Many organizations do customer research, but struggle with what to do with it. Seeing your business through your customer’s eyes is one of the best ways to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. With this information, you can make strategic decisions that raise your worth in the eyes of those customers who are most valuable.
When we are working with clients to create their strategic plan, we stress the importance of customer research and environmental scans because we believe that it helps sculpt the most effective strategic plans. A lot of the time organizations feel like they have plenty of research already done and just want to jump right into the strategic planning process. However, in order for us to have a successful strategy, we need that in-depth research to grow the strategy out of.
We suggest thinking about the customer insight based on the four perspective of the Balanced Scorecard. The Balanced Scorecard is a robust and holistic way of looking at your strategy. We also suggest this approach because we need to understand where the organization stands in the eyes of our customer, employees, etc. You need insight at all levels (Financial, Customer, Internal/Operational, People) so you can get the best use of everyone’s time during the strategy session. With these tips and your customer research, you will be armed with plenty of good information to get your strategy session rolling.