’ve had several clients do this well and see great benefits including this example below. Out of 800 Account Managers (AMs) who actively recruited contacts within their accounts to be sure that they had the correct email information, not only were new people identified as part of the account, but new opportunities were discovered for upsell and cross-sell. Relationships became stronger as a result and some customers were able to resolve an existing issue – something that certainly would cause delight and possibly convert a Detractor or Passive.

Sabrina Delete

With a third of these AMs uncovering new leads, it’s results like these that make closing the loop worth it. Do you have a proper strategy for doing so? It’s not too late to make one.

NPS Sample – Part 2

May 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of my favorite people commented that my last post sounded angry. Sorry about that. It was really just frustration with the process of larger companies.

Some additional information about the results might help you understand my frustration. As you might recall, there was an extended conversation about who to include in the sample for the company’s NPS survey. It is a relationship survey and many people like me feel like customer surveys of this type should be conducted among a representative sample of all customers. The executives decided to include only top-tier customers — those who spend the most money.

Here are the results. The number of completes for our group was about 1,500 last quarter; this quarter…wait for it…46. Our NPS measurement is 16 plus or minus 31. Out of tens of thousands of customers, we got 46 completed surveys. The anger this quarter is coming from the executive team above those who made this decision. To top it off, the same process will be used for the current quarter using twice as many top-tier accounts. I am guessing that we will get about 92 responses this time. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

NPS Sample

April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Heard a long conversation about an NPS sample that includes only the company’s top accounts.

I get that you want to include top accounts in your sample — but to the exclusion of all other customers? This happens to be a decision driven from the top of a large company, executives who want to understand this key group of customers. What they don’t realize is that once they get a score from this exclusive group, the very next question is, “compared to what?”

Stay with me for a minute. What if you get an NPS of 35. Is that good? Is it bad? What if you get a score of 60? Wow, we got a great score. But what if the rest of your customers give you a score of 95? The 60 doesn’t look so good now, does it?

It doesn’t cost a single penny more to survey a representative sample of all customers. Then at the end you can separate this key group from all other customers and see if they are different. NPS is not that hard. Come on people. The worker bees in the room need to tell executives that they are making a mistake. It’s your job. Do it.

NPS at Functional Level – What’s up with that?

December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

The likely-to-recommend question was designed to work at the brand level – usually a company…

How likely are you to recommend ABC Corporation to your friends, family and colleagues?

It also seems to work well at business unit and product levels if customers recognize those as a brand.

I see companies asking this question at the functional level which makes no sense to me. I saw one recently where the question was asked at the company level, the division level, the business unit level, the product level and at every functional level imaginable.

How likely are you to recommend ABC Corporation’s tech support representative to your friends, family and colleagues? Really? My answer…

Well, it depends. Does my friend own ABC Corporation’s product? If they own the product, do they have a need for technical support? Does my friend have a support contract? Does my friend get to choose the tech support representative when they call ABC support? Since I don’t have the answer to any of these questions, it makes no sense to ask this question at this level, and my answer is likely to be 5 – a detractor. Even better, I might just quit the survey at this point. Why would you ask such a weird question?

If you wonder why your most specific questions don’t make sense when you try to roll them up to an overall company NPS, this is probably why.

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