In a rapidly changing world with budgets shrinking, and demands ever increasing for information and knowledge, how do you ensure that what you spend your limited resources on has the biggest impact on what you’re striving to achieve?
You need to ‘discover’ your customers.
If your customers just have to be happy with what you provide, when you provide it, at the quality you’ve decided, you can save yourself some time (at least) by stopping reading here (right here…-> ) Now!
This attitude might have worked for Henry Ford “you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black” but, where alternatives are readily available, a strategy that does not determinedly focus on the customer is ultimately a strategy to nowhere.
Still with me? Then let’s learn how to spend less time burning cash; communicating ineffectually; and wasting valuable time producing things that nobody wants; by examining how we can truly understand customers and the context that they live in. If you can do this, you’ll be able to focus on what part you can play in helping them … which in turn helps grow your ‘bottom line’ and achieves better value for money.
To understand your customer and gain insight into their lives, you first need to identify who they are (or could be!) and how they can be differentiated.
You probably already have mountains of data hidden in databases, spreadsheets, survey forms and workflow systems that capture many of the interactions with customers. If you combine the data you have (the internal data) with larger data sets (the external or ‘big’ data) you’ll develop a fuller and more complete picture (a 360 degree view) of who your customers are.
Start with their attributes, characteristics and demographic information (i.e. descriptive data) and begin to look at their behavioural data (i.e. their transaction, usage or contact history). You can then combine this with attitudinal data (i.e. surveying their needs, preferences or opinions) and how they interact with you (e.g. email, telephone, website or face-to-face). Carrying out this analysis will help you better understand the people you are dealing with and the context they are living in.
Once you have your pot of data you can group your customers into segments (building on existing ones like MOSAIC) based on the patterns you identify around, for example: values; needs; shared issues; or demographics. You might divide up your customers by asking:
- What are the common pressures your customers face?
- What are their chief concerns?
- What is their neighbourhood like to live in?
- What are the key trends that will affect them?
- What is the local job situation like?
Engage with your customers. Even, try talking to them! If you can “walk in their shoes” you’ll better understand the context that they live in and the issues that they face….
Strategy is all about focus and choice.
You decide what aspect of the world you want to address and choose from the myriad of options on offer as to how you want to approach this. Better customer insight gives you the ability to develop targeted value propositions (i.e. solutions; products or services) that will have a real and tangible positive impact on your customers. The challenge is to get data out as insightful information and use it as a lens to focus your decision making. Without having a clear picture of your customers how do you know whether what you are doing impacts on their lives as you want?
Data is an asset. So take the first step, and follow the data crumbs to see where they lead…..
How can Clearview help with your customer insight initiative?
Clearview have the tools and expertise to help you collect and cleanse data from internal data sources, combine with external data sources such as public domain (freely available) and MOSAIC data sets to enable you to put in place a single holistic view of your customers. We can further enable you to capture customer feedback into the system to broaden the view to include customer perception and experience. Once the data is in place, we have the tools to easily analyse the results enabling delivery of the insight you seek.
Whether you’re already on a customer insight journey and need some help with tools or data or looking to start from scratch, then Clearview are here to help.