At Hemispheres, one of our primary goals is to stay innovative and relevant within the research community by developing new processes and ways of looking at the world to gain actionable insights for our clients.
One of the emerging methodologies we have been using in our research is the use of online reviews to provide a snapshot of the current state of customer opinion for a given product, brand, or service.
Take a look at this diagram to see an example of Review Harvesting at work:
The questions that most reviews can answer are:
- What/why do you like/dislike this product?
- How could this product be improved to make the user experience better?
- How much do you like this product? (on a scale of one to five)
Online review methodologies allow researchers to quickly gain insights in a short period of time. With text analysis tools, one can very quickly sort and analyze large numbers of reviews into categories by rating or keywords. Additionally, it allows researchers to see trends and themes within reviews in a relatively short amount of time.
This methodology also allows researchers to look at snapshots in time. If a product has been available for a long period of time and has undergone a change of some kind, this approach allows researchers to analyze reviews from before, and after the implementation of the change, providing insight into how the change has affected customer opinion.
Online review methodologies have the potential to be incredibly useful. We have found that the best opportunities for online review approaches are in the early stages of ideation while creating hypotheses, in situations where a small budget is required, or as a supplemental tool in coordination with other research methods.