Garreth is Evolve’s founder and Managing Director. Garreth’s passions are technology, buyer behaviour and organisational theory.
It almost seems impossible to believe but the transformational change of organisational customer and market insights continues to accelerate. Organisations need consolidated insights across their channels, not a patchwork of individual surveys. They want a system that identifies at risk relationships and immediately takes action to generate ROI. Concurrently, more than ever, they want and expect true insights to be elevated above the deluge of data to guide where and how to act at both a market and customer level.
The commercial imperatives are speed, efficiency and relevance of insights to corporate strategy and its execution. Crisp, clean, clear.The foundation that supports this outcome is consumers choosing to spend precious time engaging with brands. Consumers are bombarded with requests for feedback when they shop, when they bank, pay their phone bill, service their car and stay at a hotel. But people only have so much time every day. They block unsolicited emails and have stopped answering calls where they don’t know the caller. Consumers are discerning with how they spend their time and selective about what they say. Social media and public attention are only a click away.
In reality, more than ever, it is the customer who is in control.In this new world, surveys, focus groups and depth interviews – the old ways – still have a role to play but they aren’t the answer any more. The basic tools that we use to collect feedback need to be re-examined, even reimagined. So how can we reconcile the two needs – customer and brand? In a perfect world, people have meaningful engagement with brands – an ongoing relationship. They are motivated to provide feedback about this relationship because they believe it will be rewarded with loyalty and a better quality relationship.
The best brand-customer relationships are anchored in an ongoing dialogue. My brands recognise me, they ask about my experiences, demonstrate real interest in my thoughts and remember our conversations. Over time our relationship deepens.In this world, a survey is no longer a static list of questions but rather a sentence in an ongoing conversation that focuses on relevant topics and moments. Literally. To fulfill this potential, quantitative and qualitative methods will merge through conversational AI. It will enable meaningful, timely, continuous and relevant engagement with customers and employees. This will drive meaningful, timely, continuous and relevant insights for brands and employers. The Evolved Group is well progressed on this journey and is already deploying the foundational technology and techniques – FocusWords to understand what customers are saying and EVE, our Evolved Verbatim Engine, to engage in conversations to listen, engage and understand. In short, everything we’ve built into our HumanListening platform is geared towards having meaningful conversations as part of the brand relationship. And this includes natural language conversations with PEOPLE – not just customers and prospective customers, but employees too. The significant technology that supports this journey includes:
- AI and Machine Learning. Enhancing our ability to understand what people are talking about and respond intelligently in the right context and using the right emotional tone.
- Doing more with less and sewing insights into the fabric of the corporate capability.
- Data democratization. Delivering insights in a way that fits perfectly with the corporate audience – C-level, marketing, front line, product development, HR and service channels.
- Data visualisation. Presenting insights in ways that unlock meaning, by identifying and understanding sometimes non-obvious relationships across data in a single consolidated dataset.