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Episode 26: Creating a Smarter Customer Experience

Episode 26 Transcription

Sharday Torgerson (00:01):
So today we’re talking all things related to customer experience and market research. Now customer experience can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. And often it is up to CX professionals like our guest on today’s episode to help support businesses in measuring and improving their customer experience. So before we dive in, my name is Sharday Torgerson and I’m the creative and digital strategist at and Citrix research in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. And this is season three. And I’m your host for it? Stories and market research, the inside tricks podcast. I’m really excited. This is the first time we’re doing video podcasts. I’m really excited to have our guest on today’s episode. Ken Peterson. Now Ken Peterson has more than two decades of experience in marketing research, retail, technology, hospitality, and transportation, and now he’s living his best island life in Hawaii, leading the CX division in question pro you know, leading the CX division in Hawaii. Can, that sounds like a fantastic way to balance work and home life. Please tell our listeners more about you, your background and maybe your role at question pro.

Ken Peterson (01:09):
Yeah, absolutely. I’m actually I’ve, I’ve been in it’s you said two decades and I realized I’m approaching that quarter-century mark actually now. And it’s like, wow. Which is interesting. I was going to be in this for two years was my original goal. I had a prior world, I worked for retailer, I did operations. I did all the stuff that no one likes to hear that had no emotion attached to it. It was all, you know, look at the numbers and tell us what the sales forecast is, predict the inventory levels. I had formulas, I had worksheets that fed into it. So I, I can’t believe that it was almost a quarter-century ago. A friend of mine said, Hey, I got this little project that I really need your help on. It’s an operational project within market research and it turned into just a career that I’ve absolutely loved.

Ken Peterson (02:01):
I, I really did. I started with building out a reporting mechanism. This is back in the late nineties when online reporting, wasn’t a big thing in market research and we put up on the online reporting portal and you know, from there it turned into, I just really enjoyed what I was doing. So got acquired by Ipsos a couple of years later. And I went from, you know, this two-year project to becoming the chief operating officer of Ipsos, managing all the technology partnerships which is all the big names out there. I mean, in the space that, you know, we all know and all have. They’re great, you know, great platforms out there such as Medallia, such as Qualtrics in moment allegiance, which became merit CX, which is now part of InMoment. And another one that I worked with was a small company called question pro and that’s, you know, fast forward 14 years who would have known, I would have been leading the president, the, the CX division of question pro at the time, but I’ve really enjoyed it since I’ve joined on.

Sharday Torgerson (03:02):
I, I find that common in market research where folks will just find a passion project and then they almost never leave. I think that’s a really cool way to, to get into the field often because I swear nobody lands a market research on purpose, and you ended up getting a group of folks that you, you work with coming from all different walks of life and maybe different backgrounds as well. And it adds to the whole nuance of it. So that’s really cool.

Ken Peterson (03:30):
Yeah. I mean, I’ll just say my kids growing up, got to see me travel, all these places all around the world. Not, not one of them ever said, gee, when I grow up, I want to be on market research.
Sharday Torgerson (03:42):
It’s true. It’s true. And honestly, you hear it all the time, but it’s so cool. Even you know, whom I work with, there’s actually quite a few young researchers as well. And a lot of the stories are you know, that they never really imagined going into it, but they can’t really see them not being in it as well enough to know that they’re actually a few years in. So really neat. It’s kind, kind of cool to hear your side as well. You know, maybe dive in a little bit more about question pro CX and, and how you know, you got involved on the software side.

Ken Peterson (04:11):
Yeah. I mean, it sorta goes back as I mentioned that in my role in episodes, I was managing all these vendors and I had lots of great ideas on how we can prove what we can do to make the software better. And, you know, I worked with a lot of these, you know, a lot of these platform companies already, and some of the ideas that you see I can’t take full credit for them, but some of the ideas were coming out of the conversations we were having in our client needs. And, you know, question pro really pulled me because I, I think they probably, I mean, just out, you know, out of the box survey tool is probably the best one I’d seen across the board in terms of being able to be self-service as well as the, how technical you could get with it, the logical that you could get with it.

