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Case Study in Controlling Unsanctioned Research: Are Your Customers Over-surveyed?

trainingAdA client shared a great story yesterday, one that I just have to pass on. I have sanitized it a bit, to “protect the innocent.”

Theresa is a market research manager at a consumer electronics company. Her team of 4 researchers used to be a team of 7, so workloads are pretty rough.

She recently had an executive from another department share his concern that customers were being over-surveyed. He knew some non-research employees were using SurveyMonkey and similar tools to conduct customer surveys. He asked Theresa to recommend a course of action.

Knowing that the issue is a lot more complex than just telling people to “stop,” she recruited six people from the different departments involved in the rogue activity. Once gathered in a conference room, she showed them the Research Rockstar class, “Embracing Rogue Research.” The 1-hour class acknowledges the pros and cons of decentralized research, suggests policy options, and even tools to make everyone’s life easier.

The outcome? Everyone had a common language to discuss the issue (even the non-researchers), some new options came to light, and a very constructive discussion ended up in firm, embraced policy decisions. As a bonus benefit, Theresa even got the attendees to commit to an ongoing, company-wide research council, which would meet quarterly. Now, these people from various functional areas will become research ambassadors.

Also, Theresa didn’t feel like the bad guy. She was sharing information from an objective third party (Research Rockstar). She was simply delivering the information in a non-confrontational way, and then facilitating the decision making process.

What a great way to use a Research Rockstar class!

For a current, downloadable class list (PDF), click here: CLASS LIST.


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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