Operationalize Insights to Drive Business


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According to Annette Franz [@Annettefranz], “A key component of a VOC Initiative is getting the right feedback at the right time from the right customers. Then glean insights, create action plans, and drive it all back to the right departments and the right employees who take action at the right touch points at the right time.” This was the basis of a recent #CXO chat as we discussed, “Operationalize Insights to Drive Business” with guest Annette Franz, Seasoned Client Services (CX, VOC, SaaS) executive.

Operationalizing business insights means really understanding the cause and effect of an event that is not always obvious then transforming this insight into an action plan that evangelizes new business practices. To do this, organizations must have information access tools that give broad access to users so they can glean insights. Analytics must be created and discovered as users create data—not days or weeks later. Real-time analysis is critical.

This, in itself, is a challenge. Data collection is hard and constantly growing—thus Big Data challenges. People only augment the challenges in data collection and information sharing process with inconsistencies in data creation. Companies need to find the ideal mix of people, tools and processes to operationalize insights. The key is to enable users to work and create information that is most effective in their job while creating a single, intelligent view across all of their mediums.

Very departmentalized, global organizations find it even more difficult to create standards for operationalizing insights. Yet companies must implement steps to begin chipping away at their silos. By creating and setting factors and markers in advance, they can measure progress. The key question then becomes, “Have changes occurred?” It’s important to remember these types of changes are always evolving—it isn’t a one-time activity.

Here is a summary from the #CXO chat with guest [@Annettefranz]:

How do you define “insights?”

[@Clairaudience]: Insight is the context you infer from data and information to solve a problem.

[@Michael_Lytle]: “Insights” = valuable information not readily available through normal channels.

[@NPorte]: Insight is wisdom from analysis of data. It can be used to improve org processes.

[@ValaAfshar]: Customer insight is any information that can be used to improve service delivery and bolster customer value and experience. It’s information that enhances knowledge of customer engagements with potential to lead to competitive differentiation.

[@JBondre]: For me, an “insight” is an actionable epiphany that comes from some form of data—a truth that wants to be integrated.

What tools do you need to glean insights? What analytical methods do you use?

[@SMSJOE]: A good dashboard helps summarize key data inputs.

[@Clearaction]: My favorite tool for developing insight is cross-organizational workshops that analyze the root cause of customer comments of customer experience key drivers.

[@Kathikaiser]: Combine metrics and analytics with direct customer and product interaction via usability testing.

[@Hoovers]: Tools for customer insight should enable access to full history of the customer’s prior interactions across all channels. Companies also need search-based apps to overlay existing repositories. A definite value-add for complex customer interactions!

[@ValaAfshar]: Training is a key tool to ensure customer insight is well understood—design thinking and process is a success factor. Regardless of the tool, it is your people, processes and culture that will convert customer insight to customer delight.

What are some of the challenges to getting the proper insights?

[@Clearaction]: Collecting the right data

[@Hoovers]: Data quality issues must be addressed to improve customer satisfaction.

[@Lttlewys]: Skewed data, people gaming and too many variables that are subjective vs. objective

[@Jbondre]: Data overload, and time—collecting data in mass is easier these days, but understanding it requires the same amount of effort.

[@Ken_Rosen]: Challenges include breaking thru pre-existing bias

[@Nporte]: It is challenging to link operational, financial and feedback data in order to gain true insights.

[@ValaAfshar]: Biggest challenge to bolstering customer insight is the lack of enterprise transparency between lines of business. Customer insight is challenged by disparate systems and functional silos that don’t interoperate—this includes people. Poorly selected design and research techniques can lead to misleading customer insight need iterative process for continuous improvements.

[@Kathikaiser]: Coordinating data across the organization for an integrated response—it’s like the blind man and the elephant. Also, follow-up: “How do organizations share customer info across departments?”

What tools do you need to operationalize insights?

[@LoisMarketing]: Outsourcing data collection and analysis, outsourcing focus group organization and other customer insight

[@Suchimishra]: A committed team who believes that the insights are meaningful enough to translate to customer delight.

[@Nporte]: A multi-disciplinary “Customer Advocate Team” can be very effective for operationalizing.

[@Jbondre]: We have a work-smart team that has a rep from all departments on it. We discuss how insights can affect process, and how they are connected.

[@ValaAfshar]: To operationalize customer insight, focus on training your employees to collaborate horizontally and vertically.

[@Sanchezjb]: A learning culture, employee empowerment and feedback loops are key to operationalize insights.

Key takeaways:

[@Annettefranz]: The right tools, the right data, the right people, the right touch-points, and the right culture are needed to make it happen.

[@Nporte]: Organizations need to move data to insight then insight to action—all is dependent upon the right people and tools.

[@Sanchezjb]: Operationalizing customer insights requires forethought and support to put in place what’s needed to do this. Getting the right insights is one challenge. Getting right action(s) is next challenge. A learning culture bridges those two.

[@ValaAfshar]: Build your customer insight strategies with a singular focus and call it the “customer for life” project.

[@LoisMarketing]: Rather than focusing on “cool” tools and “cool” data that you think your business needs, focus on the “right data” and what you’ll do with it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stacy Leidwinger
Stacy Leidwinger serves as product management director for the Vivisimo Velocity Information Optimization Platform. In her role, she assists in driving product roadmap, market requirements, product positioning as well as interacting closely with customers and partners to understand their information challenges.


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