Helping customers is a priority for Christopher Rastin, Global Research & Insights Head, Global Insights & Customer Experience at E.ON. In times of global inflation and rising energy costs he talks about the role of research in helping customers.
In the run-up to our Qual360 Europe 2023 conference we are talking to some of our key speakers to better understand their view of the qualitative market research world, consumer sentiments in general and of course their motivation for joining Qual360 Europe. This week we were happy to connect with Chris Rastin and hear his thoughts.
Qual360: Chris, without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?
Chris: Companies, especially large companies, are not just money-making machines and have important social responsibilities for the improvement of the societies in which we operate. In the energy sector, combined with global inflation, it is important to understand the difficulties our customers and societies are experiencing regarding affordability. Moreover, it is imperative that we provide consumers methods to manage affordability and the allocation of their home budgets so that we can make these uncertain economic times more manageable.
Qual360: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?
Chris: I come from a government and psychology background and my main goal throughout school and in my work was always about making the world a better and safer place – not to sound trite, but I want to know that my work has benefited people and made their lives better. Given the current energy world combined with such large rates of inflation and little, if any, improvements in personal disposable income, I think it is imperative that we understand and develop interventions that will help consumers through these complicated and uncertain times.
Qual360: What motivates you to join the QUAL360 Europe conference and what are your expectations?
Chris: I want to understand how other large companies are able to manage the vast amounts of knowledge and information they procure and personally generate. Most of all, I want to understand how that information management is effectively distributed and communicated to all relevant stakeholders. Nothing is worse to a researcher than generating knowledge that falls into the deep pit of a filing system, never to be seen again. Nothing makes a manager more upset is repeating expensive research, not knowing that this information already exists and is in the bottom of that deep pit.
Qual360: What do you foresee in the future of qualitative research? What do you want/like to see?
Chris: I imagine a future where we have an ever increasing reliance on technology to streamline qualitative research, more and more removing us from true consumer understanding and interactions. Qualitative research is mentally exhausting and demanding. While it is enticing to have more developed technologies help alleviate some of these mental demands, we must be cautious of losing the consumer connection in our research via technology.
Qual360: Chris, thank you very much. We look forward to hearing more about your ideas for helping customers at Qual360 Europe next February in Berlin!
Join Chris and speakers from international brands like Google, eBay, Logitec, Electrolux, Deliveroo, Pernod Ricard, HBO, Sky and many more at the upcoming Qual360 Europe 2023 conference in Berlin, Germany. The leading global conference series for qualitative researchers brings together practitioners to discuss the latest trends, methodologies and technologies.
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