The average consumer is now so sophisticated that they want a seat at the table of their chosen company. This is not the kind of seat that gives them earning power with such a company, but one that means their voice is heard – and their opinions valued.
For a while now, this has been the major difference between the companies who are gaining all the customers and those dropping them faster than they can recoup. As we head into the year 2020, this race to obtaining better consumer insights is just going to get tougher.
No matter how crowdy it gets, though, there will always be winners and losers. In this piece, we have detailed some of the approaches that will separate those who win big from those who lose out on this front.
1. Gaining Customer’s Trust Back
It has seemed like companies are just putting out customer surveys for the fun of it in recent times. It is almost as if they are compelled to run these surveys as a form of engagement with the consumers, but are not obligated to go through with the data they get from these customer insights.
This is starting to create a boiling situation of customers who simply do not care about these surveys anymore. After all, why pour out their minds to brands who would still go on to do things their way instead?
Before companies complain that this is not true, data supports that research is under-used in areas besides product testing.
Putting things in numbers, 85.7% of business executives claimed in a published report that user research is only used to test product concepts within their business. Even if the meager percentage of the remaining companies were rewarding the consumer’s efforts with results, that would still not be enough to convince them to stay.
It is, thus, little wonder why firms will start seeing fewer replies to their almost automated survey requests in the year 2020.
However, there is need for consumer insights now more than ever. To prevent a further decline in keeping the old research base and cultivating new consumers to generate valuable insights, firms will start pushing for better implementation of what their consumer base is out to get.
2. Introducing Advanced Technology
Following from the above, there is a considerable drop across the pond of how many consumers are now willing to get into surveys and other modes of generating customer insights. Seeing as that would make things worse for companies, introducing new models of generating these insights become important.
Some of the workable models to be seen will include, but won’t be limited to:
- Investing in quality data science and technology models to collect valuable streams of big data, analyzing them for patterns and trends which will be useful to the company
- Building quality text-to-speech technologies to mine data from digital consumer transactions
- Developing the above model to work with call-center issues too, allowing for better interaction and analysis of consumer needs to help streamline the product for the future/ build newer solutions.
In this case, the top companies will seek out the expertise of more advanced brands in the fields they want to tackle rather than building an in-house team that will take years to grow up to speed.
3. Leveraging Outside Expertise
Customer insights are the new gold rush. Thus, the best brands will be the ones who quickly get in on what it has to offer them before others start catching up.
The best way to make that happen is not by developing an in-house team of customer insights generators and analysts – but leveraging the skills, expertise, and experience that other established brands have in this market already.
However, a lot of companies will, for one reason or the other, prefer to keep everything in-house. Of course, this brings a couple of advantages to the table.
On the first front, that could mean a relatively faster process between coordinating data and using such metrics in decision making. It also ensures the company can handle more of its tasks within the business setup, leaving little room for external influence.
The problem, however, stems from the company realizing how far behind it might be in the latest consumer insight generation, execution and implementation strategies.
This would not be the fault of the in-house team since they have simply not been equipped with the right technical and analytical tools to keep up with the ever-demanding and currently exploding world of consumer insights.
Likewise, it is almost impossible to fit the time needed to properly handle customer insights into an established company’s model of operation.
For now, research analysis takes about 2.7 times more than the time it took to conduct the same research. If that means anything, it is how demand for the product of the research will keep going up and can get too demanding for a non-well-equipped team.
In retrospect, it is logical that brands shelve out these tasks to hands better equipped to make such happen.
4. Moderated User Interviews are Next
A Customer Insight Trend and Benchmarks 2019 report for the year 2020 discovered that an amazing 89% of companies relied on consumer surveys to generate their consumer insights. With such a high figure, it can easily be inferred that surveys of this kind are highly effective to get what the company wants in the way of consumer insights.
Thus, it can be said that its popularity comes from being easily accessible.
In line with this, moderated user interviews – which is already used by 88.2% of the surveyed companies – are coming to take the lead.
They have already been found to hold greater value, offsetting the fact that they are difficult to execute for some.
5. Wisdom, Knowledge, and Data
Firms all around the world – up to 40% of them – no longer feel comfortable trusting the judgment of their employees based on their skills alone. This is not for the lack of proper training and skills on the parts of these employees, but for the fact that things are not always the way they seem.
That said, these employees need to have valuable data backing their claims and reports if they hope to be taken seriously at all.
As of the time of this writing, less than half (48%) of all executive decisions are made with quantitative data to back them up – leaving more of every other thing to chance. This is less than ideal, prompting these companies to make remedial moves.
Starting in 2020, almost all employees will be required to undergo formal training in data literacy related fields to promote the new data culture within their businesses. This makes it possible to ensure that not only the decisions made at the very top are data-backed, but the choices made down below are also enjoying the support of relatable insights.
This makes it possible for:
- the average employee to recognize valuable consumer insights and data where they must have been turning a blind eye before;
- the usual data seekers to gain new insights into what makes for valuable data and how to seek it out; and
- the top execs to make better decisions with improved peace of mind since it has all been backed by data.
Customers and consumers are wanting more and more from companies and firms they deal with, and that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Following the above approaches and implementing them squarely, though, should keep such a concerned brand among the winning ones.