Ken Peterson (04:53):
So it was in depth and user-friendly. I mean, something to do things that usually don’t go hand in hand. So, you know, naturally, I had been drawn to it and I’ve worked with [inaudible] over the years, talked in consulted, and we worked back and forth on things and just as friends and I was actually going to retire and it was, I really want to, you know, I really want you to come in and make the customer experience tool, you know, come to life. And so you know, what appeals to me in this, you know, in the question pro platform is we manage all of it. We have market research tools, we have employee experience tools. We even have communities platform which is unique. I mean, you can look at all those platforms that have, oh, well we can do customer and employee surveys. Well, yeah, they’re, they’re just surveys, but we actually have workflows that are dedicated to these. So when you go in there, it’s actually a separate system within the same platform, but a separate system that says, Hey, this is how we handle employees surveys. And this is how we handle customer experience surveys, because you can’t, you can’t lump them all in as the same type of survey and say, oh, well, we can expect the same results just by using the same survey tool.

Sharday Torgerson (06:01):
So I’ve had the opportunity to read some of your articles on question pro blog. I wanted to go into an article you wrote. Okay. So by the way, you’re a really good writer absolutely great info on customer experience as someone who even writes for market research. I find a lot of the times it’s actually really hard to come up with a good analogies or good stories, even in terms of, you know, how people are actually using market research, even further customer experience programs to actually inform further. So you had a story on your blog called the tale of two garbage cans, and I really annoyed or annoyed. I enjoyed this analysis on how service-based organizations can provide a good customer service. We often to work with government as a service-based organization. And I think it’s a really good topic to actually speak on because so often I think this is the type of area in CX that I think a lot of people wanted to learn more about, but don’t know how to get about it. So, you know, I, I’m kind of wondering why these types of touch points were so important to successful CX and maybe how service-based can, are organizations can recognize that a good CX can come from anywhere.

Ken Peterson (07:18):
Yeah. I mean, what people forget, oftentimes even in our own world of CX is that everything is a touchpoint. I mean, every conversation, every transaction you know, if you have a piece of mail that you get from, I mean from, from the tax division and it’s sitting there every time you look at it, that’s, that’s a touchpoint. You know, even if you haven’t touched it, you looked at it and you thought about it. So you know, CX is really if you think about it in that, that level, I mean, it’s everywhere. And, you know, oftentimes you know, government is the one accused of, I mean, we all have these stories of being at the DMV for hours. I could even cite some of my own stories. And the one with the tale of the two garbage cans is really about, you know, there was no obligation.

Ken Peterson (08:09):
It’s sort of like the returning the cart at the grocery store kind of story. It’s like, there’s, there’s no penalty for you not doing it, but it’s still the right thing to do. And that, and really that was what that story was about. I mean, we have this rotating schedule that if you mix it up, you’re, you’re not getting your garbage picked up that week. And so, you know, it was just really a situation where, you know, it’s a couple that’s across the street, they’re retired and they put out the wrong one. And I was sitting there talking on the phone, the guy, there was no one around to see, but he recognized that, Hey, they just put out the wrong garbage cans. So what did he do is he got out, he put the one back, brought the one out, dumped it and even put that one back.

Ken Peterson (08:53):
So they wouldn’t have to come out and return it and, you know, realize that they even made a mistake or anything like that. I probably would have been panicked and said, gee, I didn’t even put out any garbage can, but, and it was just one of those moments when you look at it and you go, he just did the right thing. And that that’s really what customer experience should be about is just doing the right thing. Not because the score goes up, not because I get fewer tickets on a closed-loop feedback system, it’s, it’s treating the customer the right way.

