In the light of COVID-19, being able to capture an accurate response to citizen and customer sentiment, has never been more important. The uncertainty of the times has presented a whole new range of challenge for businesses, governments and wider agencies alike when it comes to gaining an accurate read of public opinion.
While TruRating’s raison d’être is to provide mass, real time consumer insights for our retail partners, as a result of coronavirus and its impact on store closures, we’ve been exploring how our technology can provide value to our wider stakeholders in trying times.
We recently partnered with a team of behavioural scientists working for the government of New South Wales in Australia, to look at the best way to frame your communications with impact, when consumers and citizens alike need it most.
Testing the Waters
TruRating and NSW government’s paths crossed, after we began to examine how we could use our point-of-sale feedback to provide insights on a variety of Corona-related issues for businesses and government agencies alike. TruRating’s ability to capture large amounts of responses to polling questions in a very amount of short time, was of immediate interest to the gov’s team as it solved an immediate problem: how to capture a representative and statistically valid data set, without causing disruption. But it also offered another tantalising possibility – the ability to test in real time how people respond to language, particularly when it comes to emotive topics.
When looking to understand whether consumers were more interested in Government action on Health or Economic policy, our data team met an interesting dilemma – how best to ask a question that could illicit a complicated response. This chimed with the work of the government’s team, who had recently focused their attention on the impact between ‘Abstract’ and ‘Concrete’ framing for pollsters in general.
The hypothesis they were working with, was that when grappling with potentially emotive subject matter, that framing a question using language that people can relate to their own lives, is more likely to resonate. This insight carried weight for the work we were doing, as when presented with only a short time to think a polling question through, communicating the essential message as clearly as possible was important, especially in extraordinary times.
Using this insight, our data team proposed two ways to ask the same question: ‘What should the government prioritise as most important’. In the abstract, customers were offered a choice of Economy or Health while the concrete framing offered the more ‘relatable’ options of Saving Jobs or Slowing Infection.
At an aggregate reading (the results of both framings combined), while the results differed at a state level, the overall response rate showed a clear preference for Government to focus on health and safety over business.
However, when results were observed at the level of Abstract and Concrete framings individually, there was a clear difference in terms of the overall level of response. While the data still suggests an overall trend towards the wider concern for health and safety generally, it’s clear that the more emotive framing of ‘saving jobs’ resonates much more than the more abstract idea of ‘the economy’ at large.
Communicating With Clarity
When communicating to our citizens or customers on important matters, it can be beneficial to consider using more relatable, everyday language. As indicated in our work with the Australian government, while the concept of the ‘Economy’ speaks to something we understand to a degree, the concept of ‘saving jobs’ is much more concrete and ultimately resonates with people’s real concerns.
If you are looking for support to understand what your customers are really thinking, our team is on hand to help you deliver a strategy that can frame your response and give you confidence that you’re meeting customer expectations at this critical time.
TruRating Online, the tool used to collect the insights in this article, is currently available for a limited time for free to support businesses during COVID-19.