Also known as rep grid, this is a very useful method from the field of psychology that can be used to uncover customers’ perceptions of products and services and to identify their hidden needs.
Customers are asked multiple times to compare and contrast random sets of three products or services which they are familiar with. Each set of three products is presented to them with the same question which is “In your experience, how are two of these products similar to each other and different from the third?”
This forces interviewees to think deeply and articulate their views on products or services. There is a full methodology to designing, conducting and analysing repertory grid interviews which is ideal for differentiating between what is most often stated by customers and what is really most important to them.
Equant, the global IT services provider, used repertory grid technique to develop a deeper understanding of its customers’ needs. Equant’s service offering was contrasted against that of IT suppliers and other B2B service providers, such as financial auditors, data warehousing companies and office security service providers. This allowed Equant to enhance their service offering with ideas based on the insights from other sectors.