Active Research, Adapt or Perish!
by Duff Anderson, on Sep 12, 2013
The acronym VoC, short for Voice of Customer, has become so broad in its scope that it is almost hollow. VoC can refer to anything from social media monitoring to a post experience email survey. There is an area of VoC expertise, however, that involves capturing the intentions and experiences of people in self initiated interactions online that deserves unique distinction. In exploring this area of expertise over the last decade, and embracing the fact that the digital world has extended into new mediums that require immediate adaptability, we have coined this area as ‘Active Research’
‘Active Research’ is the evolution of Customer Experience Management and Digital Analytics. Active Research provides a competitive advantage by capturing visitor perceptions in the ‘Moment of Truth’ using advanced engagement technologies and trusted research frameworks to drive actions in existing business processes.
Active Research uses engagement methods that deliver insights from tactical to strategic, using unique Voice of the Customer methodologies to provide representative sampling, specific audience targeting, and opt-in comment cards to connect with individual customers. Then using research frameworks, customer perceptions are captured in an objective and structured manner. Beyond reporting and comparative benchmarks, Active Research injects customer insights directly into existing business systems. From customer support systems to session replay to web analytics, active research enhances the capabilities of existing business applications.
One of the most misguided notions regarding the theory of natural selection is that the strong out-compete the weak and win. In actuality the theory suggests that the one who is best adapted to its environment survives, while those who are less well suited will not. To extend this analogy to survival in business, the consumer ultimately defines the environment. The Internet has made the customers’ voice much more audible. Enhancements in analysis algorithms and increased computer processing speeds have also improved our ability to hear it. Today, VoC tools provide organizations with an improved ability to listen to their environment, however, listening in itself is not enough; the challenge is to adapt. This is why the focus of ‘Active Research’ is to inject customer feedback directly into existing business systems and enrich in real time the intelligence available and capability of the organization to actively adapt.
I love the quote by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, 1981 – 2001;
“ We have only 2 sources of competitive advantage ― learning more about customers faster than competitors and turning that learning into action faster than the competitors.”
In essence, this quote sums up nicely the goal and purpose of ‘Active Research’, a distinct and unique area of expertise in the continually growing and changing world of VoC.