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A real-life example of the importance of consumer insights in decision-making for leaders is the case of Apple and its foray into the world of wearable technology. 

Apple had to make the decision to launch a new product line of wearable technology, such as the Apple Watch. To make this decision, Apple had to analyze consumer insights to determine if there was a demand for such a product. They had to consider factors such as market trends, customer preferences, and competitors' offerings.

By leveraging market research and customer insights strategy, Apple was able to make an informed decision to launch the Apple Watch and become the top player in the smartwatch market. This decision was made possible by leveraging customer insights to inform the decision-making process and ensure the product's success.

Compared to 40% of businesses without a customer-focused CEO, 59% of organizations with a CEO engaging in customer experience report more substantial revenue growth. Many C-suite teams identify that they need to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers' needs. This is because they make business decisions frequently from a perceived profit generation standpoint. And if those decisions are not fruitful, those earnings won't materialize.

A leader might challenge a decision by asking questions or raising concerns about the decision, such as: 

• What evidence do we have that this decision will be successful? 

• What could be the potential risks associated with this decision? 

• Are there any other alternatives we should consider before making this decision? 

• How will this decision affect our stakeholders? 

• How will this decision affect our long-term goals?

The good news is that customer insights can now do much more, thanks to technological innovations. Of course, it might be tricky to embrace this transformation and question executive decisions made using customer intelligence. Still, there are ways to achieve this with little risk and swiftly demonstrate the value.

The Fundamental Sources For Consumer Insights

 

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Before approaching your C-suite with your customer insight-based CX plans, you need to access valuable customer insights to make a thorough, foolproof proposal. But finding a needle in a haystack can be how you feel when gathering the most relevant customer insights. 

Customer insights can help you focus on the channels, positioning, services, and messaging worth your time and money by separating the signal from the noise. However, they are not accessible from a single location in a single file.

Online reviews

As you start, the most reliable way to learn what your customers think of your goods and services is through online reviews. Use them to find out what customers think your brand is doing well, what they think needs work, and what they think the competition is doing better.

Social media

Moreover, social media is a fantastic avenue to obtain customer insights because people aren't shy about expressing their praise or complaints. In fact, the most popular platform for American customers to interact with brands is social media, particularly among Gen Z consumers. To keep an eye out, you can follow comments and blog entries.

Surveys

Since the days of door-to-door marketing, businesses have used surveys, but nowadays, we have online survey tools to share surveys through email, social media, apps, and more. Point-based, multiple-choice, open-ended, or any combination can be used in surveys.

Competitor Reviews

The reviews of your competitors might also help you learn more about your audience. But, again, online communities and groups on social media platforms for those product users are good places to look for these.

CRM Tools

Based on their spending habits, you can see which goods and services are the most popular, generally and among specific customers. You can obtain this data if you keep track of purchases in your CRM or use an e-commerce platform.

How to Challenge Executive Decisions Based on Customer Data?

Challenging a leader's ideas can still seem like a difficult undertaking. You want to convey your message in the most compelling way possible, but you also don't want it to sound condescending or contentious.

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An idea developed through data, alignment, and effective communication is more likely to be accepted and considered. Here is an eight-point strategy for proving the value of customer insights to your senior management to achieve the desired outcomes. As a result, you can implement your insight-based CX strategy to improve your business.

Step 1: Pick Insights That Really Matter

It would be best if you completely understood their customers because there are so many new touchpoints to grasp to fully comprehend customer behavior. Your organization may have a lot of data that is not shared or used today; cross-channel visibility is an excellent example of a typical blind spot.

Online and social media data are clear examples of recent behavioral data that are sometimes ignored but are increasingly vital for assessing customer temperament. Moreover, it would help if you had a more detailed understanding of their customers. They are becoming more community-oriented and self-organizing into specific specialty groups of interest and necessity. 

For example, a Clootrack study on QSR revealed that women expected variety in fast food while men wanted better staff behavior. To truly understand consumer wants, collecting and analyzing data traceable to the actual customer at the point of engagement is essential. This method goes well beyond the regular insights frequently provided by reporting from organizational data warehouses.

Furthermore, you should use your customer analytics skills to gain deeper information before focusing on the insights that will benefit your consumers. The data contains nuggets of wisdom. Managing this complex, rich data environment results in less noise and more significant insights.

Step 2: Get Feedback On Your Idea

Our ideas sound fantastic, particularly when we are swirling about in our minds. However, to determine if your idea is good, you need to reality-test it before putting it into action. 

Accept the critics. If your colleagues don't immediately embrace your CX plans, don't dismiss them as change-averse. Also, pay attention to their opinions, then build on them with their criticisms. Their objections could indicate weaknesses in your CX strategy.

After you've strengthened the base, acknowledge their contributions to the concept. (This is referred to as a win-win situation: You receive support for your ideas and help your co-workers feel valued.)

