Head of Customer Research
FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER AS A PERSON
The talk will introduce a new way of thinking about how companies approach understanding their users, customers, consumers, fans, followers etc. – in short, understanding the people whose lives they affect. The new approach and mindset are applicable to companies of any size – from rebellious startups to established “captains of industry” type corporations.
The new research mindset introduced here challenges calcified assumptions about how we approach understanding customers. These assumptions are most vividly apparent in large companies whose bureaucratic structure developed through the years establishes silos and sharp boundaries between understanding people for sales and marketing purposes versus understanding people for product design and development purposes. Once we realize that the final object of our understanding are real people with real behaviors, emotions, motivations, goals, etc., we will recognize that our customer research has to have a common business objective and a coordinated and complementary sets of methods across the whole organization.
The talk will highlight a cross-functional, cross-silo research case study from Zappos – a company that was built and operates on challenging common wisdom and the status quo.
- Understand the person, not the “shopper” or the “user”; UNDERSTANDING THE PERSON INVOLVES EMPLOYING COMPLEMENTARY QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS LIKE MARKET SEGMENTATION, SURVEYS, INTERVIEWS, TRANSACTIONAL DATA MINING, FIELD RESEARCH ETC. BY TRIANGULATING THE RESULTS OF THESE DIVERSE METHODS, THE ORGANIZATION WILL GET A HOLISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR CUSTOMERS AS PEOPLE
- No organizational silos when it comes to customer understanding; WHEN IT COMES TO CUSTOMER RESEARCH CREATE A RESEARCH COUNCIL ACROSS THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL TRADITIONAL SILOS WHICH ARE CUSTOMER-FACING; THEN COORDINATE ALL STRATEGIC CUSTOMER RESEARCH AS A GROUP
- Use complementary research methods LIKE MARKET SEGMENTATION, SURVEYS, INTERVIEWS, TRANSACTIONAL DATA MINING, FIELD RESEARCH ETC.
- Inform the business as a whole
- Company culture matters – TRY TO FOSTER A COMPANY CULTURE OF COOPERATION VERSUS COMPETITION; ALSO FOSTER A CULTURE OF HUMILITY AND CUSTOMER EMPATHY