Competitive Intelligence & the Numbers Game
We have all seen them. Most of us have filled them out. Many of us have used their findings to assess the level of customer satisfaction with various aspects of a company’s offerings.
Surveys are used to convert customer experience into a numerical expression. This is a very attractive for decision-makers, because it reduces complex experiences and thought processes into a visible, easy-to-use representation of success or failure. For example, getting a 9 on a 10-point scale is better than getting a 6.
The Blind Side of Surveys
While surveys are a proven and useful tool to assess a company’s performance, an unquestioning reliance on surveys can leave a business subject to getting blindsided by unexpected forces in competitive environment.
One weakness in surveys is that there is often a significant period of time between a respondent’s customer experience and participation in the survey.
Another weakness is that the respondent may either not be able, or is not given an opportunity, to articulate their experiences as a customer. Most surveys do not examine a respondent’s motivation; or a respondent’s of knowledge of, and dealings with, alternative vendors (competitors), etc.
While reducing a client’s experience to a numerical expression (like a customer satisfaction score) satisfies the need for quick and easily understood measurement for managers, it does not provide a complete and reliable understanding of the competitive environment. This is a fatal flaw that can create a false sense of security.
In other words, it is not what surveys tell management personnel that should concern management. It is the vital information that surveys do not provide that can hurt a company – that should concern the decision-makers in the management team. This is because the objective of most surveys is to reduce complex customer experiences and motivations into a numerical representation that does not give a clear voice to those same complex experiences and motivations.
Competitive Intelligence Adds Clarity & Depth
No one wants to get blindsided.
No one wants to say, “We didn’t see it coming.”
Competitive Intelligence research methodologies can provide decision-makers with insights unlike any other research methodology.
- Exposes weaknesses not only in your competition’s products and services, but also weaknesses in your company’s offerings;
- Reveals how your competitors are exploiting your company’s vulnerable areas, as well as finding the competition’s vulnerabilities; and
- Shows you what your clients are really saying about your company and your competition, as well as how the competition sees you.
No number can adequately express the value to you of Competitive Intelligence.
In the current volatile competitive environment, can you really afford to do without Competitive Intelligence?