Okay, okay.. We have been talking ourselves blue in the face about the importance of customer involvement. But what if you are already involving your customers? Let's talk optimization of that process. Here are 6 ways for you to optimize ROI on your current customer engagement:
1. Include your omni-channels
Omni-channels are a way for you to utilize how potential and existing customers interact across channels and what significance this has for how they perceive the value of your solution. Optimizing e.g. your website is a great way to improve customer experience, but in the end, omni-channels such as Google searches, social media, newsletters or physichal promotions are just as important for your conversion and retention. See for example how SAS and Norwegian were suggested to optimize their SoMe efforts.
2. Get a third party evaluation of KPIs
Oh, how we all love navel-gazing! It is a known fact that when working intensely with your own projects you obtain some sort of blindness towards your own flaws. Perhaps the volume in your new music app is not as obvious as you think it is - because you know it is there! The same goes for all other processes in your business.
You can add further value to your business by letting someone else evaluate your optimization points. Maybe the best usability is not where you think it is, or you have not really settled on what kind of need you want to address for your customers - KPIs. Have a third party map out opportunities and gaps in your current processes, create roadmaps and take a look at best practices from your industry to help set the KPIs that are right for you.
3. Test on mobile devices
4. Thoroughly integrate your learnings
This is actually the most common reason that companies do not experience the true value of customer involvement - they have a fancy report done, conduct several tests of solutions, and finally... They save it on someone's harddrive and forget all about it. What a shame. If you are not going to integrate and secure your learnings properly, what is the point, really?
Unfortunately we see this way to often, which is also why we are very attentive towards taking a responsibility in integrating learnings from our customer sessions into the business structure. Step 5 could be a way to prevent oblivion, but remember to work towards integration and not only towards a mutual acknowlegdement of the work conducted.
5. Share! No shame in corrections
Networking is everything! We can all learn so much from each other. Even though people might be working in different industries or departmens, in our experience, we all often tend to have a variety of the same problems. That is why we have created UserTribe Network - a place for professionals to meet, learn and inspire each other in an informal atmosphere.
Furthermore, make sure to have the learnings from your customer involvement in writing or somehow illustrated. Anything else will at some point be lost or not utilized properly. Additionally, learnings graphically or linguistlycally illustrated are easy to share among colleagues internally in your organization. Why not use a mutually shared report as the basis of your discussions and conclusions?
6. Narrow casting - but only if relevant. You want the right insights
Look at the people giving you the nectar of your customer-centric initiatives. Are they the right candidates? Do they match your target group and actual customers? Are they potential or already customers? Have they been imprinted through continuous participation in your projects?
These are all important perspectives in choosing the right candidates - so called "narrow casting" - when working with customer involvement. However, you might not need narrow casting. At least that is for example what many institutional organizations experience. Because they are serving the broader public, narrow casting could potentially be damaging for their results. Therefore, the advice must be to always (re)consider the candidates participating in your customer-centric initiatives.