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The Art of Conversation

talkingWe live in a world consumed by data and analytics. Technology has allowed us to track and measure just about every activity in our lives, both personal and professional. We have the opportunity to gather data and use it to understand our decisions, efforts, and subsequent outcomes. But does it always have to come down to a cold, hard number? What about the experience behind the numbers?

Enter the art of conversation. Through one-on-one interviewing, research opens up and goes beyond the numbers and metrics. In-depth interviewing allows the experience to truly be heard… it tells the story behind the metrics.

Anova’s service offering aims to capture the entire experience – the metrics (hard data and analytics) as well as the open-ended commentary shared by the interviewee. Whether it be a Win Loss Analysis, Post-Implementation, Client Satisfaction, or Departed Client scenario, the interview is designed to go into the specifics and reveal the details that metrics may not be able to capture. These aspects include preferences, attitudes, tone, biases, and competitive comparisons. Simply put, the conversation says what numbers cannot.

The art of conversation is at its best when an interviewer is able to probe effectively. For example, although the interviewer begins every discussion armed with a customized questionnaire template, what often takes place is not a simple Q&A, but rather a deeper, richer conversation. Anova interviewers are trained to transform what may be initially a nondescript answer into a more detailed response by asking questions and probing such as:

  • How did the pricing model compare to the other firms you included in your search?
  • You mention that ease of use of the technology was a key attribute going into the process. Why was that?
  • Can you give me an example of when you experienced a lack of responsiveness?

The effectiveness of these probing questions are amplified when they are asked by an objective third-party. While a prospect or client may be hesitant to share details about their experience to someone with whom they have a relationship, often times they are more at ease revealing the unfeigned truth to a party understanding of their situation, yet not emotionally involved.

The customer’s voice plays an integral part in understanding and learning about the whole experience. That is why Anova’s reports not only present data and trends, but also support every finding with the interviewee’s verbatim responses during their conversation with our team.

Pure data offers one way to evaluate a single event, but when married to the art of the conversation, the research becomes more complete, and most importantly, more meaningful.

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