Sharday Torgerson (09:20):
I love that. And, you know, I think so often we forget that front-facing staff is a huge, huge part and to the success of a customer experience program or a customer experience at all. So, you know, even, even in his position, you know, often he may assume he’s just doing his job, but, you know, at the end of the day, that’s your front staff really delivering the, the extra mile for you. And, and that does translate through so often. Yeah. Even as a business, we try to tell our clients you know, really pay attention to, to your front or what your front staff have to say, because even, you know, they might have certain pain points that you can work into these touchpoints that make a better experience for everyone. So,

Ken Peterson (10:07):
And even, even the employee that has no incentive to, and he might’ve even been disincentive to take that extra minute to that he, he still did what was right. And that that’s what we should pay attention to. It’s really good for every brand, you know, whether we’re talking government or a retail store or a technology software provider company, you know, doing what’s right. Even when no one’s looking essentially

Sharday Torgerson (10:34):
No, I like that. You know what, we talked about, the whole idea about customer touchpoints, kind of changing this aspect that it’s no longer linear, you know, you don’t have a customer just going to a store buying or doing some product research on the spot, you know, maybe asking a salesperson buying it. You have all these, these middle points now that even include, you know, digital touchpoints that included to your point just a client or excuse me, a front-facing staff touchpoints that often aren’t even recognized. You know, knowing that there seems to be with businesses, a need to create a more centralized opportunity to mock democratize their data. You know this is across systems, this is across technologies. And the whole idea is to really provide a much more consistent customer experience. Now I’m curious because even as a marketer, this is something that truly interests me. This is something that as a business we’ve and look at, even though we’re a market research firm you know, what are some applications that businesses can use to understand their CX ecosystem better, you know, try to gain that full-spectrum view and in a particularly useful way for businesses that might not be either data savvy or to, you know, into the market research industry.

Ken Peterson (11:57):
Well, and that’s, I mean, that’s sort of that’s probably why I’m still employed. First of all, challenge you know, you mentioned it, I mean, there’s, there’s, you know, the, the touchpoints aren’t linear anymore, and they’re everywhere you want to know about it. At the same time, I remember when I first got into the space every time we’d feel the survey it would go from, Hey, we’re intending five questions to now it’s up to 50 because we have the customer on the, and so, you know, there’s, there’s a lot to think about when you think about the ecosystem. And I always say, it’s great to be able to get feedback on every touchpoint, but it’s impossible, especially when every touchpoint is going to say, well, I need, you know, 50 questions, not five. And so it’s really finding those places where it matters having an intercept on your website so that if they want to give feedback, they can, don’t give them a pop-up I hate you can get, but if I’m in the middle of reading and something pops up whether it’s an advertisement for, Hey, subscribe to our magazine or something, that’s, that’s the first indicator that I’m going to go to that X and close that, but having a feedback tab on the side where someone can, you know you know, in a bank is easily just, you know, Hey, I was trying to find something about boat loans, but, you know, I don’t see anything on your page and you can take them through that and get that feedback.

Ken Peterson (13:25):
So not only can you direct them to the right place while you’re in the moment, but also find out that, Hey, you know, we have a lot of people making inquiries about this and we can adjust the experience accordingly because Hey, for, for whatever reason, a bunch of people in Hawaii want boat loans. So we can, let’s make sure we highlight that on our page. And then it goes to the, you know, the other, you know, what I call the facing touchpoints, where you’re actually talking to someone or you’re interacting with someone and that could be a chat online, being able to get quick feedback like that. And it’s tough because, you know, when you’re talking to someone over the phone, you know, you, you’re a little hesitant to say, well, this person did a bad job. I worked with you know, call centers over the years and you know, listening to phone recordings, everyone said, you know, oh, I don’t want to say they did a bad job.

Ken Peterson (14:13):
They were helpful, but you need to be able to get that feedback. And so, you know, the applications you know, we’ve, we’ve not really evolved them much, but it really you, you can really bring in a lot more data to those applications and enhance them and say, you know, let’s shorten the surveys. Let’s make it quick feedback instead of, you know, 50 questions. It’s one of those goals that we had with NPS plus was like, you know, originally NPS was, Hey, one question, one open end, but people weren’t happy with that because you couldn’t get all those drivers analysis and recalls. And so we added the root cause in there and our clients love it because now it’s one question, one more click and an open end, and you’re getting a lot of, lot more feedback than you ever got. We got the root cause and we got a churn risk variable associated with it.

