Benefits Of Pairing Your CX Strategy With Your Research Strategy

by Jenny on January 30, 2019 Comments Off on Benefits Of Pairing Your CX Strategy With Your Research Strategy

Whether you’re offering a product or a service – within the B2C or B2B space – the ultimate goals should be the same; leave customers satisfied with the value they receive, thrilled with the brand experiences they had, and intent on returning for future business. By accomplishing these goals, your company will invariably achieve whatever 2019 bottom-line objectives have been set.

In working with clients across a variety of industries, we’ve found that accomplishing such goals requires a detailed action plan that is both structured and flexible. A structured plan will offer consistency and solid points of reference to keep the different divisions of your team rowing the same direction. At the same time, maintaining flexibility will enable your team to make adjustments along the way thereby ensuring the direction you’re rowing is consistently goal-oriented.

This detailed, structured yet flexible action plan is what we call a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy and it is commonly the defining line between good brands and great brands. Furthermore, there’s a key distinction between a good CX Strategy and a great CX Strategy which tends to be the inclusion of market research and data analytics.

Taking a step back we see a big opportunity to get the most out of your CX Strategy by integrating your Research Strategy, rather than treating the two as individual segments. The application and benefits of each respective strategy have a lot to offer on their own, no doubt. However when joining forces they provide an additional layer of support that will make an immediate impact wherever you happen to be along the strategic timeline.

Here we’ll discuss some of the benefits of tying your Research Strategy to your CX Strategy and further illustrate how data-driven insights will strengthen and support your ongoing decision making.

Centralize research efforts so resulting data is useful across all teams and departments.

First things first, we want to make sure any investment is set up to yield the highest ROI and positively impact as many departments as possible. It’s common for research and data analytics to be approached on a case-by-case basis, and while this may provide sufficient support for immediate goals it misses the opportunity for longer-term, wider-ranging impact. There’s also a tendency for unnecessary duplicate research efforts when one department’s research is isolated from another or when data isn’t being shared effectively. This waste of time and resources is easily avoidable with a little planning and foresight.

By integrating your Research Strategy into your CX Strategy:
Cross-departmental goals and objectives can be considered during the planning and budgeting phase. This will ensure everyone’s needs are addressed up front and a collective data inventory can start to develop. By having this centralized data inventory, any department can access and review past research findings to see if their questions have already been answered before moving forward with a new project.

 

Develop an accurate and detailed Customer Journey Map (Link previous blog article).

It’s always important to have a clear understanding of your customer’s path to purchase. Beyond that, you should consider your customer’s experiences after making the purchase. By itemizing, plotting and illustrating these various points along the customer lifecycle (from awareness to loyalty) you will have an outline of when and how your customers are interacting with your brand. This is a Customer Journey Map and it is a vital aspect of providing customers with a consistent, seamless and cohesive brand experience.

By integrating your Research Strategy into your CX Strategy:
You will be able to establish the level of impact each touchpoint has on purchase decisions and identify areas that are most in need of attention. From there you will have benchmarks and systems in place to monitor and assess ongoing performance metrics. This will enable your team to make adjustments as needed and measure the impact along the way rather than after-the-fact. The more detailed and accurate your Customer Journey Map, the more effective and efficient your decisions will be across the board.

 

Strengthen existing or build new Customer Profiles.

The modern consumer is a unique individual who is seeking unique brand experiences. Personalization is becoming less of a competitive advantage and more of a requisite for brands to maintain relevance. In order to deliver a memorable customer experience, you have to understand the customer beyond the transaction. This is where the Customer Profile becomes valuable; it combines the traditional details of consumer habits (i.e. purchase patterns) with the personal preferences and lifestyle traits that make each customer unique.

By integrating your Research Strategy into your CX Strategy:
The details and attributes of your Customer Profiles will be based on fact rather than presumption. The most accurate and reliable way to get to know your customers is to engage them in conversation, which is effectively accomplished by conducting market research projects focused on understanding your customers. With the ever-changing trends of the modern consumer market, it’s wise to occasionally update or validate these Customer Profiles to ensure you’re speaking the appropriate language and reaching out through the appropriate channels. The more you know about your customers, the more personalized and engaging their brand experiences will be.

 

Team discussions become data-driven rather than based on opinion and/or emotion.

We’ve all been part of a project where emotions run high and it’s difficult to maintain focus on the tasks at hand. Generally these situations arise because we all want to perform at high levels and ultimately we genuinely care about achieving our collective goals. That said, unstructured discourse can be counterproductive and do more harm than good. It’s often helpful to have factually based resources as a point of reference when having group discussions so that meetings are focused and productive.

By integrating your Research Strategy into your CX Strategy:
Factually-based points of view will help ensure emotion doesn’t overtake reason. Team members will have an opportunity to review and consider any proposed ideas as they relate to what is known rather than jump to conclusions based on what they believe to be true. While there is certainly room for personal or professional experience to guide the way, having data analytics as a beacon will help validate situational or circumstantial aspects so that your entire team can remain on the same page.

 

Produce meaningful and actionable data, not just statistical observations.

It’s important to establish the difference between “interesting statistical observations” and “actionable insights.” A statistical observation may spark discussion, but if it doesn’t help a decision get made then it is essentially useless. The primary objective of research is to yield actionable insights, where the resulting analytics guide decision making and lead to change, innovation and/or progress.

By integrating your Research Strategy into your CX Strategy:
Research and data analytics will always be focused on achieving a specific goal, rather than simply sparking discussion or raising even more questions. It’s easy to take an overly-general approach to research when seeking answers for immediate questions. So when research is attached to the overall objective of improving customer experiences, your team can collectively examine a project’s purpose and methodology to ensure it will support ongoing decision making.

 

 

Jenny

Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

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