Lending an ear to customer demands
Large companies lead the way. A number of large companies including Pepsi, Fiat, Lego, McDonald’s and Starbucks discovered crowdsourcing as a means of obtaining product ideas, opinions and user behavior directly from the consumer long ago.
These companies use their prominence and their own consumer fan community in social networks and/or on their own web pages and blogs. However, small and medium-sized companies with a lesser degree of popularity and smaller fan communities on Facebook and Co. can also make use of the crowdsourcing concept. Crowds belonging to one or more crowdsourcing platforms take the place of the fan communities of the large corporations.
Professional crowdsourcing providers such as clickworker.com have a network of over 220,000 Internet users worldwide, the so-called Clickworkers who naturally also consume a variety of products and make use of various services. Depending on the requirements, the Clickworkers can be selected as target audiences in surveys according to country/country of residence, native language, language skills, age, gender, fields of interest and specialized knowledge. In their role as consumers, any number of Clickworkers submit their ideas about product improvements and development. They present their opinions regarding popular or previously tested products and services, or answer questions regarding their user and market behavior.
To handle these crowdsourcing campaigns in a simple and straightforward manner, it is important that all the information and ideas one wants to retrieve from the crowd are carefully worded in specific questions. Providers of free surveys such as SurveyMonkey can create online forms with the respective questions and generate a link to the survey page. The link is forwarded to the crowdsourcing provider and made available to the entire crowd, or to the previously defined partial/target audience online for response. Alternately, some crowdsourcing platforms volunteer to create the survey for their customers using their own internal tool.
In addition to selecting suitable target audiences the crowdsourcing provider can also ensure that the survey form is completed only once by all the participants. The scope of service supplied by the chosen crowdsourcing provider ought to be looked at and a quote requested before placing the order. Surveys are generally very popular with the crowd and therefore lead to quick processing and first-class consumer information as well as innovative ideas.