Ken Peterson (15:03):
So you can do that across many more places, but there’s other places that we’ve really got to open up the, I say the data doors to each other, and, you know, a lot of these companies work in silos. So, Hey, the website, isn’t sharing data about who they’re capturing leads on a, the website with the people that are doing sales and the people that are doing service, and that really causes a problem. So being able to bring those, you know, bring that data together in a singular application like we’ve tried to do with question pro you know, across employee, across customer, even across market research and, you know, leveraging our tools like the insights desk to bring that all together in one place that’s searchable. I mean, that’s really a driving force on, you know, how you can become strategic instead of tactical and approaching things and look at the company overall. And remember that every experience, even an anonymous market research survey still puts something in the brain of a customer.

Sharday Torgerson (16:04):
Yeah, that’s a good point. I couldn’t agree more that a lot of these organizations tend to, to work in silos. And that’s why it’s super important to connect with folks like question pro to really take a lot of these you know, data channels and really plug them in together. I mean, even myself, I find often from a marketing perspective that, you know, the, the data utilized in house, you know, we’re always looking for different ways to apply it elsewhere, but even then we recognize our own gaps within our, our business. And how do we do we handle that? And we’re, we’re you know an insights provider ourselves. So it’s a really, it’s a really interesting nuance because we have to our own customer journey while at the same time we’re helping others figure theirs out. So it’s a cool concept knowing that, you know, we kind are, are in a era where a lot of folks will argue that data is the new oil.

Sharday Torgerson (17:04):
I swear that’s the new, the new concept, but, you know, retrospect, I think it’s because people say that because it’s so untapped. And I think we’re at a point in time where, you know, you have businesses, like question pro are really figuring out how to supply and support businesses who, you know, have all of these great data or have all this great data on the table. They just do not know how to maybe put it together in a way where, you know, even their, their marketer may understand or, or they’re, they’re you know front-facing staff who might need to know a little bit more just so that they can kind of do their job better. So it’s a really good,

Ken Peterson (17:38):
And one of my colleagues, one of my colleagues had one of the best comments about data a few years ago. He said, you know, data is like newer. If you just put a big pile of it together, it just stinks and attracts flies. He says, spread it around, right. Distributed the way it’s supposed to be distributed, it will actually grow a garden and it will yield for you. And it was like, it was, it was, it was very Scottish of him, my colleagues, Steve Livingstone, I’ll call him out on it. But he said it right in front of an audience of 250 people. And he says, well, I just made that up. And I’m like, it it’s stuck with me since then.

Sharday Torgerson (18:15):
True. Wow. Now, and you’re speaking to a farming community here in Saskatchewan. So if that doesn’t ring any truer here than, I don’t know what would, but no, it’s, it’s a really good point. It’s so hard to manage a pilot data to some degree, and often it works against people. And I think to a lot of the times, it’s really hard to manage. And, and it’s good to start exploring ways to, to really for lack of a better term spread that out. So, but no, really, really funny, really funny stuff there. But you know, I want to kind of go back into maybe some of your writing as well. Again, I just, I had a really great time on the question pro blog you know, lots of, lots of good information there. I came across one article too, where, you know, this is kind of what we were talking about a little bit, just the idea that, you know, maybe there’s a little bit of a slight disconnect between, you know, what a CX researchers can do and then further the client expectations as a result. So in your experience, do you find maybe there are causes that create that type of disconnect and you know, what kind of advice would you give to either CX researchers or researchers alike to what can they do to fill that gap maybe?

Ken Peterson (19:30):
Yeah. And I think you know, it, it sort of, it goes back to that data discussion. I mean, a big chunk is what I, you know, it’s what I mentioned before, you know, a CX program will not improve the customer experience. It, it, won’t, it’s a culture that will improve the customer experience. You know, and it’s just true in every element of market research, running an ad study will not make the ad better. You have to make a change after the fact to make the ad better. You know, running an employee experience study will not make the employee experience better. In fact, if you don’t do anything, it will probably make it worse. So, and CX is very much like that. And I, I used to say, you know, I used to use the analogy. Like you can put a thermometer out there, but that’s not going to change the temperature.

