A large public sector organisation had developed a significant business based on catalogue sales of a specific type of laboratory consumables. Over the years, they had developed a large international customer base, but the team were concerned at a recent down turn in sales and wanted to understand if the trend was significant (caused by a fundamental change in customer behaviour) or if it was just a short term fluctuation.
Detailed customer interviews were conducted with three key customer groups – key accounts, new customers and lapsed customers.
Interviewees were asked to comment on their future product requirements and trends in usage. Questions were also asked about the competition, pricing and technical support.
At the same time, an invitation to participate in a web based questionnaire was sent out to a subsection of the customer database.
The data acquired was used to inform the short term tactical marketing plan and the long term strategic plan for the business.