Knowing your user’s opinions as well as specific characteristics is important for many different departments within a company. Most companies make decisions that directly influence their customers on a daily basis. Such decisions are made during product development, when planning how to address users, during the sales process or while planning a marketing strategy with appropriate content. Regardless of their area of work, teams should always be aware of the effects of their activities on customers.
During these processes, the focus on the users’ point of view often gets lost. This problem is usually not rooted in missing information about the target group as user research or first surveys and interviews have usually already taken place at this point in time. The problem lies in the evaluation, organization, and storage of said data as well as the connection of insights that have been discovered.
Solving this problem with Customer Insights Management
Customer Insights Management or Customer Information Management describes the collection, processing, analysis, and interpretation of information concerning the customer group. This information includes consumer behavior, wishes, needs, motivation and opinions that your users have.
Customer Insights Management assumes, that nobody can answer questions such as “Why are our sales numbers receding” as well as users themselves. Other conclusions that can be drawn from customer data can give you insight into potentials for your future product development. E.g. “Does my product satisfy users’ needs?” “Which weaknesses do users see in my product?” “Which features are users willing to pay for?”. As a matter of fact, more features aren’t always better. Because of this, companies that are user-oriented should know exactly what their users want and skip implementing unnecessary extras.
On top of that, users aren’t only influenced by decisions that directly influence the product you’re developing for them. Insights regarding your users you’ve made should also find their way into the marketing and customer relations management departments. Customer insights can do more for you than ensuring the product you’re offering fits users’ needs. It can also help you to individualize the way you’re addressing your users. While the most simple step is always to address your users with their name, you can also start to provide them only with information that is directly relevant to their situation at that moment. Doing this can increase Customer retention as well as conversion.
Good Management for Maximum Results
Information regarding your users is the key component for defining successful products and strategies but at which point in the process do you start managing your data? We already discussed the fact that user-related data is usually available in some form-sometimes even in great amounts. The problem is that simply having the data won’t get you very far if you can’t find a way to evaluate and manage them efficiently. Evaluating data manually can take up a lot of your time and if you’re lacking resources you simply won’t have the time to evaluate your data deeply.
One solution to this problem is getting help during the evaluation process. Standardized quantitative tests and evaluation methods can sometimes be automatized and ideally, certain patterns within your data should also be recognized by AI. When it comes to evaluating qualitative user research data, researchers have to do a lot of manual work, as this is a process that researchers are usually very involved in. However, you can also use tools that help you with tagging and organizing your qualitative data.
Having evaluated your data you should try to save your results and insights at one central location. That way you can make sure that your results won’t get lost. On top of that, you’ll be able to keep an overview of all of your insights and will be able to directly compare data gathered during different studies. Different results from different product phases can be connected directly that way. Even data that is a byproduct of different (marketing) activities can be added and used. Having a comprehensive dataset as your basis, gaps in your company’s knowledge will become obvious. Use additional research in a strategic way to close them.
Communicating Customer Information with Purpose
Knowledge that isn’t relevant to the recipient is usually ignored and as a result worthless. Still, every stakeholder who makes decisions that will influence customers and the market has to be supplied with relevant information. Consequently, the goal isn’t to provide decision makers with as many decisions as possible but providing them with information that is as relevant as possible.
The first step in this direction is getting all departments up to date concerning the definition of relevant market segments, customers, brands and products. Having built a solid basis for a consistent communication strategy, you should focus on passing relevant information on to decision makers.
Companies shouldn’t feel like they possess an unmanageable amount of data while still not really knowing anything about their customers. Instead, they should start to process and manage customer insights and information regarding their users in a meaningful way. That way decision processes are more transparent and backed by information. Resources needed for research are reduced as you’ll spend less time doing duplicate work while your understanding of your customer base is increased. In the long run, this will satisfy your users needs more efficiently and increase your revenue.
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