In this post, we explore some tips on how to effectively retain clients for a panel provider.
What is a panel provider?
Today, online panel providers have become hugely popular. Panel providers are companies who provide a pool of respondents for a survey project. Let’s expand this definition a little. These days, data plays a huge role in our lives. Everything from ordering food to banking is now digitalisation. Capitalising on this trend, panel providers recruit respondents to provide data-based services to companies. Panel providers source information from individuals and transfer that knowledge to businesses. For instance, a healthcare company is looking to explore equipment vendors in neuroscience. They need information on the best possible supplier. Hence, they run a survey project to compare price, features, and buyer sentiment. The panel provider recruits survey respondents for them and undertakes the whole project. As a result, they can make an informed decision on which supplier to go with. B2B market research is crucial in the investment decision process.
However, to make this business model sustainable they need to satisfy parties on both sides. On one side, they need to ensure they have enough relevant survey respondents on one side. On the other side, they need to have enough clients that give them survey projects to complete. Examples of these panel providers include GrapeData, Newton X, and Survey Sparrow. Client retention and satisfaction are important elements of any business. However, when it comes to panel providers, this importance is magnified. In the next section, we advise on how to retain clients for a panel provider.
Tips to effectively retain clients from the perspective of a client provider
The process of client retention is a long and ongoing one. Survey sparrow suggests that the average client retention rate is below 20% for most industries. However, with the right set of knowledge and goals, this process can be simplified. Let’s look at how this can be done.
1. Create a shared understanding of the project and its goals.
Any panel provider’s priority is to create a common understanding between them and the client. In the initial meeting, the panel provider should make sure that they build a good rapport with the client. The client is going to have certain expectations and deadlines that they want to meet. Therefore, it’s important to have an initial call where both parties discuss these deadlines and goals. This discussion can centre around the number of respondents, the type of survey project, and the outcomes needed. It’s a good idea to spend some time understanding the business of the client and why they need the survey project to be conducted. Doing this will give the panel provider an edge to efficiently complete the project.
Having this discussion will mean that the client has a common baseline with the panel provider. Consequently, the chances of client retention will increase as both parties will be on the same page.
2. As a panel provider, communicate effectively with the client
As simple as this sounds, communication is key for any business model. Especially, in a survey project, a lot of things can go unexpectedly. Sometimes, it’s difficult to source the right number of high-quality survey respondents within the time frame. When things are not going as planned, it’s important to establish a communication protocol with the client.
3. Lastly, make sure to leverage today’s trend of customised offerings
In today’s world, more and more clients are wanting customisation in products and services. Increased hyper-digitalisation has only made it easier to offer customised products and services. PWC reports that today’s consumer expects customisation in all offerings. However, sometimes customisation isn’t enough as companies continue to deal with supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic. Panel providers are no exception to this trend. Every survey project needs unique strategies and goals for completion. Clients will always be happy to see the panel provider making extra efforts to customise the project to their needs. Therefore, if the panel provider recognises this need to customise every project, clients will be happier. In this way, keeping them satisfied will be a cornerstone of client retention.
To sum up, client retention is universally vital for any business. However, in a business that needs to satisfy two sides of a coin, this importance is magnified. With a few tips, client retention for panel providers can be optimised. First, the panel provider should work towards a shared understanding with the client. Second, they should establish clear communication protocols to relay any hiccups in the survey project. Lastly, to get an edge, the panel provider should offer a customised project solution to improve retention.
Grape Data offers customised B2B surveys for due diligence for any industry, in over 100 countries. If you’d like help with your survey project, please reach out to us at email@example.com