Malcolm joined YouEye to reinvent the way that the world approaches how customer insights and winning customer experiences are achieved. YouEye’s platform empowers companies to quickly identify the biggest opportunities to improve products, services, websites, or marketing, all with software and engaging customers anywhere on devices they already own. From remote usability research, behavior recognition, surveys, and user experience analytics, he makes it easy to deeply understand your customers’ motivations and needs in order to build amazing experiences.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on how YouEye is reinventing the way that the world approaches customer research?
Malcolm: If you look at the whole concept of customer research, it’s largely pursued in two ways: the traditional survey and focus group methods. You poll or interact with a panel of customers and distill insights. Surveying has modernized to be digital and leverages the Internet (email surveys, surveying websites and apps). Focus groups are still largely conducted manually. Facilities are rented in various cities; locals are recruited to attend, paid to meet with a contract moderator and some client executives who fly in for the event. The sessions are recorded on video, transcribed and manually reviewed by the moderator and analysts using pen and paper, maybe some excel spreadsheets to do segmentation. YouEye is reinventing these approaches with new methodologies and technologies. Our cloud-based platform is capable of conducting both surveys and remote interviewing using consumers’ own devices, such as an iPhone, in a very intimate way. We capture people’s faces, voices, and complete device screens as they interact with some stimulus and talk to us about their opinions and experiences. The dataset we generate is superb: rich experiences, in natural environments like your home, and indicating behaviors, attitudes, emotions; all indexed, searchable, annotated, and tagged with values that can be used to perfect customer journeys, marketing campaigns or improve e-commerce results.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you provide a recent example of how you’ve helped a client build a better experience for their customers?
Malcolm: A large e-commerce player, responding to competitive trends, completely redesigned their shopping experience for a core set of customers. They asked us to help them understand how customers would react to this new experience, before it went live. The prototype was built but simply asking customers to visit a lab and try it out wasn’t sufficient. It was designed for multi-device journeys such as starting out on a smartphone where you explore something you might want to buy, to taking a look on your work computer at lunch break, and then completing the purchase on your tablet at night while relaxing at home. So our project involved asking 50 customers to engage in this experience for real, not simulated shopping but actually buying products, over the course of several days. We recorded customers’ intent, satisfaction and frustrations. We identified design bugs that made shopping harder than it had to be; we sourced from the customers suggestions for improvement and built a set of actions for our client to take to perfect the journey. That experience has been redesigned and should be launching in time for holiday shopping. [client name is confidential and cannot be shared under terms of our engagement]
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s usability testing and how often should it be done?
Malcolm: Usability testing is the practice of testing products with qualified users to evaluate design and performance. At it’s best you ask real customers to use a product in a real-life scenario and record their experience in high fidelity as they use it. You also want to engage those customers in a dialogue about their attitudes towards the product. Historically you’d use a lab environment for testing but with the trends in mobility and globalization your customers probably aren’t using your products in a fixed location and they are all over the country or the world. To effectively execute usability testing today you need to be able to test anyone, anywhere, on any device.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends in Big Data that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Malcolm: I love Big Data as a concept and agree there’s a lot of inherent value. But I actually think it’s been oversold. Like ERP, CRM, SFA, Cloud, etc., there are massive tech marketing dollars being thrown at Big Data by the big names in tech– Intel, HP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM to name a few. It’s the latest fad thrown on a quadrant by Gartner that CxOs better sign up for or be left behind. Undeniably there’s value in this data but it’s all quantitative and the signal-to-noise ratio is high. Having 14 dashboards of metrics with no underlying rationale to tell you WHY you’re trending up/down isn’t providing anything illuminating in the end. What we think we bring to Big Data is a complementary set of qualitative data, in volume and at speeds, capable of telling you WHY those trends are happening and what you can do to make them move.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you expand on how early next year you’ll be launching a full-service, do-it-yourself SaaS platform that will take the market research space into its next stage of evolution?
Malcolm: We’ve had our systems in development for about 3 years, and in production for about half that time. Our platform is used daily by our services team to deliver solutions to our clients. Based on client demand, we’ve been asked to open up our systems for direct use by our clients. We are in beta today with several customers and next year we’ll be making our entire platform available for customers to use directly. A set of services will continue ranging from project design and participant sourcing all the way through to the full-service white glove offerings we have today. As we near our public launch date, we’ll be sharing details of the platform capabilities, offerings and how you can get hands-on access. It’s an exciting time for us; our clients are asking us to move faster and we’re responding with “Yes, but that’s not all, look at these additional features!”
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