A customer insights platform can be your business’ most powerful tool if you keep it engaging and cohesive with your organizational goals.
Customer insight platforms have become an effective tool to build relationships with your customers. Anyone who knows a thing or two about the importance of customer centricity can tell you about the benefits of using a platform to gather, measure, and analyze customer insights. To have a platform that allows you to talk and connect with the people who matter the most to your organization has become a must-have in order to keep up with a competitive landscape.
Customer insights platforms cater to two kinds of personas or end users: those in your organization—CX researchers, executives looking for a high level platform—and your customers.
What’s great about a customer insight platform is the customization and simplicity behind its use. A platform that integrates everything you need, from quantitative and qualitative research collection methods to in-depth interviews and video feedback, and transforms your data into actionable insights, can be a game-changer for your business.
Having said that, you need to make sure that over time, you are constantly monitoring and managing your platform to have the customer data work in your favor. Customers are constantly changing and your platform should change with them too.
How do you keep your platform engaging, up-to-date, and valuable once the novelty is over? Here are a few tips that can help you out.
1. Ask yourself, are you fulfilling your original goals?
When you first decide to build a customer insights platform, you’ll most likely have a few goals in mind for the short run. Though these goals may change as you look to achieve different objectives, your platform should always serve a valuable and insightful core purpose for your business.
Think about your original objectives. Did you manage to achieve them? What did they mean for your organization? Have your goals changed? Do you have to update the suite to fulfill current goals? How can you benefit more from your platform? There are many questions you can ask yourself to ensure that your platform still serves the right purpose. Keep track of the contrast between your past and current goals in order to uncover the difference that your platform is making for your business.
Another piece of advice is to use a single and complete platform that allows you to gather the different answers you need from your customers as they change over time. If your platform really is the whole package, then it will get the job done efficiently no matter how much your organization’s goals evolve over time.
2. Have your customers changed?
Just like your organizational goals, your customers can and will change. The difference is that you can only manage how your company’s objectives evolve internally, whereas your customers are usually influenced by external factors. To be successful, you have to keep up not only with your customers but also with their changing environment.
For instance, say a new holographic phone that allows customers to do all day-to-day activities—such as facetime, call, text, browse, and shop—through a hologram enters the market. Your customers no longer need to look down on a screen, they see their counterpart appear right in front of them as if projected by the screen. How will this affect you?
To start with, you'll have to adapt and modify your website to fit the hologram format. Your e-commerce transactions and social media channels will probably need to be adjusted as well so that they are hologram-friendly. All in all, your customers will change as they accomodate to this new way of life.
Think about the following questions when looking to keep things interesting in your insights platform: are your customers the same as they were when you first built the platform? Have there been any other demographic, psychographic, or geographic factors added to your target market segment? Has the business expanded to include other market segments? How can you transform your platform to suit the current customers?
3. Get feedback that aligns with your company’s current goals.
It goes without saying, but as you become more comfortable with the management of your platform, you must ensure that the feedback you gather from your customers aligns with what your company currently wants to achieve. It is clear that if goals and customers change,, priorities will change as well. Once you answer the questions to the two first tips, you must ensure that your platform has been updated with the right channels and modules to gather the accurate, most recent and relevant pieces of information from your customers. You don’t want to be two months in on a project and realize your customer insights are based on answers to questions you made two years ago. Always keep your platform up to speed!
Again, the more integrated that your platform is, the more it will work in your favor.
4. Track user behavior insights and actively engage with your customers
Another thing you should look into regularly is user behavior. Is your community active? Are your customers constantly logging in and sharing their feedback? Which modules are they using the most? When you look into these answers, think about how your customers are using your platform and ways to keep them interested and engaged. You can build an insight community with loyal customers and yet get nothing out of it if you are not constantly interacting and giving back. Make your customers feel special for forming part of your community, otherwise you might just lose their loyalty without even realizing it.
One way you can do this is by sharing product development updates with the community, based on the feedback you gathered. Give them an exclusive opportunity to view the product before the rest of the world, let them know that they are part of the process, and therefore, part of your company. Don’t forget to ask your customers for feedback on their experience with your platform and track user behavior in order to learn which form of data collection they enjoy the most. Consider doing a focus group to get deeper insights on what they've encountered, and ideas for improvement.
And remember, an online community is just one of many features that you can add to your customer insights platform.
5. Communicate with your community consistently
Last but not least, you should also communicate with them on an ongoing basis, as if you were old friends catching up. Casual interactions are the key to develop trust with your customers: it allows them to feel comfortable with sharing their feedback and encourages them to stay active in your platform.
A good way of opening up and maintaining the lines of communication with end users is by designing a weekly, monthly, or even quarterly newsletter, one that highlights newly launched features, shares tips and tricks, and includes a link to a user experience survey to collect ongoing feedback. This will enable honest conversations about how your customers feel when using your platform, opening the door for adequate changes if necessary.
Make it easy on your customers
These tips will help you to build and improve your customer insights platform constantly and make the most out of it, whilst keeping your customers happy and captivated.
For extra points, strive to make your platform as user-friendly as possible. Your customers will be more inclined to share their feedback and opinions if the platform is easy to access, easy to read, and easy to share content and have conversations in it. Though simplicity is key, consider also the platform’s efficiency when collecting the insights that mean the most to your business, whether it is to develop a product, create marketing content, make strategic decisions, evaluate designs, etc. The combination of these tips, integration and connectivity, are the recipe for success.