January 25, 2017

What you want from this blog, results of our 2017 reader survey

By Paul Laughlin

reader surveyThanks to all our newsletter subscribers, who participated in our annual reader survey.

Just over a year ago, we re-branded this blog, based on your feedback. At the start of 2017 it’s time to revisit how well this blog is serving its purpose.

As you may know, the stated purpose of this blog is to inform & support customer insight leaders. You can find out more about that and our principles here.

So, a few weeks ago, we issued another short reader survey – to check if the design & content of this blog were achieving that purpose. In this post, I’ll share both the results & reflections on any changes needed for 2017. As everyone is ‘time poor’ these days, there were only 10 questions. Here are the results…

Satisfaction (needs met), NPS and Ease

First, we asked “Overall, how well does CustomerInsightLeader.com meet your needs?“. The results are encouraging:

Survey results 1

The comparison to ‘Survey Monkey Global Benchmark‘ is a comparison against the thousands of businesses using same format of survey question. Not hugely meaningful, but perhaps a benchmark for most likely human responses. It’s pleasing to see how many of you scored us as achieving Extremely Well or Very Well. Room for improvement with a third of readers still scoring us as Somewhat Well, but that should be drawn out in later questions. For now, it’s encouraging that we seem to be largely on target.

These days, most leaders like to have an NPS score, if only to compare with others. Well for those of you who are curious, this is how big ours is:

Survey results 2

What a great result. Given the results that I know so many insight leaders are working to improve, I’m delighted with an NPS of 50. Yes, there is room for improvement, but this lens on ‘getting it right for our customers’ seems to also confirm largely positive satisfaction scores.

Finally, we come to ease (or as proposed in a previous post, the concept behind CES). I varied the classic question, to ask: “How easy is it to find what you are looking for on CustomerInsightLeader.com?” here are your scores:

survey results 3

I’m pleased to see that these are even more positive results than our ‘needs met’ question. Hopefully this confirms that our last redesign did improve navigation and make the site easy to use. With 80% of readers finding Customer Insight Leader either very easy or extremely easy to use – that does not look like an area in need of improvement.

Frequency of posts and guest posts

As a norm, we aim to publish two items of new content on Customer Insight Leader blog each week. Subscribers to our free weekly newsletter will confirm that normally includes 2 items each week. That standard was largely set by what I thought pragmatic to achieve, but does it meet the needs of my customers, you? Our next question asked “Would you like more or less frequent posts on CustomerInsightLeader.com?” Here is how you voted in response:

survey results 4

That’s simple. So, we will stick with 2 posts a week as our standard. Apologies in advance for those times when client work or a busy life get in the way. But that will certainly continue to be our normal commitment to our readers.

In last year’s reader survey, there was a clear vote to increase the number of guest blogger posts. Hopefully you have seen that has been the case during 2016. We set it as a goal & it was great to report at the end of 2016 that we had reached 15 guest bloggers with much more regular contributions. So, would that change be recognised in our survey results. Our next question asked “Would you like more or less “guest posts?” The scores surprised me:

Survey question 5

It seems that there is still demand for a little more in the way of guests posts. Interesting. Perhaps delivering on our promise requires more of a variety of voices & viewpoints here at Customer Insight Leader. So, we will take that onboard and seek to increase guest content even further this year (keep a watch for posts under Others category).

Aesthetics, Understanding and Trust

Although they might sound like softer emotional topics, reader perception on visual appeal, ease of understanding & trust can be vital to loyalty & engagement. So, our next 3 questions focussed on these topics to explore how Customer Insight Leader blog is doing, beyond the rational scores.

First of the 3 is the most artistic. We asked “How visually appealing is CustomerInsightLeader.com?“. You answered:

survey answer 6

Given we don’t have the funding to invest in web design services for this blog, I’m very happy with those scores. Seems this blog is attractive enough for now. Later this year LaughlinConsultancy.com will be having a complete redesign. If our next reader survey continues to show room for improvement, we may revisit this Blog’s visual design after that.

So, our next perception question covers ease of understanding; “How easy is it to understand the information on CustomerInsightLeader.com?“:

survey answer 7

Another reassuring answer! Thanks readers. I am aware that there is a risk here & some former readers have expressed a desire for more in-depth technical content on this blog. However, as a site aimed at helping a broad cross-section of customer insight leaders, we are happy to focus on ease of understanding. I will use curated posts to share examples of more technical posts available from other more niche technical blogs.

For our final graph (no awards for data visualisation I realise, but time is short this week), I’m going to share your answers to the question: “How much do you trust the information on CustomerInsightLeader.com?“. You said:

survey question 8

That answer is the one I’m most proud of as editor/blogger. Our mission as a blog could also be summed up as ‘to be a trusted advisor’. So, it’s so encouraging to read that our content is trusted.

Your suggestions for changes

After so much encouraging feedback, I also want to avoid complacency & focus on any action points as a result of this survey. For that reason, the last two survey questions captured (in your own words) two key aspects. Here is your feedback as a result…

How could we improve Customer Insight Leader blog?

  • “Excellent site, lots of interesting and useful content. Good layout and presentation. Perhaps in-depth articles and discussions about high interest topics could be scheduled every now and then.”
  • “I like to read guest blogs, opinion pieces and differing perspectives. I believe that you hold a uniquely credible place in the market and you should use this to bring other voices to the website.”

What topics would you like Customer Insight Leader cover during 2017?

  • “AI impacts on data. Personal effectiveness techniques to drive great outcomes including mindfulness. Look at which methodologies drive the best insight outcomes – e.g. Lean, Vanguard etc. A constant finger on innovation and tools and techniques that support effective insight, particularly any freeware tools.”
  • The site already covers a wide range of relevant news and topics. Maybe increase the content of certain topics that are becoming more and more important to customer insight, such as behavioural economics. Also, a review of relevant academic research and recent developments would be useful in increasing the amount of interaction between academic experts and practitioners.

Thanks again for taking the time to complete our latest reader survey. I will look to touch on those topics during 2017 & occasionally go into more depth, as well as bringing other (including academic) voices to this blog.

For all of you who shared your feedback, I hope the above was of interest & that Customer Insight Leader blog continues to serve you well during 2017. Look out for action as a result of your feedback (just like your customers expect).

If you didn’t get a chance to participate, I’d still welcome your comments below.