USA Today had an interesting article in the July 20th issue that suggests “Buick wants to know how they really feel.” A reporter followed a Buick research team as they did in-depth interviews with potential customers about features of interest in future Buicks. The Buick team was gathering customer insights.
The article stated that “Similar research takes place regularly across the auto industry.” Of course it does. The question is: what is done with it? Too much research is designed to support a position the researcher already holds rather than gain true customer insight. Too much research tries to prove the customer thinks like the supplier rather than helping the supplier truly think like the customer. This is obviously true of the U.S. Auto Industry, which has been losing market share for decades.
We commend Buick and any other company that spends time with its customers. Just make sure you do it with an open mind, open ears … and a closed mouth.