Leave a comment

Explain Market Research – Finalists in the Market Research Society (MRS) Operations Awards 2017

Explain Market Research has been announced as a finalist in the MRS Operations Awards 2017. The MRS is the world’s leading research association and their annual Operations Awards will take place this year on 14 September 2017 in London. We have been recognised for our outstanding work and are shortlisted as one of three finalists in the field of Best Data Collection (Telephone).

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Explain has provided full-service market research solutions to a range of organisations for over two decades, with specialist knowledge and expertise in the utilities, healthcare, social housing and the financial services sectors. Delivering innovative insights is at the forefront of our culture and this has been recognised by the MRS.

Our Managing Director, Kim Davis, commented, “As a proud company partner of the MRS, we are delighted to have been shortlisted as finalists for this prestigious award. The Explain research centre has a team of 45 dedicated telephone researchers; they deliver annually against strategic KPIs, and significantly contribute to the success of the business. In 2016-2017, our telephone researchers delivered productivity scores averaging 96%, quality scores averaging 95%, and completed approximately 131,500 interviews. I’m incredibly proud of our team and the recognition of finalist is testament to all their continued hard work and dedication.”

The MRS, who are dedicated to the support, promotion and enrichment of the research and business world, will announce the winners of eight awards categories and will celebrate the best of the UK’s research agencies in a night of recognition and awards.

Kim went on to add, “We pride ourselves on building and developing longstanding and trusted public, private and the third sector client partnerships through the consistent delivery of powerful and actionable consumer insights. We recognise the need to invest in our team, in technology and in identifying how to continue to improve, always striving for innovation aligned to delivery for our clients. Being part of the awards on 14 September will be a celebration of all the work we undertake to deliver for clients.”

Clients provided us with testimonials to support our award entry, further illustrating Explain’s commitment to deliver for clients, including the following:

“I’ve worked with the team at Explain for over 6 years, while employed in various roles and organisations. Explain have been a critical part of my success to improve customer experience during this time. 

I’ve heard people say anyone can make an outbound call/do a survey, the difference for me with Explain is their approach. They understand my needs and business, which has created a partnership working relationship rather than client/supplier. The opportunity to meet the full team including the fantastic telephone researchers creates a real connection and lets me know Explain care about my customers too.”

Adam Stewart, Executive of Customer Services, Barratt Developments plc

Our business has consistently seen growth year on year, providing development and opportunity for our dynamic team. It is this team of specialists across a range of disciplines within marketing and research who enable Explain to deliver market research projects to extremely high standards – from design all the way through to insights and into actions.

With an exceptionally strong team of moderators, researchers, analysts and marketing specialists delivering a mix of qualitative (in depth conversation based research) and quantitative (survey based statistical research) methods, Explain can provide you and your organisation with the powerful and reliable insight that you need to inform your business, customer and marketing strategies.

We employ a wide range of methodologies, from the traditional to the innovative, including:

Our team at Explain Market Research are experts at putting research programmes in place to deliver for clients.

Contact us today to find out how we could support you, and click through below to take a more detailed look at some of the solutions we offer.





Leave a comment

Top 25 fail to serve

Whenever I go into my local Costa in Next, close to Tesco in Hexham I climb the stairs and see the sign that tells me they are in the Top 25 UK companies to work for. They are owned by Whitbread and one of the better national chains with good coffee and a better range of cakes and biscuits than Starbucks. So if the sign says they are that good I should be in for a treat although usually my preference is to seek out an independent for reasons that will become clearer a little later.

Being early December there was a long queue and amazingly customers seem to put up with this in a way they perhaps wouldn’t at a smaller independent. Perhaps it’s their high expectations although they should have immediate reservations to see only two staff serving, one taking a delivery and none clearing tables. There were so many cups, saucers and plates lying around i wondered how they could possibly have enough crockery to continue serving! Anyway my wife, being there before me, stayed in the queue and I found a table to check my emails. One of the benefits in Costa is that you can get free O2 broadband.

My plan was thwarted by all the crockery with not a space to be seen and being full of goodwill I set about clearing my table and one or two nearby. The manager saw this and ignored me. I wasn’t doing it for thanks but then when another member of staff passed me and ignored me too I did think why was I doing this?

There’s no moral to my story other than to say Costa don’t employ enough staff and some of those they do, have little if any empathy for the customer. They seem to think that if you want a table and a place to put your coffee you will obligingly clear your own table.

Now I often go to Bradley Gardens, another coffee shop near Wylam. Like Costa they are a bit slow but there the similarity ends as the manager and the staff are so focused on the customer that people are patient and chat. The tables are regularly cleared and the range of coffee and food is to die for. It’s just a delight to be there.

I know it won’t change overnight because the big chains don’t care and position themselves where the customer flow is high on the basis that we will all put up with awful service. Funnily enough they have so much in common with Tesco 100 metres away. The only way we the customer can impact on this will be to turn our backs on the chains and vote with our feet.

Whenever you have the choice please support the small guys. Yes you may still occasionally get poor service but if you go to a National you know you will get the same service anyway and pay a 20% premium to clear your own table. We are one step away from the t-towel and I’m not joking.

Leave a comment

The power of combining ‘now’ and ‘next’

It’s easy to get caught up in the regular daily flow of business, with its countless pressures and demands, without making time to lift our heads and look ahead. The world we live in today is markedly different from even just a few years ago and its easy to get absorbed in the day-to-day whilst change happens around us.

The lives we live have changed and so have the products and services around us. For those involved in brand or service development you can pay a very high price for not understanding the customer or following trends that influence what they buy, where they shop or what they want from the organisations that supply them. Yes it’s impossible to spot every new opportunity but with considered investment, the risks can be minimised.

Any organisation ‘worth its salt’ will have a comprehensive research programme to keep their finger on the pulse as to what is happening now and in the short term in regards to their customers needs and wants – it’s the stuff of textbooks. Some of the more forward thinking organisations also appoint trend forecasters to seek out ‘weak signals’ – the first seeds of change – that are then clustered into themes representative of emerging attitudes and behaviours.

Despite the obvious synergy between these two business functions they are often locked away in separate departments, with trend forecasting seen as a bit of a secret society that some of the more traditional and pre-historic researchers may not pay heed to and pay a rather high price for not doing so. That’s why two North East award winning businesses have launched a collaboration to link two previously disjointed disciplines; which used together, can instigate powerful change, ensuring insights about ‘now’ are maximised and used as a foundation for uncovering what will happen ‘next.’

Explain Research, established 20 years ago as a customer insight and market research company counting major utility companies, financial services organisations and health sector bodies as clients. Trend Bible, a trend forecasting agency set up in 2007, helps companies predict what’s driving change and identifies future trends set to impact their business.

The benefits of this unique collaboration are clear. The value of market research can be maximised by using it as a foundation, a stepping stone which when combined with analysis and forecasting methodologies can pinpoint trends that will impact on business in the future. This allows organisations to respond to customer requirements now, but also look to the future and shape their business model around what is going to happen next.

For us, it’s obvious – if you understand ‘now’ and you understand ‘next’ you are a force to be reckoned with and in a few years time what is now a unique approach will be seen as the tried and tested way to develop brands and waves of new customers.