When you visit the NASA museum, you see extensive data usage guiding stellar results, admirable safety performance. and earth-shattering discoveries. DATA. It guides smarter choices, spurs course corrections, inspires fresh thinking, and proves value. In customer experience, how well are we using data? Could we use it better to achieve far more stellar results, efficient performance, and value generation? Yes!
What is your Insights Utilization Rate?
Insights Utilization Rate is a new phrase I’ve coined to represent how well your enterprise is absorbing, adopting, and acting on insights about customers (CX), partners (PX), and employees (EX). You rely on these 3 groups to run your business! Customers fund your budgets and salaries, and employees and partners create and deliver value to customers, which in turn, generates value for investors. This is why I see experience management as concentric circles, with EX at the center, leading to PX, and then CX as the over-arching circle to guide your entire business, all aimed at maximizing lifetime value.
Consider CX data usage, for example: CRM/Sales, Marketing, Service, Success, Design, VoC, etc.
- Marketing tends to use CRM and market intelligence for marketing purposes.
- Service tends to use its data for agent management and digitalization.
- Customer Success uses its data to improve products and urge repurchases.
- CX Design tends to use its data for journey mapping and interaction design.
- Voice of Customer uses its data to influence customer engagement and referrals.
If your CX data is used primarily for touchpoint management, you’re leaving a LOT of money on the table.
This is skin-deep data usage. It’s just tapping the surface of how your business is run. All of the uses listed above are dragged down or lifted up by the rest of your enterprise essentially flying blind. Non-customer-facing groups set policies, standards, and processes for culture, value generation, spending, and coordination.
Without CX, PX, and EX insights informing everyone’s thinking and actions, experience management is like the tail wagging the dog.
Use of CX, PX, and EX insights does NOT add extraneous tasks to employees’ plates. Instead, experience insights should stimulate “tweaking” of what they’re already doing. When you translate insights to each employee group’s lingo, routines, and “what’s in it for me”, they’ll see experience insights as a guide for staying modern, minimizing waste, and increasing value. You do not need your internal audience to learn NPS lingo and so forth — you just need to show them what they can do about experience insights.
Self-service VoC is unrealistic: a few work groups in your firm might take initiative to act on voice-of-the-customer reports, but nearly every group needs the CX team to show them how, follow-up to keep them on-track, and celebrate their progress. In fact, your CX team can generate exponential value by working through all groups who contribute to customers’ headaches and create value for customers. This means 100% of work groups!
While CS work (service, success) is 80% focused on customer touchpoints, CX work is 80% focused on outside-in companywide.
To calculate your Insights Utilization Rate, count the number of potential uses of CX, EX, and PX insights in a category for the denominator, and the number of high-quality uses in that category for the numerator. For example, if you have 10 business units, and 5 of them are using CX insights earnestly, then the ratio of 5/10 is your Insights Utilization Rate: 50%.
24 Vital Needs for Insights Utilization
In 2024, strive to maximize your Insights Utilization Rate in 24 ways:
1. Organizations’ Insights Use
EVERY organization enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights to shape their mindsets, timeliness, interdependencies, and performance standards of their handoffs. Does everyone recognize customers as the source of their budgets and salaries? (Otherwise, you’re in a Ponzi scheme.) Do they realize they’re either serving customers or serving someone who does? Do they see the consequences of their mis-coordination in terms of squandered potential for their budgets and compensation? Show each organization how they can tweak their work approach to:
- Product Teams: continually improve value for underserved, overshot, and unserved customers.
- Account Teams: champion continuity of value across the end-to-end customer journey for customers and investors.
- Support Functions: get crystal clarity for how you help rather than hurt the above-listed Product and Account team goals.
- Senior Leadership Team: make CX insights your North Star for every business decision, with EX insights as next priority, and PX insights as well.
2. Growth’s Insights Use
EVERY growth endeavor enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights to start with a deep understanding of customers’ needs and frequent check-ins with a sampling of customers before moving forward with next steps throughout the growth endeavor, including high responsiveness to ongoing feedback loops. Show each endeavor how they can use experience insights to:
- Product/Service Development: make customer check-ins top priority at each development gate.
