Every day companies gather reams of data that they use at Board and operational level to power the way they operate. Sadly, too much of the research large companies commission is backwards looking and gives very little insight into the fast-changing needs and expectations of customers. When you overlay internal interpretation companies sometimes jump to the wrong conclusions about what they need to do to create higher levels of customer satisfaction.

What is Customer Insight?
It reveals your customer expectations, letting you know what they value the most and what they do not value, on elements such as; service, price and product quality. It also helps you understand how they define a ‘world class experience’ and what they really think of you and your competitors against a world class benchmark. Ultimately it should help you figure out what you improvements would increase their loyalty and advocacy.

Insight is not reams of data, it is the vital few things that will drive the behaviour of your most important customers, which helps to shape a unique Branded Customer Experience.

The impact of getting it right
We can illustrate the importance of understanding what your customer’s really value with one insurance company we worked with. Before they spent time understanding their customer’s expectations, they felt that speed of turnaround on policy documents was key in building revenue. They had received a number of letters of complaint and their operational performance on time taken to dispatch policy documents was not particularly impressive. They ploughed huge resource and cost into making the turn around times on documentation as fast as possible. This back fired, errors on policy documentation crept in and customer frustration increased, causing loyalty to decrease. With the help of customer insight we uncovered that actually accuracy on policy documentation was their customer’s number one priority and internal aims were amended. Meaningless hassle for the customer sending inaccurate documentation backwards and forwards and in turn speeder turnaround on putting their policies live. This insight enabled the insurance company to focus internal resource more effectively.

Insight can shed light on a world of new perspectives for companies, if you look at Unilever for example and their positioning of Dove over the last few years, They have totally overhauled the traditional view to beauty due to a global customer survey they carried out. The survey showed that “only 2% of 3,200 women would call themselves beautiful and 76% of them wanted the idea of beauty to be changed”. From this Unilever gained a better more modern understanding of their customers and how they wanted to be perceived. It showed a need to acknowledge “real beauty” and not a commercially generated beauty. This connected Dove emotionally with their customers and what they really valued. With their revamped mission “to encourage all women and girls to develop a positive relationship with beauty” they have grown their loyal audience to 10.1 million women using Dove everyday.

Breaking down the barriers
Whatever your aims, customer insight is an important first step in achieving your goals. It can challenge internal thinking at all levels, generating great new opportunities and reinvigorate a brand by breaking down barriers and ways of working.

By truly understanding your most valuable customers, the ones that typically represent the significant proportion of your profit and impressing them with a distinctive customer experience your company can reap the rewards of loyal customers and profitable growth.

 If you would like support to uncover what your customers value the most contact cp2 Experience, a Customer Experience Consultancy today – John Aves on +44 (0)7850 603 723 or on email – johna@cp2experience.com