Our thinking

Are You Getting to the Heart of Your Customer Needs?

How happy are your customers?

By now we all know about the power of a great question. We also know that our ability to utilise quality data to support decision making and expose new opportunities is constantly growing. The Market Research Industry has long been built on these foundations. How then do we truly unlock the benefits of this brilliant data and solve what are increasingly uncertain problems in a global, connected and seemingly more complex world? Do our current data analytics and processes lead to innovation alone? Probably not. We should be looking more broadly.

As Henry Ford is reported to have famously said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” We need to mature our current As-Is and To-Be improvement mindset to thoughtful insight and a deeper understanding of customer needs to truly deliver an enriching experience to our clients and customers. What is it that both we and our customers don’t know yet? What could directly uplift our business capability to build, and our customer’s ability to receive, a truly great customer experience?

By paying attention to feelings, Design Researchers believe we can open a window into unmet and unarticulated needs. By understanding what makes people tick, through immersed observations of people’s lives, extended discussion and open ended exploration, organisations are uncovering unconscious and unexpected needs and wants. This is creating new value streams and new ways of satisfying clients and customers.

What is the key to opening these insights into what makes life better for both existing and future clients and customers? Customer journey mapping is a foundation piece based on an empathetic understanding of specific customers, also known as ‘personas’. This activity delivers powerful and unique knowledge about how people experience services through the lens of feelings and emotions; highlighting both pain points and positive opportunities for new services and product design. Essentially, we are evaluating an organisation’s service and product offering from the customer’s view – outside in, not inside out.

For example through customer journey mapping we have helped a Superannuation company pinpoint process pain points and reduced processing times by a third, thereby reducing customer churn. We’ve also helped a government agency address internal customer pain points, improving cross business unit communication, reducing rework and increasing solution accuracy.

If you could really understand and surpass your clients and customers needs, making their lives better, why wouldn’t you? Now that’s a good question.