- Market/Business Development: line-up operational strengths to segmentation and target markets.
- Pricing/Business Models: emphasize continual value increases from customers’ perspectives.
- Mergers/Acquisitions/Partnerships: start with customers’ well-being as foundation for all decisions.
3. Efficiency’s Insights Use
EVERY efficiency endeavor enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights to cut time, steps, costs, and resources in accordance with what customers don’t want and do want. Whenever efficiency decisions are at-odds with what customers value or what bothers customers, you’re shooting yourself in the foot, because it will end up costing more to serve them or acquire or retain them. Likewise for employees and partners. Show each endeavor how they can use experience insights to:
- Digitalization: design around what makes people tick (customers, partners, employees) and be responsive to ongoing feedback loops.
- Process Management: mistake-proof internal and external processes and policies per outside-in priorities.
- Cost Containment: stop recurrence of prevalent issues causing churn and high cost to serve; ensure value increases.
- Performance Monitoring: focus first on improving customers’ prosperity as the basis for job standards, reviews, and metrics.
4. Business Management’s Insights Use
EVERY managerial routine enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights as North Star for how the business is run. CX strategy is ultimately your business strategy, and vice versa. Your business (or government or non-profit) exists to serve the needs of customers (constituents or recipients) better than any other alternative they have. It makes no sense to manage an enterprise without customers’ priorities guiding every step. Show each owner of managerial routines how they can use experience insights to:
- Strategies/Charters/Roles: start with customers’ views of strengths and shortcomings, and why they’re paying for you.
- Recognition/Rewards/Compensation: emphasize teamwork in right the first time and consistency from customers’ viewpoint.
- Agendas/Reviews/Approvals: connect customer outcomes with financial outcomes as the basis for meetings, reviews, approvals.
- Onboarding/Training/Succession: use customer stories for every role and class; for succession: what have you done for customers lately?
5. Experience Management’s Insights Use
EVERY experience management endeavor enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights to ask more interesting questions in expectations research (qualitative) and realities research (quantitative). Focus on what they’re trying to get done through your brand (i.e. their job-to-be-done, JTBD). Aim everything at maximizing value in that ultimate outcome (JTBD). Perfect the end-to-end experience first for high-potential and core-growth employees, partners, and customers. Use CX insights to guide how you manage EX and PX. Show experience managers how they can use experience insights to:
- Employee Experience: shape their sense of purpose and value, and align the company to employees’ values.
- Partner Experience: simplify and enrich their support of your brand, and strengthen lifetime value for all parties.
- Customer Experience: use their lingo and behavior tendencies in all your communications (including legal, surveys, etc.).
- Investor Experience: show them the connection between customer prosperity and their prosperity.
6. Allies’ Insights Use
EVERY external relationship enterprise-wide should use CX+PX+EX insights to shape attitudes, standards, reviews, and compensation. Make it easy for them to cater to your priorities by sharing with them your customers’ top 2-3 jobs-to-be-done. Your enterprise should drop hurdles that distract your allies’ focus on these priorities. Show managers of allies how they can use experience insights to:
- Alliances: merge your cultures with a shared North Star (JTBD, above) to guide your interactions and deliverables.
- Partners: increase their alignment to your culture, and maximize customer lifetime value.
- Agencies: align their pace and deliverables to your customers’ themes (JTBD).
- Suppliers: base selection, onboarding, communication, and payment on customers’ themes and customers’ prosperity.
Insights Utilization Boosts ROI
Strong insights utilization is the basis for lower costs to serve and lower costs to operate. With 80% to 100% insight utilization rate for any of these 24 vital needs, imagine how much squandered money you will save.
With strong insight utilization rates across many of these 24 vital needs, you may avoid austerity, layoffs, inflation, skimplfation, shrinkflation, quiet quitting, and many other drags on your investors’ returns, your country’s gross domestic product, and our society’s quality of life.
High insights utilization rates make everything you do more magnetically attractive to existing and new customers, partners, employees, and investors. Magnetic attraction boosts price elasticity, relationship strength and longevity, productivity, market share, and revenue growth.