How to Improve Your Business Using Customer Insights
(Episode 1 of 2 with Darshan Mehta)
Darshan Mehta is the Founder of iResearch.com–an insights platform to quickly and affordably extract insights from consumers worldwide, and ConnectQik.com–an app for instant connections and engaging interactions. He is also the author of Getting to Ah-ha.
In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss what it means to have an ah-ha moment and how to improve our business using customer insights.
We will cover the following key takeaways:
- In order to effectively build a relationship with our customers, we have to find that emotional connection — that ah-ha moment.
- To have an ah-ha moment we have to have a series of conversations with our customers and ask the right questions.
- A company that doesn’t innovate is going to become obsolete.
- As we pay attention to our customer insights, we will find it is easier to connect with our customers and build and maintain a successful business.
What is an ah-ha moment?
An ah-ha moment happens when we come to a realization of thought and begin to understand something deeply. When dealing with our customers, an ah-ha moment typically happens when we find their core wants and needs.
“As you have more conversations with people, in the form of formalized focus groups and so on, you actually can tap into what people think and feel and really understand their triggers,” Darshan said.
How to Have an Ah-ha Moment
To have an ah-ha moment we have to have a series of conversations with our customers. Consumers are typically looking to buy experiences so we really want to connect with them. We want to ask questions and really listen to their thoughts and opinions. As we keep diving deeper, we will hopefully get to the root cause, triggers, and fears that motivate them.
“If you’re curious and . . . dive into what people are thinking and feeling, that’s going to make the difference because even in this very competitive, digitized world we live in, there’s a common factor: we’re all human,” Darshan said. “We’re all basically emotional creatures. If we can tap into an emotion, that really makes a difference with our products or services.”
When I think of companies that do this really well, Disney immediately comes to mind. They have found the ah-ha moment with their customers, and they are incredible at creating experiences for them based on their wants and needs.
Disney just launched a new Star Wars experience at Disneyland. They created this whole world where you can go and drink blue milk and feel immersed in Star Wars. They also just launched their galactic cruiser hotel. People love Disney because of these magical experiences they give to them.
Another great example of a company that uses their ah-ha moment to connect with their customers is Apple. They found an emotional connection with their customers and use it to sell their products. When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPod, he marketed it as, “1000 songs in your pocket.” He knew where the technology was going, the frustration in the marketplace, and the wants of his customers, then made the iPod the solution.
In order to effectively build a relationship with our customers, we have to find that emotional connection — that ah-ha moment. While it’s always good to save people time and money or make something easier for them, if you can evoke an emotion, you can 10x your success rates.
The Importance of Customer Insights
Ah-ha moments are typically found when we take a look at our customer insights, and our customer insights come from conversations with our customers, both in-person and online.
Darshan believes that having conversations is the key to solving many of the problems we face in our businesses, especially with branding, marketing, and advertising.
He said, “As the world is becoming more and more digitized, we’re actually having fewer conversations, but it’s becoming more and more important to have those more meaningful, deeper, engaging conversations where you can really tap into insights.”
Having an understanding of your consumers’ buying behaviours and finding a way to apply it to your brand is extremely important for success. As we constantly pay attention to our customers over time, it will be easier for us to adapt and innovate as the market changes.
“If you are constantly innovating, then you’re going to stay ahead of obsolescence, because any company that doesn’t innovate is going to ultimately become obsolete,” Darshan said.
So many existing businesses come up with something that works and then they stick with it forever. However, when they don’t look for opportunities for growth or pay attention to change, they miss the tectonic shifts that are moving the business landscape.
One example of a company that missed change is Kodak. Kodak actually invented the digital camera, but as the digital world changed, Kodak didn’t. They made their money in film and instead of adapting right away, they kept doing what first made them successful. They had an opportunity to potentially be the biggest player in their industry, but they missed it. Instead, they stayed as a small company while other big tech companies took over their market.
To avoid becoming obsolete, we have to constantly adapt to the market and pay attention to our customer insights. We should look at customer reviews, social media comments, and the data we get from our websites.
“Sometimes you don’t want to hear the negative feedback, but that’s usually where the real opportunity is to make them into raving fans or superfans — if you can address what their real complaint is,” Darshan said.
As we pay attention to our customer insights, we will find it is easier to connect with our customers and build and maintain a successful business.
How to Find Customer Insights
To find the right customer insights we can ask ourselves, “What are our objectives as a brand? How can we humanize our brand? Who are our ideal customers?” Once we know the answers to these general questions, we can begin narrowing our focus. We can ask our customers questions to find their wants, needs, passions, etc.
With a basic understanding of our customers, we can send an elaborate survey to get the numbers and then run focus groups to get even more specific answers. The key to finding insights is to ask questions. How can we meet this need? Is there a way we can save them time or money or make things easier? Can we evoke an emotion? What was the driver behind their choice and can we tap into it?
As we start general and then get more specific we will start to really understand our customers’ emotions and have that ah-ha moment.
In order to leverage these insights once we’ve found them, Darshan recommends three things:
- Believe in and pursue the power of conversations.
- Don’t be discouraged if there are negative comments or conversations. Sometimes those are the best ones.
- It’s an ongoing process of learning and growing with your customers. It’s not a one and done situation.
As we communicate with our customers and have these conversations, we will have a much better understanding to make better business decisions.
Connect with Darshan
Thank you so much Darshan for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Darshan: