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    The Customer Discovery Team

    Domestic & General

    The Customer Discovery Team is a newly formed customer lab based in D&G’s head office, made up of 5 of our most talented contact centre agents, who will research and test brand-new concepts and ideas directly with customers. The team enables agile multivariant testing and co-creation with customers.

    What objectives did you set out to achieve?

    Setting up the Customer Discovery Team on site sat next to the Product and Customer Marketing team means in-day testing, learning and re-testing is possible. We wanted to creating the ability to:

    • Test and learn customer growth initiatives quickly
    • Co-create propositions with customers very early in product development process
    • Overcome capability constraints and unnecessary governance steps by launching minimal viable product concepts quickly, developing them with consumers and building later
    • Create a new approach to learning - by being disruptive and experimental we learn lots of little things rather than deliver a ‘yes or no’ outcome

    What was your single biggest challenge in achieving them?

    Convincing the rest of the business that the CDT concept was something they should invest in and back. There were concerns about the certainty of return on investment and around our proposed fast-track test and learn approach. Being a financial services business, we are very conservative and follow long and arduous sign off processes. We had to help our Executive Committee get comfortable with the risk of a more agile testing process and fast-track product governance approach and prove that this could be managed in a test and learn environment while also proving beneficial to customers.

    What did you do differently to overcome that challenge?

    The key to achieving business support and Executive sign off was to link the CDT concept back to the 5-year business plan and strategic priorities. We have a well-defined plan, but with the CDT there is opportunity to deliver this quicker and create upside and contingency. Laying out BAU product development timescales and highlighting previous launches that would have benefited massively from some early customer input helped create a clear need for a fresh approach. We spent a lot of time with each ExCo member to address their concerns and involved their reps in the scope and planning.

    What were your most impactful outcomes?

    The engagement from our CDT recruits! Having worked for the business in our contact centres speaking to customers everyday they are thrilled to be part of creating new products and propositions. Also the ability to be able to learn and gain insights daily, in real time. After our first day of talking to customers we identified a sticking point in one of our campaigns and mapped out a quick fix which can be applied to all our customer conversations across the business. Finally, the customer learnings from the first loyalty concept we tested has completely reformed our thinking on one of our key strategies

    In a sentence, what was the biggest learning you took away from this?

    Our people really care about what we offer customers. Customers know what they want and are happy to tell us. Involving both parties in product and proposition development is key. And most importantly make sure you do exactly what they say without trying to add a little corporate wisdom on top!

    What will you do next?

    We have 6 months’ investment approved. During this time, we will test over 30 concepts with multiple variables both on and offline. Our goal is to 1) find a winning formula (proposition / campaign) which can be rolled out across our business, and 2) extend the CDT to become a permanent fixture.

    Find out more about The Customer Discovery Team here