Ken Peterson (20:21):
So the other, you know, there’s almost always that big sigh of relief when you want your big program. You know, a CX program is a big program. It impacts a lot of different channels and departments. But getting that launched is not the success. The success comes when you make the first change as a result. And th th that there needs to be an ongoing evaluation of what you’re measuring, what you’re doing. And that doesn’t always mean, Hey, I’m going to add another question and I’m going to add another question. It’s, it’s, it’s really about actually seeing what you can eliminate from the question side and what you can enhance by making the, even the survey experience, which is part of the customer experience better. So you know, it, it, I, I can’t emphasize enough. It doesn’t end when you watch that study it, you know, it never ends there’s site it’s called and they have these demotivational posters they’re called. And one of my favorites is, you know, the March for quality is never-ending. So it’s not like a marathon. It’s more like a death March. So, you know, you’re gonna, you know, if you want this to work, it’s going to be a never-ending, you know, let’s keep going, let’s have the same enthusiasm at year seven as we had at year one when we launched it.

Sharday Torgerson (21:43):
Absolutely. It becomes a bit of a tracker to some degree in that aspect. You know, even ourselves we’ve been working, you know, with the same client for even well over a decade on their customer experience research projects. And, you know, it’s more than just one single survey being sent out there. There’s lots of, lots of different types of methodologies. We have even things like our corporate reputation index that, that runs every month and stuff. And, and folks, you know, even in Saskatchewan, it’s a big deal for us because a lot of our larger brands tend to compete. So it’s really easy to put a corporate reputation index together and start to, to learn about our own marketplace to some degree. So yeah, it’s really cool. And there, there’s a lot of ways to kind of go about that as well.

Sharday Torgerson (22:30):
So it’s interesting to, to hear, you know, the sentiment that, you know, once you get the program started, it, it doesn’t stop if anything, you know, that’s, that’s when the real work begins to some degree. So, yeah. Yeah. So, I mean you know, jumping right back into that whole concept you, you you’ll hear things like use voice of customer and that term is widely used in market research. I’m sure you guys you know discuss it every single day. It’s part of CX to some degree, you know, with 90% of companies already using some sort of CX to compete with one another, how do businesses maybe avoid falling behind their competitors and maybe, you know, how can they use VOC or voice of the customer to, you know, maybe propel that ahead.

Ken Peterson (23:17):
Yeah, I think you know, w we were all using some sort of technology in one way, shape or form. I I’d be stunned if I heard of any fortune 1000 company that isn’t measuring the voice of the customer or CX in one way, shape or form. I think the way to, you know, I mean, so, so that puts them all on a level playing field, regardless. I mean, regardless of which provider you using, oh, well, I have a better text analysis tool or anything like that. You know, really, I think the, the human connection is what’s going to differentiate. And I even wrote about that in one of my blog pieces. Like, you know, we are at a place and, and in some ways good where self-checkout rains now. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s, Hey, I can get this done quicker.

Ken Peterson (24:05):
I can, I don’t have to have anyone breathing on me. I can wear my mask, go into the store and get everything done and go through that self-checkout and not have to have someone else handling all my groceries and all that. But there’s still you know, when it comes to customer experience that there has to be a human element to it, especially when they need someone nothing more frustrating at the self-checkout when something doesn’t ring up and there’s no one there to say, Hey, Ken, can I help you with that? I see you’re having a problem. There’s nothing more frustrating when you call a call center and you end up with a 20 minute, you know, let’s dial through the numbers to get to the right menu kind of thing. Like there should be, you know, a human element that, you know, and there’s AI, that’s smart enough to figure this out that, Hey, you know, it’s not even AI.

Ken Peterson (24:53):
It’s like, Hey, this person’s been on a menu for about a minute. Now let’s make maybe like at a human intervention in there. So we can stop them from going through. And you know, a lot of times what people fail to realize in that is that adding that human element, isn’t adding costs, it’s actually creating efficiency. And I think that’s one of those things. When companies stop looking at everything as, you know, coming from an operations person, I know sounds strange, but when they stop looking at everything as a, you know, just a PNL item and realize the contribution that your customers bring to the company, your employees bring to the company and bringing it all together really is what’s going to make companies succeed where you get I call it almost a religious following. If you look at Apple products, for example, I mean, there will be people that will wait in line, not ever having seen the product just to get it. And I remember when the iPad first came out, I had a friend that was going to wait, you know, I think he waited 24 hours. You don’t lie to be one of the first ones to get it. And they hadn’t shown pictures or anything. He just knew it was coming out. And I said, well, why? And he says, it’s apple. I know it’s going to be good. And when you have that kind of following and that kind of faith in it you’ve really succeeded from a customer experience standard.

