A customer panel is a process where a group of consumers is selected by a business to answer questions and provide input into the products and services that it offers. This can either be conducted in a private way where the customer panel does not know who the company is, or it can be open and up front. Consumer panel members are always meant to be as representative as possible of the wider general population. In some cases, the idea might be to target a specific group of people and choose customers that are representative of that particular group.
Once a consumer panel has been set up, the researchers can begin to guide the focus of the panel and the conversation that ensues, in a way that allows the companies in question to test new products and services or to gain honest and accurate insight into its current products and services. It can be very difficult for a company to gain honest insight from its customers if it is directly asking the question, whether this is at the point of sale or a post-sale questionnaire as just two examples. There will always be specific questions that a company wants to gain answers for, and a customer panel allows these to be answered truthfully, in-depth and in anonymity.
In some cases, this could be a way of testing brand-new products and services in a small fashion prior to a full product launch. This is an important process as it allows these new items to be tweaked if necessary, whether in the specific product or service itself or in the way that it is to be marketed to a wider audience. This is an invaluable testing period that could save a company a lot of money in branding and marketing techniques that don’t work that well on the target market.
We all want to optimise our products and services and ensure that everything about it, from the way it is manufactured and developed, to the way it is packaged and sold and everything in between, is spot on. With a consumer panel your business can ensure that all the boxes are ticked prior to a big product launch, and that you are targeting the right type of customer. This stage is a crucial part in the development of a business as a whole, as a business that doesn’t do its research is always less likely to succeed in the long-term.
Consumer research is a vital part of building a business. If you do not have a thorough understanding of your business, the market your business sits in and the customer base that you currently have or wish to target, it can be difficult to move forward in a positive fashion. With the help of a professional consumer research company, your business can make the right moves at the right times, gaining insightful information that will help the business to put together strategies that are effective. This is the beauty of the customer panel – it provides you with all the information you need about products and services to make real decisions moving forward.