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Inside VC puts the spotlight on the folks that make Vision Critical the world's top provider of insight communities. This week's focus: Rafael Villanueva, Training Team Lead.

As the folks that train new Vision Critical clients, Rafael and his team help empower brands in maximizing use of their insight communities.

What does the training team do?

We teach Vision Critical clients the basics of insight communities - everything from creating surveys to reporting to managing discussions.

To take full advantage of Vision Critical's insight communities, you need some technical knowledge of how the software works. The software is powerful - and sometimes even veteran researchers need some training to learn its full potential.

Naturally, we also share some best practices during these training sessions. Our training materials are modeled after proven research best practices. We help ensure clients get off to a good start.

What is the best part about your job at Vision Critical?

I get satisfaction out of the fact that my team empowers clients to be more knowledgeable about their research. We do more than teach: the training team makes our clients' jobs easier, which helps them get more bang for their research buck. We don't just train people how to use the tools - we also give them ideas on what to do in the future.

What is the most important thing people need to know about managing insight communities?

Sometimes when people use their insight communities, all they see are numbers. But I think that's a mistake. Your insight community is more than just about what you see in the reports.

Remember: these are real people who have taken some time in their day to give you feedback. They're looking for a relationship; they want to know they are influencing what your business is doing.

Get to know the people in your insight community and close the feedback loop to make them feel valued and appreciated. For example, run discussion forums to get to know people's personalities - knowing what makes people tick helps you better engage them, increasing your chances of keeping them in your insight community.

What do you think research and insight communities will look like in three years?

In my 3+ years at Vision Critical, I have seen the company become more client-centric - not just software focused. I believe this is a trend that we will see with more companies that are in the research and software industries.

People will require a more personal experience from brands - and this includes their experience when participating in research. The personalization of research has some obvious implications: for example, researchers will need to cater to the various devices and platforms that people use. For more and more people, it feels increasingly natural to participate in research using their mobile devices.

But in addition to meeting the mobile problem, researchers will also need to create a more meaningful relationship with consumers. People want to be heard beyond a stand-alone survey.

If you could ask any question on the Angus Reid Forum or the Springboard network, just to satisfy your own curiosity, what would it be?

How are you preparing for the singularity?

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was the former Content Marketing Manager and was responsible for Vision Critical's blog and social media marketing program. Before joining Vision Critical's global marketing team, Kelvin worked at Dunn PR, a Vancouver-based public relations firm. His experience includes working with lifestyle, real estate, and non-profit clients to develop social media marketing and PR strategies. Kelvin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU's Beedie School of Business.
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