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Customer Understanding

Using Soft Insights to Gain Superior Customer Understanding

Two approaches to gaining customer understanding

  • Option 1 – Conduct traditional robust market research
    • Send out surveys in both print and electronic formats
    • Organise focus groups
    • One to One structured interviews
    • etc
  • Option 2 – Consider looking for softer insights
Customer Understanding – How To Gain Superior Insights

Soft Insights as opposed to data

Essentially this could be classified as immersing yourself in your customers world. Remembering that you may have many segmentation customer profiles.
How to establish soft insights

  • Immerse yourself in your customer’s world
  • Identify the language they use – you will have greatest chance of engaging with them if you use the language they are familiar and comfortable with
  • Establish the problems that they face now
  • What is the future they face – if your lucky a sector enjoying massive growth, or is the industry facing difficult times
  • Conduct your soft insights with an open mind and remove any pre determined expectations. This can be particularly challenging as many companies have a product / service that they have created and now want to sell. This is about identifying what your customers need.

How to get this information

  • Go into the customer world. Now I know that’s scary. Leaving the office / factory but believe me it will provide you with a massive insight
  • Survey without an agenda. I’m not saying don’t have a structure, but certainly don’t go in there armed with pre determined tick box questions, through discussion focussed on the customers issues you will identify what they are looking for. Warning – You might find that what you are offering isn’t on your customers radar
  • All staff need to help in customer insights. Everyone who has a dealing with a customer should be able to gather soft insight

Customer Understanding – How To Gain Superior Insights

  • If you want a breakthrough in understanding what makes your customers tick look outside your current environment
  • Don’t start with the knowledge and constraints before you start the process

Remember the famous quote from Henry Ford after developing the Model T. If I had relied on asking customers what they wanted they would have said “Faster horses”

If you would like more information on gaining an improved customer understanding click here or contact Andrew Goode on 01733 361729 or click here
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