Seeing the Good in Bad Feedback

PointingA client had done a lot of number crunching to prove that their new product would increase their customers’ bottom line. They had brainstormed, designed and copyrighted a new logo for the program. The program had a lot of internal momentum and they were set to launch by the end of the year. That’s when they came to us, looking to understand how their target market would perceive and accept the program, and how the small businesses’ customers would react to it as well.

After conducting focus groups, we learned their customers didn’t trust the program’s core value proposition, and were skeptical of the program’s ROI. They also didn’t like that the program would lock them into other services provided by the client. And many of the small businesses’ customers wouldn’t complete the online registration process, which was a key component to the overall success and value of the experience.

It’s never easy for us to give our clients bad news, but it does happen. It’s a relatively easy thing to move a button on a webpage but it’s an entirely different matter to rethink such a large initiative. However, there are some important things to keep in mind in these situations:

1)   Was there anything good about the situation? Were there other features of the program that did spark interest?

2)   Can any of the feedback help our client re-form their plan so that they present the right features to their customers the right way?

3)   When and where should we cut our losses? Should the client test more? Go in a different direction?

It’s not always easy to hear your Users criticize your work – I’ve been on both sides of the table and it can be very demoralizing, especially when you’ve focused a great deal of time and money to make the project a success. Still, it is much better to know the truth before you go to market. In these cases, a good researcher can direct the discussion to hone in on the details of the problems and possible solutions so that businesses can set a new strategy with the best information. Our client was able to adjust their course and ended up in a stronger position.


If you have any research needs or would like to learn more about our processes, please contact us at or call us at 770-391-1099.