Rethink customer insight | MyCustomerLens Newsletter

Leading Off

Welcome to the latest edition of the MyCustomerLens newsletter. It’s been an exciting start to the year for us. Following several successful pilot projects, we’ve started delivering paid client services. Paul’s ‘Rethinking Customer Insight’ seminar created a lot of interest at the recent Future of Sport Conference. Finally, the icing on the cake is that we have a new co-founder. Mike Evans has joined us as CTO.

Lead article – Rethink Customer Insight

When it comes to customer insight, we’ve come a long way in the sports and fitness industry. There is a growing awareness of the definition and importance of insight. Many organisations now have a dedicated insight role, some even have a team. There’s a growing desire to make evidence-based decisions. The open-data movement is strengthening by the day. So why do we need to rethink customer insight?

Just like the athletes at the winter olympics, we need to keep searching for improvements. Sometimes snowboarders can improve their scores by perfecting a current trick. But there comes a point where winning a medal requires a new routine. Even two-time champion Sean White needed something new to win gold this week. He did it by landing a combination he hadn’t managed before, not even in training!

It’s time to rethink customer insight

Our collective approach to customer insight is at a similar crossroads. What got us here, won’t get us to the next level. It’s time to learn new tricks that until now weren’t possible. We have a good understanding of existing participants. Segmentation models tell us about ‘people like them’. Quantitative data from CRM systems tell us what people do and how often they visit. But this data won’t tell us how to reach, engage or retain more inactive people. It won’t tell us why so many people see our posters but never register to take part. It won’t tell us why so many gym members churn.

Turn data into faster, more informed decisions

To get more inactive people involved in physical activity we need a new approach. One that emphasises the ‘outside-in’ perspective that current and potential customers provide. At the recent Future of Sport Conference, I presented a seminar entitled rethink customer insight to drive participation growth’. During the session we talked about a 6-step insight cycle. The organisations I see succeeding, are the ones that do all six steps well:
  • Collect – capture complete, accurate & unbiased data from many sources. This includes capturing the real voice of real customers. Using natural language questions not just multiple-choice.
  • Analyse – Combine and analyse data to identify the main themes and trends. For natural language feedback, this means tagging comments with the relevant stage of the customer journey.
  • Interpret – Use the expertise of staff, managers and partners to reveal your ‘so what’. The same feedback will trigger different responses in different circumstances.
  • Visualise – Summarise the key insights in a simple/visual format. This could be a 1-page template, or a creative infographic. The important thing is to help everyone see the customer from the same perspective.
  • Share – Provide all decision-makers with the same insights and customer understanding. If everyone is on the same page, the decision-making process becomes much easier.
  • Decide – The goal is to have current and relevant insights, shared by all decision-makers. Decisions become easy to make and easy to explain. When the insights are also shared with those taking action, decisions become faster to execute too.
We’ll come back to each of these steps in future newsletters. For now, why not download this simple check list to see where you are up to.

Did you see? | Recent articles linked to Customer Led Growth

Human capital to take centre stage at fifth European Health & Fitness Forum (
Staff retention, like customer retention, requires a rich and current understanding of people. It’s time to move beyond the tired annual staff survey process, and start seeing employee engagement as a year-round process.

Amazon Go disrupts, re-invents, elevates the customer experience (
Fascinating look inside Amazon’s ‘just walk out shopping’ experience. The comment that “The future is about using technology to craft remarkable brand experiences” can also be applied beyond retail.

Are You Using Your Mission Statement to Drive Customer Growth? (Jeanne Bliss, LinkedIn)
Great post explaining the importance of having a clear purpose, and one that’s aligned to the difference you want to make in your customer’s lives.

Featured use case – Regional Leisure Trust

Problem worth solving

How can we consistently measure the customer experience across multiple sites?

We want to know what aspects of our service are most important to customers, so we can focus our limited resources where they will make most difference.

Current challenges

  • Staff at each site use free tools to create their own customer surveys. Survey questions and data quality are inconsistent, and responses can’t be compared across venues.
  • Customers share feedback on paper forms. These forms are seen by staff at that venue, but learning & comparison across venues requires lots of manual data entry.
  • The CRM system captures customer demographic and behaviour data. But exporting and formatting ad hoc reports takes too long to support quick decision-making.


MyCustomerLens helps to capture consistent data, based on the real voice of the customer, to enable faster and more informed decisions:

  • Staff choose from a list best practice research questions, written specifically for the customer journey within a leisure trust. This ensures the survey data is consistent & not inadvertently misleading.
  • Survey questions include ‘free text’ questions, to hear the ‘outside-in perspective from real customers. The MyCustomerLens algorithms ensure this data is quickly and consistently tagged with the relevant theme, stage of the customer journey and the sentiment they were expressing.
  • Dynamic browser-based dashboards compare ‘real-time’ insights drawn from multiple data sources. Each dashboard is personalised to the needs of specific staff members and managers, so they can quickly see what’s most important to the customers.