James MandersonJames MandersonJuly 15, 2020
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7min3315

As we continue to live through a global pandemic, one certainty is that COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives forever. In particular, consumer life and behaviours have been remodelled by the crisis. It’s a challenging and still evolving landscape for brands to navigate, but to stay relevant is simple – treat customers as humans and as individuals.

In the last decade we’ve seen consumers take more power, dictating how and when they’d like to engage with brands. The pandemic has accelerated this, shifting the power firmly into consumers’ hands. Brands must now adapt to new preferences and behaviours – such as an increase in online shopping – that have the potential to become permanent even as lockdown measures ease off around the world.

Predicting consumer behaviour has never been easy and it will only continue to be predictably unpredictable.  Will consumers stay at home, stay local, or travel? Will they spend more to distract themselves or limit their expenses to necessary items? It will be crucial for brands to closely monitor the behaviour and adapt accordingly to individuals if they want to engage customers and to not only recover but thrive post-pandemic.

With the right teams and tech, it’s possible to get to a point where you know your customers inside out and can communicate to them in a personalised and human way.

Listen to customers in real-time

Good relationships come from listening carefully, making decisions about what you hear and acting accordingly. Engagement with consumers should be the same and key to that is the ability to collect data in real-time. Doing so lets brands automate decision-making with real-time, data-based insights about how their customers are interacting with them, for example on their websites, in their stores or in their apps. With this, brands can tailor their communications strategy and engage customers in the moments that matter – not hours, days or weeks too late to be relevant.

Our data shows that in May, 94 percent of new retail consumers came via the web, which is hardly surprising given we’ve all been stuck in our homes during the lockdown. For brands who had access to this data in real-time, such data meant they could create channel appropriate strategies to cater to the new, less mobile needs of their customer base. Knowing the preferred channel to reach consumers impacts a brand’s communication strategy and allows them to create relevant experiences however and wherever consumers are engaging with them.

In the race for agility, don’t leave your teams behind

Getting the right message to the right person at the right moment is key to building strong relationships with consumers. It’s crucial that brands ensure that data agility is a priority  and that the different technologies that make up their customer engagement ecosystem communicate effectively. Agile technology that combines intuitive, marketer-friendly interfaces with highly scalable architectures is what will give brands the power to collect, process and action customer data in near real-time. If brands combine this with channel agnostic platforms, messages can be adapted and distributed almost in real time to any channel, meaning customers receive hyper-personalised and human messages that are constantly tailored to them.

Agile technology also allows brands to collect, process and analyse data in a responsible, safe, and real-time way, so customers can trust that their data is secure, while brands gather crucial insight on customer behaviour and preferences immediately. This is the perfect recipe to create memorable experiences for customers and can be the difference between success or failure.

But technology isn’t the be all and end all. Brands also need to think creatively, be empathetic and be human to offer customers meaningful and personal engagement. Investment in the teams that are behind the technology is crucial. They need to be multi-disciplinary teams that have a 360 view of the customer, the product and the business, so they always know how to make the most of the data they receive from customer interactions and feedback.

Keeping up with the Customer

If there’s one thing brands should have learnt during the pandemic, it’s that maintaining strong relationships with their current customers should always be their priority. In times where brands are tightening purse strings, focusing on customer retention rather than acquisition will result in better returns.

The best way to build loyalty is by being in touch with customers’ needs and feelings. Ensuring messages are human, on point, and offer exactly what they’re after. Whether that’s special services, inside track information or discounts, brands can make their current customers feel cared for.

The world may never return to the way it was before the pandemic, but that doesn’t have to be bad news for customer engagement. Brands can use this time as an opportunity to future-proof by investing in the tech that will allow them to always meet changing consumer expectations and behaviour. Having the tech and teams in place to adjust quickly to change while always offering real-time, personalised communications at the right moment and on the right channel is what will set apart successful brands from the rest – in a crisis and beyond.


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3min1457

A recent report published by Revuze, a no-touch analytics platform examines the possible issues in understanding your customers while offering a self-service solution that solves it all.

Customer insights require time, effort and maintenance since all customer data today is gathered through some type of AI programme. Big organisations demand effective solutions.

Here are the three main signs that show you may be in need of a self-service customer solution:

1. Guessing all the sources and ways consumers talk about a service or a product

Data is not always easy to spot since consumers have a long list of topics linked to a product or a service. While consumers are still talking about your product, it can be expressed in so many different ways that it requires familiarising with the updated trends and even new phrases.

2. Long processing time

Dealing with consumer insights may take longer than we want it to be, having in mind that the pace at which businesses operate is not going any slower. This requires manual configuration and tuning which in turn takes a long time to process all the necessary data.

3. Consumers are looking for more

Consumers today are more demanding than before when it comes to choosing a product or a service. The number of aspects they consider before choosing is great than one might think, needless to say that not every customer values the same things in a product or a service. In reality, customer insights should be based on more than five to ten variables.

If any of these signs are present in your business, a self-service solution would take care of automation, access to different types of insights and the data is available to a larger number of roles in the organisation.

