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Tracking the control shift

Posted on: Tuesday 29th of March 2011

We’re about to start our longest ever project – one that we think will take us to 2020 and maybe beyond. And we need your help.

We’re setting out on a simple task: to track the change in control from provider to buyer. Much has already happened but much more is still to come. We want to be able to provide evidence of that change. We’re already looking at what companies are doing and how their behaviours and practices are changing.

Now it is time for the consumer or buyer to have their say. We’re going to be running a tracking survey that seeks to pick out some key metrics and analyses them over time. We’ve started our thinking with 15 questions (below) but before we commission the work, we want your input. What is the single most important measure of change that would tell your organisation that you need to do something different? Answers on a postcard, email or by comment please!


1. Evidence for a shift away from corporate control/CRM:

* Unsubscribing from promotional communications, marketing emails, mail, catalogues, etc.

* Generally speaking I tend to throw away promotional material posted/emailed to me without opening it.

* Ending a cold call/not picking up a cold call

* Opt in/opt out Refusing to sign up to communication from either a) the company in question or b) selected third parties

* Changing radio/TV station/turning down the volume during adverts


2. Evidence for a shift towards consumer control/VRM:

* Seeking reviews of products or services before buying, whether online, in magazines or through word of mouth.

* Contributing reviews to

  • suppliers’ site
  • retailer site
  • recommender sites (e.g. TripAdvisor. Reevoo)
  • liking on Facebook

* Making complaints/requesting refunds on unsatisfactory products/services

* Interacting with brands via social media

* Using price comparison sites

* Negotiating discounts, deals or alterations to the terms of a contract. Also using info gained through research as leverage in negotiations.

* Switching to a new service provider (for eg. Mobile phone contract, broadband, other media/telecoms) when/if unable to negotiate desired terms with current service provider.


3. A few general attitudinal questions

* Generally speaking, I think organisations’ call centres and customer services are designed more for their convenience tan mine.

* Generally speaking, when making non-routine purchases I seek out impartial information I can trust (e.g. from peer/expert reviews, price comparison sites, searching on the internet etc)

* I believe my personal data has commercial value and that I have should have control over who I share it with, for what purposes’. Agree/disagree

* Generally speaking, when I dealing with large organisations I feel more empowered than I did a year ago (agree/disagree)