Sharday Torgerson (26:12):
Yep. I agree. And I’ve even noticed through the pandemic in my experience that there are some of those types of touchpoints that I think have been directly affected by the pandemic and probably most likely improved. So we have a rather massive chain store here much like it exists everywhere else, but I found that since the start of the beginning of the pandemic to the end, they completely changed their self-checkout method to actually being a lot more humanized. And it’s a lot more efficient to the point where I actually used to be very you know, I don’t like to have to go through self-checkout. I like to actually engage with people and have, you know, we’ll have a conversation and that type of thing. And then I recognized the efficiency in, in this new way that they were doing it.

Sharday Torgerson (27:08):
And I find myself actually using their checkout a lot more. So, I mean, it went from being such a painful experience because it was newer. And, and maybe recently implemented for them. But you could tell that it might’ve been pandemic induced to some degree, but I was really thankful that, you know, to your point, I could still actually speak to somebody if I needed to. And it went from, you know, the, the screen kind of telling you, oh, Hey, do you need assistance to someone actually coming up and saying, Hey, how may I help you? So big difference. Yeah.

Ken Peterson (27:39):
And you see the difference even, you know, it used to be if you had six self-checkouts, it was one person. Now it’s two, it’s two people going. And some of it is, Hey, we’re cleaning the screens after the touch screens, after each use. And it’s like that. But, you know, having that option you know, and even having the option to not be in self-checkout and not be waiting in line for hours, and like, I don’t want to jump into a, you know, sometimes you just grab stuff and you don’t feel confident, like, Hey, I have, you know, 50 items. I don’t want to jump through a self-checkout, but then you sort of cringe because you go, oh, I’m going to stand in line behind 20 people until I can get to see that one character here. And so, you know, it’s human element, not just when you’re using the technology, but having the option for the human element first outside of the technology.

Sharday Torgerson (28:27):
I like that, that totally makes sense. And it helps them still give the choice to the consumer, which allows them to be comfortable with how then they may purchase with you in the future. Cause I like myself know that there’s much more competition than said stores. So if I’m not necessarily enjoying my experience anymore, I can find another place to shop. So it’s great that there is a response to that. And like I said, you know, maybe the pandemic kind of propelled a little bit in terms of even digital transformation. A lot of businesses are really figuring out how to, you know, go online and be a little bit more efficient that way. I think it’s just, yeah, it’s kind of been brought on that way, but you know, we were on the topic, we might as well continue on it. You mentioned the, the idea about, you know, the human side of research, so, and how it’s important to the technology used the whole aspect about AI sentiment and not maybe quite understanding some of the human elements, like empathy, right. In your experience, how does maybe empathy play a role in CX research on the human side, but maybe also on the, on the digital application side?

Ken Peterson (29:37):
And I, you know, I think, you know, that that quick tidbit about my prior career is a perfect example because I was behind the scenes running spreadsheets and saying, this is how many people should be staffed at the store at this time. It had nothing to do. You know, it was all, you know, this is the sales forecast, this is the expected volume. This is expected, customer count. And it was all taking those things and just making models and planning models based on numbers. And, you know, one of the things that, you know, I think the reason I grabbed on to customer experience research. So, so fervently when I joined was that there was a human element that I was just completely unaware of, mostly because I was in a backroom in an office surrounded by four walls with no one to talk to all day and just working on models, you know, you forget that there’s humans associated with it.

