Many companies do not know how to incorporate customer and user research and insight into their company so they go without. Relying solely on leadership bias is a high risk investment for an organization and creates ego driven outcomes.

I have successfully built several customer and user insight programs at Willis Towers Watson, Automox and Trimble. The format varies, but the key is to work with stakeholders internal to the organization such as CSMs and account managers, sales and front facing teams to ensure that it is both exciting and an asset for them and the customers to participate. In large scale B2B we create advisory boards and research VIP members. In B2C its more important to get quantity of data at scale. I vary the format of the type of research based on the company and needs.

Research can be a broad topic area. Often, the strategic or formative research is missing or was not invested in which can dramatically help to set the vision for the long term of an organization or even discover innovation never before witnessed. This is when ethnographic research is pivotal, coupled with market data.

At Willis Towers Watson we were able to establish relationships that helped to grow the product, created engagement and sales for the consulting business and identified new trends in the market.

In my time at Automox and Trimble, we focused on the foundation of UX research operations to aggregate and compile existing insight that could be shared with teams. After all what is the point of having great insight about customers without sharing it with teams? One of my goals around user insight is to use it for employee alignment, cultural shifts happen this way. Client profiles, showcasing client pain points and how we are fixing them and generally oriented the company communications around customers and user experience help to align a culture of customer focus.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is flawed and has been creating unfinished and unmaintained features for many years now. It is now being replaced by terms like Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) I like to leveraged the Simple Loveable Complete framework paired with simple user metrics to unify OKRs/KPIs at a strategic level. These can be combined with more modern retention and satisfaction scores from Customer Success, as well as sales and revenue pulsing of reason for purchase to really see a clear picture of the impact of UX and design on the company’s goals and objectives.