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About Customer Insight

Defining Customer Insight

Customer insight is a process of gaining an understanding of your customers to better meet their needs, improve your services and deliver more efficiently what people want.

Customer insight is about going beyond traditional analysis of information for a richer picture of the people who live and work in your communities. It is about the interpretation of information for an understanding of customers’ needs, wants, preferences and aspirations – and the practical application of this in real improvement.

Using Customer Insight

Customer insight has a range of uses in the public sector, not least in transforming service delivery in line with a more efficient, customer-focused model. There are numerous tools and techniques that can help build or use customer insight. The IDeA recognises the following uses of customer insight for local government:

  • Informing strategy and policy
  • Allocating resources
  • Managing performance
  • Marketing services more effectively
  • Changing behaviours
  • Improving service design

Practical uses of customer insight tools and techniques

  • Customer segmentation - can help you target your resources for the right people, in the right way.
  • Customer Journey Mapping - can help you identify and address inefficient and unproductive customer contacts.
  • Social marketing - can help you change people’s behaviour or improve service take-up for target groups.

East Riding Customer Insight Resources

About this Toolkit

Customer Insight Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help other partnerships develop customer insight. It has been developed to tell you two things:

1. What we did at each stage of our project
2. What we should have done at each stage of the project

In this way the toolkit aims to show you the specific steps that were taken and includes learning points, both from good practice and things we would have done differently with the benefit of hindsight.

It can be used to inform projects that are developing customer segmentation with a partnership approach for the purpose of transforming services. The toolkit is structured around the key stages of East Riding LSP’s project. Although these stages are inevitably overlapping, they do define the broad programmes of work that make up the final products of the project.

Each stage represented in this toolkit includes the key tasks relating to that particular part of the project. Each stage has a set of pre-requisites before it can be started and the outputs it should produce by its end.

The learning of the East Riding LSP project is shown by describing what we did at key points that did, or didn’t, work well. Also highlighted are key risks and do’s and don’ts: Pull-out tools throughout this toolkit can support your work throughout your project. The East Riding LSP Customer Insight Project has been quality assured by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council. Calderdale Council assessed the project for transferability of process and learning and found that the approach was suitable to be transferred to other local authorities and partnerships.

What we did

Recognising the key role of customer insight in supporting its transformation programme, East Riding Local Strategic Partnership successfully applied for funding from Communities and Local Government’s Efficiency and Transformation Capital Fund. A project team was set up to develop a partnership approach to understanding customers. Through the fund’s customer-led transformation work stream East Riding LSP aimed to deliver a project that:

  • Was focused on outcomes and would make a real difference to the way services are delivered
  • Delivered benefits quickly
  • Built on and complimented existing practice
  • Supported ambitious and innovative service transformation

A sharp focus on priority areas, starting with perceptions of how the council and police deal with anti-social behaviour and crime (NI 21), allowed the project to demonstrate how customer insight could inform real change in the way services are delivered.

The project aimed to create bespoke customer segmentation for the East Riding and to use this to inform plans for service redesign and transformation. Segmentation would be drawn from local and national data and be built on Experian’s MOSAIC Public Sector tool at household level. This would allow for an unprecedented level of analysis beginning with a review of existing communication and service delivery arrangements.

Segmentation involves analysing data sets about people to identify customers with similar characteristics. This allows services to be targeted to groups of customers based on their likely preferences.

Through a multi-agency approach the project was able to:

  • Facilitate the extraction of over 8 million attributes of data to enable locally specific customer segments
  • Create 12 bespoke customer segments with information available at household level
  • Review the use of communication and marketing for specific customer groups
  • Create a Social Marketing Strategy to target priority customer segments
  • Build intelligence around priority areas – for example by analysing why fear of crime was high in some areas where recorded crime was low
  • Review the deployment of resources in relation to priority areas
  • Review access channels around priority areas
  • Identify potential service improvements through Customer Journey Mapping

Four Main Phases

The process of developing an LSP model for customer insight was comprised of four main phases of work.

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