Ken Peterson (30:27):
And so part of that is, you know, like think of the, you know, someone has a rush order for a party. Hey you know, I just got hooked in the last minute to bring 30 desserts. And so that messes up your, that, that, that messes up your inventory plan. You know, the person who’s working two jobs, you know, if you reduce their hours, you know, they need those hours. And so just saying, Hey, well, I’m going to cut four hours off your shift because we don’t need extra people. There’s a human element to it. And that person, whether we like it or not is going to look at it and go, well, maybe this job, isn’t the dependable thing that I need right now. Maybe that’s not. And so on both sides of any experience research, you know, whether it’s the market research employee or customer research, you know, we’ve got to remember that, you know, there’s a, you know, a human side to it.

Ken Peterson (31:19):
So when we start measuring and it, it, it’s, it’s very tempting for us to even go all digital and our measurement. And it’s like, it’s the worst thing to do. It’s still important to get out there and understand feelings and emotions. And, you know, that’s why there’s companies out there that are saying, Hey, we’re going to capture video. We’re one of them, cause you want to capture video. You want to see the expression if, if I’m talking about yeah, everything, it, my experience was fine and I’m very straight-faced about it. That’s not the same capture as, Hey, everything in my experience was fine, you know? And so, you know, if I type it and I express it, you know, there’s two different expressions. And so I think that’s the part when we moved sort of to digital research that we missed out on a lot.

Ken Peterson (32:02):
And same thing with digital commerce. We’re missing out on the fact that, you know, people, you know, people like to browse I’m I I’m, I’m as guilty as anyone of walking into a hardware store, I am a dad of three. I walk into a hardware store. I could get lost for hours and lose a lot of money in the process because I’m in there, I’m looking at things, I’m touching them, I’m picking them up, I’m looking at them and turning them around. And, you know, even with the digital experience, you know, it was one of those things that, you know, many, many years ago when we were consulting with an electronic store where we said, you know, the thing that you missed out on the digital experiences that, you know, not only are they beating you to the punch in shipping your, you know, your one advantage was that you could pick it up and you can look at the object and, you know, if you’re going to go all-digital, you’re going to miss that. And you’re going to lose to, you know, an for example.

Sharday Torgerson (32:59):
Yeah. That’s so true and so much more we’re experiencing businesses maybe going online, but then actually recognizing how important it is to keep brick and mortar to some degree, even some close friends of mine. You know, vintages is a, quite a big thing these days, obviously, especially on e-commerce. I find a lot of generation Z seems to be really getting into thrift shopping and you know, a circular, recyclable you know, clothing. So, but nonetheless, I think it’s interesting because I had a friend who was running a complete online store for many years and actually started to see the demand locally. And they moved their online shop to a brick and mortar and five years ago, I don’t even think they would have even ever considered it. So, you know, the demand definitely outweighed the supply locally.

Sharday Torgerson (33:55):
And instead of maybe, you know, doing all the extras that it takes to, you know, ship out and, and, you know, hold your inventory and stuff, they decided, Hey, this is, this is a good move for us. So I thought that was kind of neat to actually see a digital company go from being completely online to now actually serving our community. So, yep. So that was a really good point on again, the whole human side of research, even ourselves like that, that is what we try to end up you know, really explaining to our clients. A lot of the times when we’re working with technology is we have, you know, a group of researchers behind us that, you know, we we’d like to use the technology. We get really excited as well. So we’re always looking for even new ways to use it or find you know, different methodologies that that type of technology can, can really support our clients.

Sharday Torgerson (34:46):
So we’re finding you know, right now being a technology-centric, market research firm that, you know, things are good for us and we have a lot of opportunity to be exploring it, but, you know, even further you know, not to say against market research, but we, we also have tools like question pro where you don’t actually have to work with a market research firm to be able to jump into CX you know, start to democratize your data, maybe start, you know, looking into ways to build a CX program where, you know, in the future, you might end up making some decisions based off of, you know, something that maybe your internal research team did. So even we often try to encourage our clients like, you know research is still research. Research is good. You don’t have to necessarily you know, call up a market research firm and go through a front-to-back research project to just start to collect some data.

