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Posted by Andrew McInnes on November 1, 2011
I recently had a discussion with my colleague Richard Evensen about how customer experience (CX) pros draw on the work done by market insights (MI) departments. Our conclusion: In most cases, they don’t. Instead, we often find CX teams doing their own research to understand and improve the experience. This represents a broader phenomenon that we call shadow MI — research commissioned or executed inside of a company without the approval or involvement of MI professionals.
Why do CX leaders rely on shadow MI rather than engage their MI departments for help? Based on our conversations with clients, it’s because MI departments are seen as:
Regardless of its causes, shadow MI introduces a number of risks for CX leaders and organizations in general, including:
Shadow MI doesn’t just threaten CX leaders. Over time, lack of involvement in key business decisions will reduce MI’s perceived value and influence, just as the MI field is trying to reinvent itself as a key enabler of effective decision-making.
CX leaders should take this opportunity to help bring MI out of the shadows. How? By inviting MI pros to provide input on existing customer feedback activities like VoC surveys, pull together other existing insights that will help put feedback in context, and develop recommendations for future studies or programs. The point is not to transfer “ownership” of customer insight. It’s to ensure that CX pros benefit from MI pros’ expertise while MI pros benefit from having knowledge of and influence over additional activities. The entire organization will ultimately benefit from having better insight.
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and hear about your experiences.