Management Tip of the Day: Words not numbers key to customers

Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:34pm EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"When it comes to customer data, many believe that multiple choice surveys across large samples that can be statistically analyzed yield the most rigorous research. This type of analysis, however, only gives you a shallow understanding of your customers. To get more nuance, use qualitative methods to discover what your customers think about your products and services. Qualitative techniques, such as focus groups or open-ended questionnaires, let you delve deeper into the relationship between your firm and those who buy or use your products. They also allow your customers to express their opinions using their own words, not yours."

- Today's Management Tip was adapted from "The Secret to Meaningful Customer Relationships" by Roger Martin.

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

<p>A customer places an order at a Five Guys restaurant in Washington, May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas</p>