Sharday Torgerson (35:40):
So you know, using technology I think is pretty important one, but still recognizing that working with folks like us, we’ll be able to your point you know, we know the Saskatchewan marketplace quite well. We tell this to our clients a lot. And often when we work with clients who have a direct interest in our marketplace, we can really take the research and, and add in the actionable insights that go a lot past the data, both by our experience in, in knowing our marketplace, but being able to bring in those nuances as well from the human side, I think is pretty important. So on, on that, you know, we’re kind of done here, so I figure you know, there’s a great conversation. If you had anything else you wanted to share, maybe about question pro you know, what you guys are up to, how the CX software you know maybe has some feature updates coming up, feel free to let us know what’s going on.

Ken Peterson (36:38):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, again, like, you know, I, like I said before, I mean, CX at question pro’s a little different than your typical technology provider. Cause we actually believe in that service element, human element instead of, you know, like you said, I mean, it’s, it’s great to have something where you can get in there and I can do a quick one-off survey by myself and not, but, you know, we also believe that, you know, for something that’s important, it takes, you know, it takes that full team to sort of support you. And we, we believe that a question pro, so we’re not, you know, we’re not handing you off and saying, you know, here’s the, here’s the keys to your car and I’ll figure out how the windows,

Ken Peterson (37:15):
The mirrors we’re gonna, you know, we’re gonna get it all set up and you know what I like to say, you know, and, and all of this, you know, usually for a lower price than what some of the main technology providers are providing. So that’s a great thing. And so, you know, I, I heard one technology firm come you know, their, their proclaim was, you know, Hey, we’ll run your entire business from our CX platform. I’m not gonna lie to you and say, we can do that. They won’t make your morning coffee like this. But no, what, what we find is, you know, it’s nicely packaged, it’s robust, you’re, you’re not just looking at CX it’s that thing that people are looking for. Can I get all my research in one place? Well, yes, you can. So you know, some of the big things that we’ve been putting together most recently, Dan Fleetwood announced insights desk which is all about being able to make that research searchable, even if it does not question pro research you know, being able to have a catalogue of it.

Ken Peterson (38:12):
And then I think the other part, you know, specific to customer experiences whereabouts, you know, we’ve been testing it with a few of our select clients, but we’re about to roll out what’s called outer loop, which is tied to our NPS plus. So not just taking those little tactical changes one-off, Hey, someone complains, let’s give them a coupon and make them happy. How do we fix the problem that keeps coming up over and over again, especially if it’s related to a policy or procedure that we have in place? So that’s been, that’s been something I’ve been working on all summer and, you know, almost people were, you know, looking at their first vacations in a year. I was really enjoying the fact that I was I spent my week of vacation nestled in a camping retreat away from all technology. So I could open my laptop and work on my outer loop tools for closed-loop feedback.

Sharday Torgerson (39:03):
Awesome. You can do it from anywhere. CX can happen anywhere, right.

Ken Peterson (39:09):
Even in the middle of the woods with no cell service.

Sharday Torgerson (39:11):
Again, you’re speaking to the right audience. So we, we are probably 90% rural residents in Saskatchewan. So it’s definitely a pain point around here, but if I may, you know, land on one final note you, you kind of brought up this whole idea about technology, really being a partnership to some degree. And I really liked this whole aspect about even in Cytric. So we tend to you know, when we work with clients, it’s very, very often that we work with them once. In fact we have a majority of our clients are returning customers for the simple fact that, you know, the, once they do a project, it’s usually because they want to build on it more than want to build on those insights. You know, maybe they’re doing a tracker every year to some degree. And, and the technology that we use is really often just a, it’s a partnership.

Sharday Torgerson (39:58):
And even ourselves we’ve been working with certain technology providers that we don’t look at as our white label solution, by any means. In fact, we kind of consider them an extension of our research team because, you know, over the years, they’ve you know, they’ve even managed to change their platform to make sure that it’s, you know what we need to some degree in that a lot of the times we’re just so impressed with you know, how, how some of these technologies are willing to go the extra mile that way. So partnership is a big part of that. I think when you’re a, maybe a market research firm like us, you know, that’s probably how we would work with folks like you. So thanks again for joining us today, Ken, I really appreciate it. We hope to have you on again, maybe in the new year here, once we roll out into season four, but thanks again. And we look forward to talking again,

Ken Peterson (40:51):

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