Posts Tagged ‘business’

For those who don’t know me, I am Ben’s business partner, and originally invested in the start of SPYCH. Ben often quips there are some who disbelieve I even exist, so hopefully my presence at September’s Corporate Researchers Conference in Dallas and this blog entry will diffuse some of those myths! 😉

I hired Ben almost 5 years ago.  At that time, I was extremely busy with projects and needed help. I found Ben to be bright, enthusiastic, articulate and engaged –  all the qualities clients and I would want in a moderator. He had the proverbial “fire in his belly”.

Just 10 months into his tenure at DGA, Ben approached my wife Debbie and me at our kitchen table with a foundational idea that focused on Gen Y and the notion of “empathic research,” which was essentially the genesis for SPYCH.

From that point forward, since Ben was completely dedicated and devoted to developing SPYCH, I needed to find a new person to backfill his spot and help support me. On Ben’s recommendation, I interviewed Elizabeth, who was just as bright, enthusiastic, articulate and engaged as Ben was when I first spoke to him – In a relatively short period of time, Elizabeth was conducting research projects on her own and doing great work for both our pharmaceutical and CPG clients.

What can you take from my experiences?

I am often asked by my Baby Boomer peers why I was able to have two success stories with my “young hires,” while their own experiences with Gen Y employees tended to be lukewarm/ mixed at best. Upon reflection, I believe there are some things in particular to look for when hiring potential Gen Y employees/colleagues, as well as a few things you can offer to them to make your firm a “Gen Y destination” (as Ben likes to say!):

Dave’s Things to Look for When Hiring/Working with Gen Y (in no particular order):

  1. Level of engagement
  2. Ability to quickly establish rapport
  3. Ability to think well “on their feet”
  4. A high degree of inquisitiveness
  5. Confidence tempered with the willingness to learn
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Service….With a Smile!

Posted: August 10, 2009 by Ben Smithee in Market Research
Tags: , , , ,

In today’s rapidly changing environment there is one guaranteed way to stand out in a crowd of businesses who may essentially compete based on the same core offerings that you too provide- SERVICE!

If you are another moderator reading this then you know how many points of contact we have on any given project. For the non-researchers here is a shortlist that by no means includes everyone:

  • Main Client Contact
  • Client Admin
  • Travel Agent
  • Internal Admin
  • Facility Manager
  • Facility Director
  • Fielding Project Manager
  • Client Service Staff
  • Recruiting
  • All Touch points regarding airlines and transport e.g. airline, flight attendant etc.
  • All front deck and phone staff for every external service e.g. facilities, host site etc.

I could really go on forever!  The point is this, each one of these points of contact is an opportunity for differentiation.  Sometimes companies look at things one-sided regarding this.  For example, the Facility Director has the opportunity to impress me as a client in order to encourage me to use her facility for our next research study.  In that same conversation, it is beneficial for me to not be the “hard to deal with client”, as there will be a day when I desperately need to host last minute research at her facility and will need to call in any favor possible.  For her, it is very easy to say “no, we do not have availability,” but if I am low-maintenance and pleasant she will be more inclined to help me out in a bind!  Not to mention call me when she gets a request for a moderator = Business!

Now apply this two-sided thought process to each of your points of contact with clients, suppliers, internal contacts and see where you have opportunities to increase your business.  I’ll take a moment and brag on the firm we recently chose to design our new website – Singularity Design.  Not only did they produce a phenomenal site for us, but after launch, incorporated a Spych-centric message on their homepage – go check it out and see what I mean.  This obviously is valuable for them as they can showcase their latest piece of work, but it also enhances the relationship that was created during our time working together on the site.  As you can tell from looking at their site, they did not merely throw our company logo and link on their “client page,” they took the time to incorporate the “brand” and message showcasing their talent as a design firm.

Companies need to take the time and make sure each of these areas of opportunity are met with outstanding service.  Whether you are a Fortune listed corporation or an independent researcher this is your opportunity to do something your competitor might not be doing.  When I started working with Dave, this is one of the key things he stressed about our business.  It is our feeling that even though going overboard with service may or may not “win” more work, under-delivering on service is the quickest way to lose it, so we strive to enhance our relationships in any way possible.  We encourage our clients, partners and colleagues to deliver any feedback, so if we have had the opportunity to work with you in any capacity, we look forward to hearing from you again!

~Ben