Daniel Saunders: Three research lessons from Qualtrics

 

Now that the Qualtrics X4 European tour is coming to a close, we look back at some research lessons from London’s event. Over 1,700 employee engagement, customer experience, brand and research professionals travelled from around the UK to attend the annual experience management event.

 

Visitors were treated to talks from some of the UK’s biggest brands, including Three Ireland, Post Office and Google and the event provided a unique perspective on how today’s business leaders are uniting the different elements of experience to create memorable moments for customers while ensuring employees are engaged.

 

With this in mind, here are three key lessons from X4 London that businesses can use to boost their own employee engagement levels.

 

1. Experience management is everyone’s business

 

No longer the sole job of one team, whole workforces can work together towards the common goal of transforming businesses through experience management. “There is not a single team within an organisation that can’t be involved,” said Katy Collins, Enterprise Account Executive at Qualtrics, during her keynote with Kiri Fisher, Sales Engineer.

 

Clarifying further, she explained how new research tools mean that HR teams can run engagement surveys, web teams can identify key drivers of conversions, the product team can include feedback in the development roadmap for new tools and services and the marketing team can test ads before going live. All of these teams collaborating together will help businesses become breakthrough brands, with experience management acting as a central growth engine.

 

2. Let AI take a load off

 

It’s no secret that AI is becoming an increasingly important part of businesses today. Despite this, there are still a number of concerns around the impact of this technology on the workforce of the future. According to Martin Ortlieb, User Experience Researcher at Google, however, AI can be a personalised tool to help workers accomplish important tasks quickly and easily.

 

Martin, who led one of the breakout sessions at the event, covered how the G-suite was reimagined through AI-powered research and experience design to make tools that are smart, personal and user-friendly.

 

Other businesses can embrace research to help empower their workers as individuals, facilitate more collaborative work and make better decisions by looking to the future.

 

Alongside this, AI can be used to perform more menial data tasks, like programming survey logic or data scrubbing. This is a task that many researchers rarely want to do and, thanks to AI, soon they won’t have to. Instead, AI will be used to focus on the tedious aspects of the role.

 

3. Finding different data is key

 

Across various industries, organisations are fighting to differentiate from their rivals and succeed in a tricky business landscape. In his keynote on the mainstage, Qualtrics CEO and co-founder Ryan Smith highlighted that too many of these companies are looking in the wrong place for a breakthrough solution and focusing on the wrong areas to be able to overcome the real issues at the heart of their businesses.

 

The true cause of this is that companies are too often overwhelmed by operational data, or ‘O’ data. This is actual records of tangible activities, like sales transactions or employee engagement scores from the past two years. But this data does not necessarily mean more differentiation, Smith pointed out, as “it only tells half the story”.

 

Instead of more data, organisations need to think ‘different’ data. The best organisations accelerate growth by instrumenting the business with experience data to find breakthroughs. This experience data, or ‘X’ data, is the human factor data; the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell a business why things are happening and even what’s going to happen next.

 

X-data is how you create breakthroughs, perfect experiences and it’s how you win in even the most competitive of markets. Otherwise, the race will be over, and organisations not competing on experiences will be disrupted by someone else.

 

When it comes to building a great customer and employee experience through research, these three lessons are just a starting point for brands. What they do teach us, however, is the vital role that data plays in today’s businesses.

 

Whether it’s collecting, understanding, analysing and reporting back on feedback from customers, products, employees or brand experiences, it’s essential that data sits at the heart of a company’s experience management strategy, informing key business decisions and shaping the business as a whole.

 

By Daniel Saunders, Head of Content EMEA, Qualtrics

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