To see the complete report, along with two other papers from Revuze, free download is available for a limited time here.


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiApril 30, 2020
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3min1196

Global CX and market research solutions provider Confirmit announces the COVID-19 Resource Hub programme of solutions to support the insight industry, lending a helping hand in building stronger future for organisations.

The initiative will provide insight professionals a platform to interact with each other, learn from Confirmit’s experienced consulting team and get use of dedicated solutions available on the Confirmit Horizons platform.

The initiative is structured into three insights teams’ vital areas:

1. Connecting the community – Confirmit will make discussion groups to connect peers, share webinars and offer an increasing online resource library to CX and EX teams, as well as to Market Researchers.

2. Insights professionals support – One-to-one conversations with Confirmit experts are available to support organisations around key insight areas while enabling professionals to learn more about improving their skills to deliver greater business value.

3. Free dedicated solutions – Those who are already using the Confirmit Horizons platform can use new dedicated solutions and text analytics capabilities to aid better understanding of the needs of their customers and employees.

Henning Hansen, interim CEO at Confirmit explained:

“Our clients and the wider insights market are finding ways to adjust to our new reality, and we are committed to supporting them in every possible way. The ability to understand customers, employees and markets has never been more critical to helping companies make the right decisions. To that end, we must also focus on the future to ensure our customers are supported in the long term. We continue to work hard to ensure that our merger with Dapresy delivers exceptional solutions that deliver business-critical insight”.

“This is a challenging time for our customers, and we have found great value in using the Confirmit text analytics tool, including their proactive addition of the new COVID-19 features, to understand their needs and expectations,” said Barbara Lincoln, director of customer satisfaction and integration at Erie Insurance. “

By leveraging insights the tool provides, we have been able to better anticipate and provide support to ERIE’s customers, agents and employees.”

Confirmit’s COVID-19 Resource Hub is available here, and the free solutions are available immediately to Confirmit Horizons users.


Oliver EhrlichOliver EhrlichMarch 18, 2019
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7min1456

You think you own your business, but you don’t…customers do.

Their perception determines what you can do, the competitors you can outperform, the trust you can command, and the new business opportunities you can capture. So, to maximise the value of your business, you need to understand what customers really want, what they might want in the future, to what extent they are getting it from your company, and how you can keep them coming back for more.

Insights tell a company what their customers value, to what extent their organisation delivers it, how market trends and consumer needs evolve, and which levers they can pull to improve their performance relative to competitors. According to recent McKinsey & Company research, organisations that leverage customer insights (CI) outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and by more than 25 percent in gross margin.

Periscope By McKinsey recently conducted a survey of more than 200 businesses to help better understand the position of CI within their companies. It found that the overwhelming majority said that they aim to make CI a reality for their businesses, with 65 percent saying that CI should be a true “thought partner” (defined as the highest stage of CI maturity) to the entire organisation and a driver of transformational change.  In addition, 44 percent said that CI is a top marketing and sales priority in their organisations, well ahead of trending topics like digitisation (18 percent) and omnichannel (13 percent). 

While respondents clearly recognise the importance and impact of CI, results show they are struggling with attaining thought partner status.  For example:

  • 46 percent said that the CI function is a recognised counsellor, while 31 percent said that it is no more than a service provider with little or no systematic connection to commercial decision making.
  • Only 36 percent had the impression that their companies are already fully geared towards customer centricity.
  • 30 percent said that “processes” at their companies are insufficient to integrate CI systematically with decision making, and that they didn’t have the agility it would take to take continuous advantage of insights.

There is no single reason that the perceived role of insights is lagging at many companies. However, the survey revealed some common threads including a lack of C-level endorsement of insights as a driver of business success.

Businesses need to build a stronger, more agile insights function, leveraging not only the latest technologies but also ensuring such insights will be used for decision making. It’s also crucial for leaders to act as role models and sponsors to support this transformation. Collectively, this will enable businesses to actively steer towards customer centricity and growth.

Time to make CI a true ‘Thought Partner’

To drive growth with insights, CI needs to be recognised in all customer-related processes, from brand positioning and product development to distribution and CRM. When insights are integrated with decision making, they help companies differentiate their brands from those of competitors and sharpen their proposition to the most attractive target groups.

For example, as agile processes take hold across industries, companies bring new products to market ever earlier, often as minimum viable products (MVPs). In this situation, developers are hungry for continuous consumer feedback to iron out the kinks and introduce new varieties. CI also helps decision makers optimise their assortment, choose the right channels, cash in on consumers’ willingness to pay, and determine the most important drivers of loyalty.

An insights transformation is hard work – but it’s well worth the effort involved. Insights enable organisations to give customers what they want, sometimes before they even know they want it. The close link between insights generation and decision making will help companies to create a continuous stream of pleasant surprises for customers who will reward them with more purchases, increased loyalty and recommendations of their products to others. 

Click here to read more about the survey’s findings.

The author would like to thank Frank Kressmann, Senior Expert for Marketing and Customer Insights at McKinsey & Company, for his contribution to this article.




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