How Well Does Your Company Gather and Leverage Qualitative Employee and Customer Insight?
To Begin: The Rationale for In-depth Generation of Personas
For some time, it has been readily accepted that developing and leveraging personas, particularly as related to marketplace behavior, are basic and essential to understanding Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) in customer experience. This is a critical first step in defining, or redefining elements of the customer.
Some companies are doing this, others are not. Just as important as exploring the mindsets and emotions which occur in the customer’s journey and relationship with a supplier to build personas and categorically track and evaluate each touchpoint element, it is equally important to generate and apply personas for the other stakeholder group so essential to optimizing customer experience, the employees.
In human-centric terms, and just as with customers in CX, it has become pivotal to understand EX, or employee experience. Because of the well-proven linkage between employee experience and customer experience and the fact that employee perceptions of key value delivery elements often don’t align with those of customers (see below), this has emerged as a pivotal subject for every enterprise.
The Array of Qualitative Techniques We Apply
Forming personas is both an art and a science, requiring approaches which transcend much of the traditional thinking about employee behavior. Beyond the fit, alignment and productivity embedded in decades-old definitions of engagement, today employees are searching for meaning in their work. Meaning can be found in the insights which aid in formation of personas.
In CX and EX, that meaning often comes through enterprise-wide commitment to the brand promise, the enterprise and fellow employees, and the customer. Employee persona generation can help meet both EX and CX design goals.
At Beyond Philosophy, we are able to leverage our extensive international CX and EX consulting, research, and training background, also serving as skilled investigators into identifying what employees really mean as they participate in guided discussions or answer questions on the kinds of persona-related subjects identified .
Unstructured data, from an ever-growing landscape of sources, forms the core of employee and customer content analyzed to help design personas. However, it is carefully designed quantitative insight research which offers the most comprehensive depth and opportunity for discovery. The array of qualitative techniques we employ for B2B and B2C clients include:
- Focus Groups
- IDI’s (Individual Depth Interviews)
- Online and In-Person Forums
- Ideation and Synectics Sessions
- Ethnographic/Observational Approaches
- (OBB’s) Online Bulletin Boards
- Online Community Dialogue
- Chat/email Transcripts, Phone Transcripts, Customer Diaries
- Executive and Employee (EX) Interviews
- Customer Experience (CX) Interviews
Full Range of Qualitative Insight Applications
Qualitative insight research can be defined as the collection, compilation, and analysis of the types of unstructured information noted above. The methods typically used support communication, concept, and product/service assessment, and the generation of anecdotal content on specific subjects. In addition to personas, qualitative research projects and initiatives can include product development, assessment of customer attitudes and purchase behavior, positioning statement analysis, ad campaign development, website usability testing, enterprise stakeholder-centricity, and so on.
Non-quantitative research often sets the agenda and direction for quantitative next steps, and enables collaboration, deliberation and buy-in for groups both inside and outside (such as advertising agencies, consulting organizations, and design firms) before proceeding. At their most actionable, this type of insight generation enables an enterprise to connect with target audiences and generate feedback that identifies not only what people do, but why they do it.