The first CX and the City meetup in Toronto took place yesterday on a hot, sunny day, but we escaped the heat a bit at the cool Kasa Moto restaurant. More than 50 research, CX, product and marketing professionals were in attendance to network and enjoy food and refreshments.
It was also a great night of learning. In a panel session moderated by our very own Karen Eisen, experts from Canadian Tire, Jamieson Laboratories, CIBC and Flipp shared how they are using customer insight to improve the customer experience.
Here are some of my key takeaways from their informative discussion.
Canadian Tire: Use insight to meet the needs of different customers
Daniel Marcotte, consumer research manager at Canadian Tire, explained how his team uses insight to meet the needs of three different markets. As the leading retailer in Canada, Canadian Tire aims to provide an assortment of offerings for three groups based on their expectations: best, better and good.
The company has different brands that cater to these different levels, Daniel explained. Insight helps identify what those different groups expect from their experience with Canadian Tire.
Insight should be a springboard for better product design, better communication and better innovation.
Daniel reiterated that insight should be a springboard for better product design, better communication and better innovation. Using insight in a “smart, focused way” drives better decision making, sometimes in a big way, but usually in a myriad of incremental ways to improve a part of the business.
Jamieson Laboratories: Make insight a true strategic partner
A new CEO with an eye for insight brought major changes at Jamieson Laboratories, explained VP Marketing Joel Scales. Discussing how the insight team gained major visibility in the company in just 4 years, Joel explained that having a new CEO meant a change of mindset to be more insight-driven—an opportunity that his team felt ready for.
Today, the insight team at Jamieson works with numerous departments, not just marketing, to help them understand customers better and make smarter decisions.
Insight teams need to use their expertise to call out potentially false assumptions about customers.
To be a true strategic asset for the company, insight teams need to use their expertise to call out potentially false assumptions about customers, according to Joel. Asking “is this something we really know, or is this someone’s belief that has become institutionalized?” is important—and something that insight can help answer.
As for ROI, Joel said there are different ways of measuring the contribution of the research team. One way is through research cost savings. For example, for the company’s insight community, the marketing team looks at all the projects they run and determine the cost if those were outsourced through custom research. Joel’s team also measures specific changes to business activities that research touches. For media performance, for instance, the company identifies the optimizations made through insight, and measures the change to performance year-over-year.
The big, audacious goal when it comes to ROI is measuring the value of insight: to tie wider, organization-wide decisions influenced by insight to specific business outcomes. It’s not an easy task, admitted Joel, but one that is worth pursuing.
CIBC: Treat CX as a key differentiator and use insight to prevent bad decisions
At CIBC, one of Canada’s biggest banks, customer insight “touches everything and anything.” That’s according to Jas Singh, CMRP, senior consultant of consumer and market research.
CIBC’s research team is so busy because it essentially acts as a third-party validator for the bank. Jas explained that to get resources and funding for projects, many teams are required to get insight to test the efficacy of their proposed ideas. Projects run a wide gamut: Stakeholders collaborate with research team from high-level ideation testing to advanced product and service testing.
Another reason why insight plays a big role in the company is because CIBC sees customer experience (CX) as a true competitive differentiator. Customer insight helps reveal “key moments of truth” in the customer journey, helping the company identify and address potential buyer pain points.
Customer insight helps reveal "key moments of truth" in the customer journey.
Customer insight also helps reduce risks at CIBC. The research team regularly flags product ideas that, based on customer feedback, have lower probability of success. The bank considers this a win, helping avoid potentially costly failures in the market.
For its efforts, CIBC’s research has taken home several industry awards. In 2016, the team won an award from MRIA for best in class research initiatives for the CIBC Smart Account, along with some of its research partners including Alida.
Flipp: Work collaboratively with your CX team
Dave Chen, senior insights manager at Flipp, shared with the audience how having an “insight mindset” really makes a difference in a technology business. Flipp is a shopping app available in both the US and Canada, and as such serves many different regional markets that are all different from each other in important ways.
The young company, which has about 400 people now, invested early in customer insight because it realized the importance of understanding consumers. Having a leadership team and individual contributors who have an data-driven mindset contributed to the creation of the insight team, according to Dave.
Find a common goal and leverage each other’s wins.
Flipp also has a CX team that works closely with the insight team to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Dave and the company’s CX lead have a shared passion for customer engagement and building empathy for the customer, and they work collaboratively on projects both big and small.
Dave shared this advice for researchers who are working closely with CX teams: Find a common goal and leverage each other’s wins
Are you making insight-backed decisions?
This informative discussion with CX and insight leaders from Canadian Tire, Jamieson Laboratories, CIBC and Flipp underline the importance of having an insight-driven approach when it comes to improving the customer experience. These industry-leading Canadian brands have invested in really understanding their customers—and they are reaping the benefits as a result.