How to Build Effective Customer Insights

December 30, 2015 Jiordan Castle

customer insights

Companies want to cultivate a talented, dedicated workforce, be liked by their customers, and ultimately profit and drive growth. Smart businesses want to give customers the best possible products, services, and solutions. But although it’s important to figure out what kind of Customer Experience your company is capable of delivering, that knowledge does little without also getting to know your customers — what they need as individuals and how to appeal to highly specific, multidimensional personas. The following are 3 questions essential to gaining customer insights:

  1. What is the customer experiencing?
  2. What systems and teams are they interacting with along the way?
  3. What are the key moments for customers, and at each of those moments, do they need more self-service options or more support from an employee? (I.e., Where are there opportunities to innovate and optimize?)

The answers to those questions can put you on a path to a more comprehensive understanding of your customers. Of course, that’s only half the battle. You also need to know how to turn information about your Customer Experience into actionable insights.

How do you build customer insights?

With so many customer touchpoints and cross-functional methods of communicating, it’s easy to miss out on potential opportunities for critical customer engagement and timely, personalized feedback. Here are a few core elements of successfully building customer insights:

  • Benchmarked customer engagement. In order to see improvements in customer engagement, your business needs to continually monitor the weaknesses and strengths of your existing Customer Experience. If your workers keep a finger on the pulse of customers’ experiences, you’re more able to improve and innovate to encourage further engagement. And regular (i.e., frequent) engagement leads to increased revenue.
  • Persona journey mapping. A persona is a research-based model of a fictional person who represents a group of customers with the same attributes, motivations, and goals. It helps keep the perspective of a segment of customers in mind, rather than those of an unpersonified list of statistics. (Take, for instance, “Capacity Carl,” whose main problem is not having enough bandwidth to solve problems.) Forrester Research tells us that personas and customer journey maps support a customer-centric design; specifically by helping you identify opportunities to optimize and innovate on existing and new processes/platforms to ensure the Customer Experience is meeting and exceeding customer needs. An optimized Customer Experience results in improved ROI.
  • Integrated Customer Experience data availability. Companies need to be able to use Customer Experience data to make confident, informed decisions when it comes to the customer and the business itself. Integrated data and visibility helps make the most of every customer touchpoint and reduces the investment in recapturing critical customer data.
  • An omni-channel view of Customer Experience interactions. A reliable, real-time view of the complete Customer Experience allows workers to collaborate cross-functionally and target a customer through more personalized interactions. When customers receive personalized experiences, they’re more satisfied and likely to return (and spread the word).
  • Cross-functional visibility. Enabling teams to work together across your organization drives knowledge sharing, increases productivity, and helps keep employees engaged. In a digital era, every employee is a digital employee, and they want consumer-grade technology for work. Modern, seamless technological advances like a social intranet or app-friendly IM and video chat like those provided by Google Hangouts help increase visibility, eliminate redundancies, encourage efficiencies, and foster innovation. Cross-functional work allows for more cohesive vision mapping and goal setting across the business.

You can’t provide a personalized, consistent Customer Experience without knowing who your customers are — their pain points, their motivations, or what it takes to turn them into repeat customers. Learn more about delivering customer-centric experiences from our ebook, Creating an Exceptional Customer Experience.



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