Trust your instincts even if you receive many more negative comments than anticipated. Just keep in mind that if you want to express the importance of your idea and promote its execution, you must be able to stand firmly behind it.

Step 3: Get Your Co-workers On Your Side

The highest percentage of any job role: 95% of top firms consider CX job positions as crucial to achieving business growth.

People once held the opinion that leadership is required to initiate and direct the implementation of customer insight and data analytics in a company. However, a bottom-up strategy is frequently more successful when the customer is the fundamental objective.

Building a bottom-up consensus means incorporating suggestions from all parties involved in the CX implementation, especially those carrying out the core CX tasks, such as your marketing, analytics, product, and customer rep teams. 

These people can provide input based on their experience as you test your idea. Additionally, when you present your proposal to the higher-ups, they will be the ones to support you.

Think about collaborations while using a bottom-up approach. Encourage your co-workers to join your CX proposal. Assign them specific duties and invite them to the conversation about how you will determine the effectiveness of implementing customer insights. 

This tactic asks that every aspect of the process—including finances, timetables, and outcomes—be entirely transparent.

Step 4: Ensure Having an Appropriate Data

When the data that answers your customer-related queries can be used to create a narrative about the consumer that "speaks" to the entire organization, it becomes a competitive advantage.

What is needed is a single perspective on how well firms are doing it and a consistent vocabulary for how they comprehend the customers they serve and wish to serve. Gut feelings are insufficient. Empirical evidence must support decisions that can effectively communicate to all C-suite teams.

Therefore, be sure to acquire statistics and research to support your ideas. If you've researched how to implement a fresh proposal, your senior management may find it much easier to accept it. Then, create a CX strategy, present your vision, and propose an answer.

Since it's possible that you don't fully grasp the circumstances surrounding your management's choice, taking a moment to imagine yourself in their position could help you to appreciate their viewpoint and decision-making process.

Giving your senior management a flat "No" or completely ignoring their point of view pits you against them. Instead, maintain a pleasant attitude, acknowledge their approach, and then present your own ideas with the support of relevant and robust customer insights.

Step 5: Orchestrate Your Customer Journey 

It is crucial for businesses that rely on consumer engagement to route interactions effectively to the appropriate resource. To offer a fantastic CX, matching customers with the proper agent is essential, but it is only one part of the CX puzzle. It's now more critical to plan the entire experience than just providing quick customer service for one-off interactions.

You may use orchestration to gather pertinent data from several systems and carry it in interactions with your senior management. Making your proposal research-backed. By adding the appropriate knowledge on top of each stage and interaction, effective orchestration will create seamless experiences from the user's perspective.

Step 6: Appeal To Loss Aversion

A prevalent psychological bias known as loss aversion refers to our innate drive to avoid loss by being prepared to execute a risky action. For example, if you argue that business decisions based on customer insights might prevent more losses, your superiors might be persuaded to try it out.

To do this, you must present proof of the problem's existence and the current loss of time, money, productivity, or morale that results from it. Then, explain why devoting time and resources to implementing customer insights is worthwhile.

Step 7: Start Small

Decide what is most crucial. It clearly specifies the purpose (markets, consumers, products, etc.) and vision (conceptualizing your organization's future should or could be). It guides the business's path over the long term and makes it easy for your senior management to understand your viewpoint.

You may identify the priority issues from customer analysis—those crucial to the business's overall health that the entire management team must give complete and urgent attention to. On your key customer issues, your CX strategic plan should be centered.

Furthermore, clearly define what you need to accomplish to address the priority concerns by describing the intended objectives.

Step 8: Have Them Experience CX Insights Firsthand 

Without getting to know your consumers and developing a close relationship with them, your senior management cannot deliver outstanding customer experiences. 

Make them ask customers directly and often about the company's performance, rather than just through the customer success team, and dig deep for their honest opinions. They'll gain the knowledge they need from this to give each customer a wonderful experience.

To help them comprehend it better, send them through your CX. Then, implement procedures allowing them to monitor how your company's services or products are used and perceived. 

Request them to complete the entire customer experience and journey to confirm that best practices and requirements for quality assurance are being satisfied. Be receptive to consumer feedback and collaborate with customers to address any problems they may have encountered.

If at all feasible, they should immerse themselves in the customer experience by taking on the role of a customer. Finding points of friction that might not be obvious when analyzing processes and procedures through a more objective lens requires understanding the customer experience on a personal level.

The Key Takeaways

Making decisions with the help of customer insights differs from that made with standard business viewpoints. Continuous customer feedback from even a tiny community like this can produce a much higher return on investment than the traditional decision-making method.

Offer your viewpoint, but support it with facts. Construct the business case. Describe how and why your proposal is superior and the results you may expect if you implement it. It's possible that senior management never considered it.

Read More: Customer Insights: A Detailed Guide