Hosting a deliberative forum with your key customers or stakeholders can seem like a daunting task! But it is one that is well worth the effort. That’s why we enjoy partnering with businesses to make their customer engagement a reality!
Woolcott Research & Engagement are pioneers in the deliberative engagement space. We have been working with organisations for over 15 years to help them engage meaningfully with their customers using deliberative techniques. Our deliberative forums allow our clients to collect insightful feedback from customers and stakeholders, and what’s more, participants enjoy the process. Click here to see some of our case studies.
Here are some of our top tips for beginners to the deliberative forum space:
Doing research amongst your target market is a valuable tool. However, it’s important to keep in mind what you want to find out. Without a research objective, you may simply end up delving into a sea of information with no real outcome. Make sure to define the purpose and objectives of the engagement before setting out on your deliberative journey.
Not everyone you want to talk to will be informed on the topic you want to talk to them about. Be prepared to educate your audience so that they can give meaningful feedback. At Woolcott Research, we ensure information is communicated in layman’s terms and also utilise a number of activities to keep participants engaged and to help them better understand complex concepts. Some activities we commonly use are budgetary allocation tasks, card storming or a ‘Pub Quiz’.
Be prepared to step back. A deliberative forum is a place for stakeholders and consumers to give their opinions. It is important to listen and take all feedback on board. For our forums, we like to involve our client by encouraging them to answer questions and provide expert information, where required. And we handle the rest. Having independent facilitators manage your forum adds validity to your research and ensures it stands up to external scrutiny.
Participants like to know what others are thinking and how they have contributed to your decision making. At the session, we like to include live polling so that participants can see what others are thinking. Once the research is completed, some organisations like to make their findings public. This is a great way to demonstrate to participants just how valuable their input is.
Some businesses require a phased approach to their deliberative process. This means that the same participants may be asked back to participate a second (or even third) time. We like to use this opportunity to recap findings from previous phases, and identify how it has informed decision making to date.
Engaging an independent contractor will take the pressure off. They will have plenty of experience in what needs to be done in the process. At Woolcott Research, we value collaboration with our clients, to make sure that all parties feel that they are getting the most out of the engagement process. We will tell you what we need from you, and then put the forum together to take the stress off your shoulders.