Vrbo CPO on Using Data To Be Customer-Centric (PART 2)
How do you listen to your customers? Furthermore, how does a platform mindset give you a customer-centric advantage? Surveys and questions are useful, but what about what they are doing on your site? If you don’t have visibility into where you might be causing pain and friction, then it will cost you.
For instance, there may be some customer segments where it’s hard to do shopping methodology A/B testing. So you need to set up a proxy for this to gain insight. How you listen and receive signals is critical. Plus, you have to determine how you will absorb and use the data.
Data and customer delight go hand in hand, but it’s not the whole story. That’s where verification comes in with research, surveys and user lab studies. Within a platform mindset, the entire cycle flows and gets repeated as fast as possible.
Big E-Commerce Example
When Alibaba started, it implemented a platform approach from the beginning. As the largest e-commerce retailer in the world, they now do 42 million calculations per minute.
The company got there using a few key strategies. First of all, data is widely available, democratized and lives in a framework with rules. If necessary, however, you can unlock areas to innovate. All business activity is broken down and organized within the framework, and this is how Alibaba gets work done.
The second strategy is data intelligence. The platform mindset enables product leaders to think about capabilities that allow you to effectively iterate according to consumer activity and response. This can include field studies and on-product studies. Plus, you must carefully consider what signals will allow you to visualize activity and response.
Using a data intelligence approach, Alibaba developed multiple spinoff products that offer even more value, such as credit and financial services. All this was in response to the data signals they were getting. The listening phase is a great place to unearth new opportunities in product, service or improvements on both.