In the space of a couple of months, the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) has completely upturned the world as we know it. Academia, Enterprise, Manufacturing, Healthcare – None were immune to the effects of this pandemic.
Prospects have gotten in touch with us over the last few weeks, unsure about the path forward. These are uncertain times, and businesses need to communicate with their customer base as well as other businesses.
However, this event has shown just how important the data collected at scale via market research tools can be. Researchers have meticulously tracked the virus and have provided Governments and healthcare professionals the world over with insights to have a fighting chance at containing it with as little lost as possible.
Data generated by researchers is helping identify the countries which need immediate help, take preemptive steps, and map the spread of this pandemic (in fact, Microsoft has created a rather nifty map for the public which you can see here).
So what can an organization do in such a turbulent time? How can they assuage their stakeholders, their employees and their customers’ doubts?
Work from home may be the new normal
Businesses, colleges and schools globally have been talking about work from home/ online classes for a few years, and many have experimented with them on a limited basis. The last couple of weeks, though, have seen work from home go from a proof of concept to ‘community testing’, so to speak.
The same holds true for market research. Thankfully modern online survey tools are cloud based and can be operated from one’s home with minimal issues.
Reassure your employees first
Any organization’s core strength is its employees, so prioritizing their employee experience would be a good way to move forward. Depending on the industry, it’s the employees who’ll be out on the front lines, so why not ask them how they’re doing.
Finding out their immediate pain points in crisis situations not only helps the employee feel that their voice is being heard, but can also resolve underlying issues with company structure.
Conducting quickly online surveys to query your employees on their health is also a great way to make them aware of the pandemic’s symptoms.
Get in touch with your customers, and adapt
Let’s face it, this quarter is not going to be about profits. However, what you can do is to make sure that your customers are there with you when this is all over. Using market research tools to ask them empathetic questions can go a long way in setting the base for establishing a fruitful relationship with them. Goodwill generated during times of turmoil will likely stick with your organization forever.
The added benefit of surveying customers during a crisis is that any change you are able to make based on their recommendation, no matter how small it is, will positively impact your company’s standing in the general public.
Of course, that would require some flexibility on your end and bend corporate policies to accommodate their needs, but it is likely to pay off in the long run.
Short questions get better answers
While it is encouraged to experiment with different question types, you need to keep in mind that barring a few use cases, it’s generally better to keep your questions as short as possible. Convoluted questions usually lead to your surveys having higher drop-off rates and add little value – Modern survey collection tools feature skip logic which can change the flow of the survey based on your respondents’ answers thereby increasing engagement levels & survey completes.
Social Media will have more activity, so pay attention
This is an excellent opportunity to survey respondents who suddenly have more time on their hands. Today’s market research tools allow researchers to integrate online surveys with popular social media platforms, which you can use to query your focus groups on their well-being.
If you’re researching for a product or service based company, this is an effective medium to let your customers know how best to use your offerings at this time.