Specialised research to help organisations communicate clearly




Clear communication that is at the heart of the best customer experiences. 

According to McKinsey, 'consistent and clear communications are one of the most important elements of the customer experience.'  Poor communications clog up call centres, cause profit-draining customer attrition and create unnecessary and time-wasting stakeholder misunderstanding. We have helped many Australian organisations improve their communications to their customers and stakeholders. 

We have developed a unique 'sense' test which uses a combination of discourse analysis and participant observation. We use this to test written communications such as correspondence, instructions, Fact Sheets, and other documents / edocuments such as disclosure*. We then help make them clearer. We do the same for concepts and packaging. 

Our making sense framework

We base our work on our 'making sense' framework, drawn from our training in linguistics, psychology and plain language. People interpret ('make sense of') their experiences through schemas and frames.  Importantly we all have a drive to make things make sense. Our task as researchers is to identify these frames and how to change them.

Qualitative and quantitative methods

For documents, we use immersive qualitative research such as participant observation-based in-depth interviews. For other projects, we may use focus groups, ethnography, semiotics and laddering. We use surveys to measure.

Who we do this for

Financial services organisations, service providers of all kinds, government agencies.

*We probably know more about disclosure for insurance, superannuation and investment than any other research agency.

Case Study  - making a concept make sense

A financial services organisation developed a new service for investors. This was a brand new concept. We tested prototypes of the online application form to make sure that the potential investors knew what the service was for and how to use it. Because this idea was so new, investors came to the idea with a cognitive frame of expectations about the concept based on previous experience, which made them 'blind' to some of the important features. These features were in their 'blind spot'. We showed our client how to restructure and reword their online comms so that investors understood. The launch has been very successful.

Tags: Semiotics, Qualitative Research , Communications, Laddering, Stakeholder Surveys, Language, metaphor analysis, Making sense, Participant observation, correspondence, Fact Sheets, Disclosure