WHY CONDUCT TRACKING STUDIES, PART ONE

For the better part of a decade, I was a tracking study specialist. Some clients thought Customer-Service was my last name and others were surprised to find out I also did other types of studies, even qualitative ones.

One such client was a small bank which surpassed its early expectations so much that they decided to expand and branch out, and they started buying insurance companies left and right, going outside their fields of expertise to diversify their assets.

Tracking studies helped them improve the service and their product offerings in some sectors while assessing what wasn’t working. Customer satisfaction trackings with existing customers, new clients and former consumers being treated and surveyed equally let them improve the parts of the business that clients - the brand’s source of income and profit - were witnesses to. This gave the head honchos enough time to convene, analyse the data and cross-reference it with their internal accounting, and take the required amount of time to turn their ship around and figure out which assets to keep and which didn’t fit their business model as well as they’d initially thought.

Essentially, while improving their image and profitability immediately, the tracking studies also gave the Goliath enough time to make sense of the situation to not be subject to a takedown by any David who’d show up and try to steal its thunder - of which there were many.

What started basically as a five-service bank (chequing and savings accounts, mortgages, and retirement plans) is now a full-fledged institution that contends with the Big Five and still doesn’t fear offering outside-the-box products every so often, leaving their competitors far behind, still trying to catch onto last year’s idea.

And that could not be done without a weekly tracking measuring satisfaction on 20 specific points and asking for insights and possible improvements the clientele would like to see added, and trying to figure out how those fit in the grand scheme of things.

Which is where having an open-minded, expert and experienced analyst brings the whole thing together, with the ability to sort through the noise and the possibilities while bringing both up, and a client who is open enough to want to listen to every idea and analyse its feasibility.

Sometimes, the money’s in giving customers what they want.

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