Lost Customer Research: 7 Research Design Factors to Consider
Last week, I wrote a blog post on six lost customer research project planning tips. This week, I will share seven research design factors your company should also consider in planning out and setting up a lost customer research initiative.
1) Phone surveys have substantially higher response rates than online surveys, so they are a good choice for more focused lost customer research projects.
Online surveys are generally better suited for broader research objectives such as looking for high level trends across larger groups of customers.
2) Online survey completion rates are typically between 10% and 30% for lost customer research.
The response rate varies depending on:
- The length of the survey (inverse relationship)
- The time elapsed since the contracts were cancelled (inverse relationship)
- The seniority level of the respondent persona(s) (inverse relationship)
- The importance of a product or service in a company’s or individual’s success (direct relationship)
- The quality and targeting of invitation (direct relationship)
- Size of incentive (direct relationship)
3) Consider offering an incentive to the individuals that participate in your lost customer research.
- Increase the participation rate of individuals in your research.
- Make scheduling the interviews less time consuming and often less expensive since the time your employees spend scheduling will generally cost you more than the incentive.
- Improve the quality of the data you collect. Respondents who are compensated will generally put more effort into their responses because the incentive indicates to them that the research is important to your company.
4) Monetary incentives are generally more effective than non-monetary incentives for lost customer research.
The range for this type of research is $5 to $50. The following factors will impact the size of incentives you will want to offer your targeted respondents:
- Seniority Level of the Buyer Persona: Higher ranks means a larger incentive is required. Not only are these individuals generally in higher demand for these types of research, they also have higher salaries and consequently see their time as more valuable.
- Research Medium: Online surveys generally entail lower pay as the effort and output are harder to control from the researcher perspective.
- Length of the interview: The more time you are asking of the individual the more you will need to offer them.
5) Do not offer discounts or free vouchers towards your company’s services as an incentive.
This will give lost customers the impression that you may be trying to salvage their business with the call. Doing so will negatively impact your participation rates and the tone of the conversation.
6) Typically, the length of these interviews should be between 15 to 30 minutes.
The proximity of a customer to a product or service will dictate what is reasonable to request in terms of an interview. However, in most cases it will make sense to limit these interviews to 15 minutes. If your company provides more expensive and mission-critical service and product offerings, it may be reasonable to request up to 30 minutes for an interview.
7) Consider getting a 3rd party company to conduct the in-depth research with your customers.
Lost customer respondents are generally more open to sharing their experiences with a 3rd party that they know will not try to get them to reconsider their product cancellation. By having a person outside of sales or customer support reach out to these individuals for interviews you can also facilitate a similar mood. Be sure to specify in the invitation that it is a research call and it is not a sales call.
Now you know the project planning and research design factors that you should consider in order to best position your lost customer research project for success.