Customer insight and action is one of those terms that is particularly vulnerable to multiple interpretations and misinterpretation.
The definition of customer insight and action I offer is:
“Customer insight and action is the understanding of your customer, based on their buying behaviour, their experiences with you, their beliefs or their needs. Customer insight goes beyond raw data or research, it is a multi-view of your customers derived from a strategic analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.”
Managing your customer experience by collecting feedback, collating customer information, and profiling and analysing the results in a systematic way, is fundamental to business success and will help you to make better business decisions and take appropriate actions.
Customer insight and action tools and techniques
There are many tools and techniques that are available to support customer insight and action analysis, for example:
Customer segmentation: a method to divide your target audience into groups by common characteristics and needs.
Customer journey mapping: describes a customer’s journey, and all their touch points with your business, from their initial engagement with you.
Website analysis: assessing websites from the customer's perspective can help identify where they are letting the customer down, even if they fulfil technical requirements. Website visitor statistics provide a source of data about service use and channel preference that can be fed into insight analysis.
Mystery shopping: an established technique for gaining insight into the customer experience.
Social media: a form of communication and engagement for those customers who prefer to communicate online.
Focus groups: a qualitative form of consultation that brings together existing and/or potential customers to examine a particular issue, product or experience.
Surveys: A quantitative method of understanding customer views. These can be completed immediately after transactions, online, paper based, telephone or via email.
External data sets: Data sets from external sources can provide good base information about your customer population. Combining these with internal customer intelligence helps form a rich understanding of your customer community.
Translating insight into action
Customer insight and action can be gained from an enormity of sources. A focus on customer insight and action helps to both increase customer engagement, driving loyalty and ultimately improving business performance, whilst also increasing your own understanding of who your customers are. This insight can then be used to formulate plans to improve both the customer experience and business performance.
It is critical that you access the right information, at the right time, from the right people, in the right way. Never assume you know who your customers are, and what they want!