Babies are wonderful, a constant source of fascination as you share their discovery of a rich new world and see things afresh through their wide bright eyes. But they also have side effects, some of which can bring you back to earth with a bump! Dealing with nappy changing is a good example – a chore for most of us, but for a few people also an unlikely source of inspiration for innovation.
Topics: Customer Insights
In recent years, customer experience has emerged as a major differentiator for large companies. In a McKinsey survey of senior executives, 90 percent of respondents confirmed that customer experience is one of the CEO’s top three priorities.
So how to start working and innovating on customer experience? There are so many articles, methods, strategies etc. that it can become a confusing and complex task for you as an innovation manager or customer experience manager to even get started.
Organizations are struggling to understand the behaviours of the ‘connected’ customer. Partly it seems executives don’t engage with their brand or business in the way that their customers do. The lack of having a well mapped out customer journey means missing out on opportunities caused by not knowing this, restricts the developing of innovation solutions that map back to all the decision-making that is going on in the customers’ minds. This failure to optimize and innovate might be holding your business back.
I have just returned from the most recent HYPE Regional Innovation Managers Forum hosted by Fujitsu Services in the beautiful City of London and my head is still abuzz with what I’ve seen & heard.
In addition to learning that Queen Elizabeth II is now the UK's longest reigning monarch, the true highlight of my day was watching the corporate innovation professionals in the room let their guards down, open up the discussion and share their most dreaded obstacles in the pursuit of effective idea campaigns.
Different studies have shown that 40-90 percent of innovations fail. Studies have also shown that innovation processes involving customers, especially lead users, are more likely to succeed in the market place since they just have better and more creative ideas than internal product developers.
An Outside-In approach to business
In the outside-in company, as opposed to inside-out one, the key word is need, not product. Their people think expansively. They're totally immersed in the minds of their customers, looking for ways to expand demand. Their business plans and value propositions derive from the marketplace, based on the knowledge gathered at ground level. Often, the needs they define haven't yet been identified by the customers themselves.
Topics: Customer Insights
The Inside-Out approach is guided by the belief that the inner strengths and capabilities of the organisation will produce a sustainable future. The Outside-In approach is instead guided by the belief that customer value creation is the key to success.
As a passionate Customer Insight Strategist I tend to prefer the Outside-in approach to business looking at your customers’ latent/hidden needs and translate them into solutions that will serve them.
However I must say that I am intrigued with companies that do what they believe in and stay close to what they know best.
An Inside-Out approach to business
Topics: Customer Insights
Insights don’t always come together quickly or easily when developing ideas and concepts. Most of the time, it takes a lot of time and effort to get them articulated just right. They must be compelling, without being preachy. They must be truthful, without being too obvious. They must be empathetic, without being presumptuous.
So where to begin? First, insist on actual insights. There are common traps that even seasoned marketers fall into when trying to craft insight statements. One example is mistaking a reverse benefit (“Wouldn’t it be nice if…”) for an insight. Crafting a testable insight starts by stripping out the benefits-in-disguise. Any time I see ‘I want’ or ‘I need’ in a statement, I step back and look for what is behind that want—to find the ‘because’ or ‘so what?’ in it.
Customer journey mapping is not a tool exactly. It doesn’t provide a quick fix to a specific problem. It’s more a framework that allows you to get a grip on many different aspects of customer experience design. It is always about the customer’s experience, but it is up to you how you map that experience and what you map exactly:
- You can use a very wide group of customers or a very specific type of customer. You could even choose to map the journey of a different stakeholder, like for example a supplier.
- You can analyze a highly specific situation, or you can choose to explore a more general journey.
- Then, for every stage of the journey, you can examine customer needs, your objectives, the customer’s objectives, the touch points that play a role, how these touch points are experienced, the emotions that are experienced, how your brand values are expressed, what you wish to communicate and of course whether there are opportunities for innovation.
We are moving from value in exchange to value in use. You don’t want to buy a car, you want to buy mobility. Instead of selling products and services, organizations must develop ecosystems where customers can co-create value with them. This requires a holistic view of the eco-system and can be obtained with Customer Journey Mapping.
First, what is Customer Journey Mapping?
So where do ideas come from? The most popular one is the ‘voice of the customer’ yet this is one of the many ‘voices’ that need to be allowed to speak.
In this fuzzy front end of innovation where ideas are generated, there are many places we can ‘discover and listen’ to the voices that will provide concrete ideas and concepts. Let’s take the time to recognize these and ask you, the reader, do you have a systematic plan to capture all these voices?