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Wonka-istas vs. Inclusionists: Finding the Golden Tickets

Blog by Adam Dorrell
February 14, 2018
I guess with Easter around the corner, I have chocolate on the brain, and I was reminded of how one of the World's most famous chocolate makers carried out his research. I refer of course to Mr Willy Wonka, and his rather unique model "Golden Ticket" model of customer research (and succession planning). For those not familiar, the premise is that the lucky individuals that find one of the five golden tickets hidden amongst millions of chocolate bars will get a special tour of the famous factory.My experience in the business improvement area (whether as employee or an outside consultant) has been a continual search for a “Golden Ticket”, a lucky “Ah Ha” moment where one realizes one has found the root cause of the problem.  Once found, we set about fixing the issues, testing to see if it is getting better, sign it off and look for the next issue to solve - a simple procedure, a sort of “Process Improvement 101”.The real question is “How do we find that most important issues to fix?” in the first place. Well, you ask people, do in-depth research on a few select customers, do some focus groups, ask lots of questions, but of financial or logistic necessity, to just a few individuals. This is a "Wonka-ista" method of hoping the best people get the Golden Tickets and give you the right information, probably once a year. In Wonka's case, he was relaxed enough to do it just once in his lifetime.It is safe to say that Charlie, the hero of the book/film, would have stood a better chance to find a Golden Ticket if he had a better clue as to where to look. He could have started by asking everyone he knew, then narrowing the search to the Western Region, Small Shops (1-10 employees), Chocolate only, (high street location) segment. But then, most customers are not quite as tenacious as the future corporate-raider Charlie Bucket.Until recently, there has not been a real alternative to this luck-dip method of getting feedback. However, now we are seeing more continuous surveying platforms (like CustomerGauge) that allow for an "Inclusionist" way of working. A method where you can ask EVERY customer an opinion or survey EACH transaction. By combining your CRM data you can avoid asking unnecessary demographic questions, or information you already hold and minimise the survey to one or two questions - and the Net Promoter® Score is a good example of this.The result? High customer response in the 25 - 50% range, and a simple metric that you can map on the existing data. And that's the "Inclusionist" way - ask everyone, the whole time, then sift through the results, on an ongoing basis to find the right feedback. That's what world class organizations are moving towards.There is nothing wrong with a Wonkarist in-depth surveying approach, but Inclusionists point out that it has high cost-per-customer and has an impact just once a year.  There are some good resources to learn about "Inclusionism" - try "The Ultimate Question", or links on our site hereIn summary, continuously surveying your customers after every transaction is a great way to gather information. Overlaying this information against your customer segmentation and pricing data and it gives you a fabulous insight into where to start first, and how you can get a continual stream of  "Golden Tickets".Enjoy your Easter, and don't eat too much chocolate!
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