How to Drive Business Innovation with Customer Data

lightbulb innovation concept

While we all dream about identifying the next big idea. A product, service, or solution that solves people's challenges and makes us the next Steve Jobs. 

However, this type of innovation rarely happens in a vacuum, but instead requires a cultural and financial commitment, patience, and dedication.

The most straightforward pathway to successfully leveraging innovation to drive revenue involves utilizing the voice of customer data to navigate the process. 

There is no need to guess where the opportunity to grow revenue through innovation resides. If you harness and analyze the voice of the customer data, the pathway to success will be evident.

Keep reading as our market research company discusses how driving business innovation with the use of customer data will deliver the greatest benefit to any organization.

What is Innovation?

The concept of innovation is largely misunderstood. Many organizations interpret innovation in a way that creates a barrier to the potential revenue that can be driven through an effective innovation funnel.  

Standard artificial minimum requirements for innovation are that it must create something new to the world or an entirely new service. While these are both forms of innovation, they limit the concept and therefore limit revenue potential through a potential innovation funnel. 

Simply put, innovation involves a new method or idea. This concept can be leveraged to improve existing products or services, create line extensions, reduce cost, or shorten time to market.

Understanding how to drive solutions that increase revenue and enhance the customer experience are forms of innovation. The first step to unlocking the revenue potential that innovation can deliver is to align on its purpose and meaning.  

Another common mistake that limits the revenue potential that innovation can influence is the belief that it must be created in an internal vacuum.

The likelihood of developing the next big idea solely with an internal team or, worse, a singular individual is improbable.

The key to driving revenue through innovation starts with measuring and improving the customer experience.

Listening to the customer is key.

Recommended Reading: 3 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy 

Business Innovation Best Practices

In business, innovation is a commitment, not just a concept. The organization must invest in the process monetarily and procedurally.  

Participants must have clear direction and feel comfortable participating without fear of failure. You cannot demand innovation, but you can cultivate it.

Organizations that achieve the highest degree of success through adopting a formal innovation process become experts in a few key areas:

  • Ability to foster an innovative culture and mindset
  • The establishment of a plan for innovation and the dedication of team members to the process
  • The consistent ability to embrace a diversity of thought
  • Ability to leverage their customer's input to drive the process

Why Customer Data is Important for Innovation

The most critical commitment required to drive a successful innovation process is that the customer must be central from an input perspective.   

To this end, ensuring a solid strategy to obtain information regarding the customer's voice is paramount before embarking on the innovation process. It is why every company should have a customer experience program in place

We expand on that point in the video below.

What Customer Information is Important

To drive innovation, the most valuable data to obtain is a strong understanding of the customer's needs directly voiced by the customer.  

In their own words, what problems do they face, what are they looking to overcome, and what would it mean if their issues could be solved?

In many instances, a simple customer satisfaction survey will quickly answer these questions.

If this information is effectively gathered at scale, it will make investing in innovation more efficient and less risky. When the customer needs data is amalgamated, patterns will inevitably be identified.

This makes understanding what is required from an innovation standpoint and your potential to deliver it easy to understand and evaluate.  

Additionally, this information will create a business case for the potential innovation. The evaluation decision to invest or not becomes simplified as the potential returns are more easily quantified.

Collect Customer Data with Drive Research

Understanding what you need to elicit from the customer is essential to drive the innovation process. Drive Research is a national market research company that specializes in Voice of Customer research and customer satisfaction. Our team can effectively gather customer feedback that helps drive business decisions and strategy. 

To learn more about our services, contact Drive Research today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

subscribe to our blog



Customer Satisfaction Voice of Customer