There’s a quote by Debasish Mridha that perfectly captures the MacKenzie approach to customer insights: “Curiosity is the origin of knowledge. Experience is the origin of wisdom.”
The reason this quote is so powerful is that it illustrates how there are two sides of the customer insights coin. On one side, we must always stay curious; pulling on the threads of data-driven insights to unveil hidden truths. The other side is experience – or action – which brings to life what we uncover through our curiosity. When both elements are present and working in harmony, we tap into the full power of customer insights.
If you’ve ever been sifting through spreadsheets or pages of charts and graphs wondering what it all means, we feel you. Without a bridge connecting statistical analysis to real-world decision making, they’re just numbers. So, we make sure to build that bridge which converts data-driven insights into actionable wisdom. Since our beginning in 1985, we at MacKenzie have sought to be curious, creative, and customer-centric in everything we do. The goal is to empower our clients with the wisdom and knowledge needed to make informed, confident, and agile business decisions. To do that, we go beyond data analysis and results reporting.
Here are a few tips and suggestions to effectively and efficiently bridge the gap between data-driven insights and action-oriented wisdom.
Keeping an open mind throughout the process.
This principle is easier said than done. Whether conscious or subconscious, we all carry biases and preconceptions into new projects – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, preconceptions are usually based on real-world knowledge and first-hand experience.
So, keeping an open mind isn’t wiping away all our informed opinions. It’s acknowledging the validity of our opinions while viewing them as starting points and hypotheses that guide our efforts moving forward. It’s allowing what we learn from new insights projects to challenge our existing beliefs, teach us something new, and shift our perspective.
Focusing on the desired outcomes, not the barriers.
Through customer insights projects, we’re gaining the clarity and knowledge needed to make informed decisions and guide strategic action. The goal is to identify the best next steps, not just make interesting observations.
This action-oriented process might steer us away from what we initially thought was the best approach – which can be uncomfortable. When new information points in a new strategic direction, it can be tough to move on from previous ideas. But that resistance to change interferes with bridging the gap between insights and wisdom. So, in addition to keeping an open mind, it’s helpful to stay focused on the desired outcomes rather than perceived barriers. By emphasizing what’s possible instead of what’s problematic, we allow space for creative thinking and outside-the-box problem solving.
Always hold customers and people front-of-mind.
When launching a new project or strategic initiative, there are a lot of moving pieces. It’s easy to get caught up in the operational aspects or other inward-facing factors. Obviously, this is with good reason because budgets, timelines, and ROI goals are always important.
However, it’s equally important to remember that everything we’re doing is to best serve our customers and equip our teams with the tools they need to achieve their respective goals. So, there’s tremendous value in occasionally stepping back from the business-oriented factors to assess how each phase of the project is benefiting the individuals around us. When our people are set up for success, we increase the likelihood of business success.