A well-defined problem is a problem already half-solved. The right definition of a customer research problem sets the direction for the entire project. Although every researcher and analyst understands the importance of correctly defining the problem, it is not always so easy to uncover where the problem really resides. Moreover, it’s vital to uncover the root of the problem so that you’re tackling the entirety and not just treating a symptom of a problem.
From a management perspective, a problem calls for managers to make choices among a variety of alternatives. The majority of decisions are so routine that they might not become a problem. However, a portion of decisions are so hard to make that managers need to be fully informed before they can make a move.
Think of the research problem as a single sentence that summarizes your dilemma, or that thing in the back of your mind that’s been keeping you up at night. It’s a general statement or question because you don’t want to mistakenly attribute symptoms to the big picture.
You probably know that many of the world’s most famous and widely-used brands became successful by accident. Slinky, Silly Putty, potato chips, penicillin, microwave ovens — the list goes on and on. These items were all either by-products of efforts to make something else, or were simply attempts to solve one problem, yet turned out to solve everyday problems around the world.Read More
A manufacturing company we know seemed to have a successful monthly e-newsletter, with nice numbers in terms of how many people opened the newsletters, clicked through, and then shared them through one or more social networks. Month after month they were pleased as punch by the numbers on the customer analytics charts. They thought, “Wow, these people really love us.”