My job is to give clients actionable insight about their customers.
“Actionable insight”—what a dreadful phrase! Can we make it a bit less management speak?
My job is to help clients understand what their customers want so that they can do a better job of giving it to them.
The trouble is that understanding is only the first step. If we stop at understanding we’re likely to do more harm than good. I like to quote Bruce Lee:
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.”
So how do we turn our knowledge about customers, and our willingness to improve, into action?
You need three things: top-level commitment, buy-in from throughout the business, and ideas. To get them, you’re going to need to go further than simply presenting the results of your customer insight—you need to involve your colleagues in creating an action plan.
That means some kind of workshop. Workshops are great, but they can often be feelgood days that generate loads of ideas and enthusiasm with little in the way of concrete results.
Good workshops require structure. Build exercises to explore and generate ideas, but finish with a converging exercise in order to deliver a clear way forward. ‘Gamestorming’ is a great book I turn to when I need an exercise for a workshop.
One of my favourites for helping people move from insight to action is the “Graphic Gameplan“. The beauty of this exercise is that it forces participants to break ideas for improving the customer experience into specific actions, slotting them into a strategic timeline view. It leaves you with momentum, accountability, and a clear vision of what is happening next.
If you don’t have a gameplan for improving your customer experience, maybe it’s time to organise a workshop?