Unplugged : Gathering insights from offline behaviour

Unplugged : Gathering insights from offline behaviour

Discover how observing offline behavior can unlock new digital opportunities and drive business growth.

Gavin Jones
Gavin Jones
0 min read
June 14, 2024

We have seen it before, cracking open the analytics platform in the hope of uncovering a morsel of insight into how to build a digital offering that is going to take your organisation to the next level.

The challenge is this will only give you a snapshot into the behaviour of your service. If you have been following us for a while you will know the level of importance we put on user research, when both planning a brand-new digital transformation project and continued development. You can see the plethora of activities we utilities in our user research toolkit.

The power of observations

A really powerful tool at our disposal is observation. This allows us to sit and observe potential users to understand what the current behavioural model is and see if there are any potential frictions or issues that might need to be resolved. When creating the driver app for Pallex our design team spent time with lorry drivers as they completed deliveries, allowing them to see first-hand where the frictions in the process were, where corners were being cut and where parts of the process could be digitalised to streamline data management.

Another great example of the power of observations comes from a talk I saw at The Digital Transformation Conference in London. Mark Williams, Director of Digital at David Lloyd Leisure, said his team kept highlighting the need for a mobile app for their restaurants. As part of their information gathering his team spent time observing customers to see if they could highlight where the benefit could be. From their observations they could see it was quite stressful for parents to keep an eye on their children while ordering food, however, for those on their own or in pairs, there was less friction in going up to the till and ordering. This insight was used to develop the focus of their application, driven towards removing the frustration. The app now processes 33% of all orders and they even found that the average basket value on in-app orders was 8% higher than sales direct on the till.

Turning the real world into usable data

My final example is a bit of a cheat because although it’s not in-person observation, it’s an example of an organisation that has a full understanding of the touch points its customer has with their business by collecting the right data and putting it to use. The company highlight for this section is HSBC, one of the many touch points they monitor is the deposit of cheques.

For many years banks like HSBC have allowed their customers to file cheques through their mobile app however many of their customers would still go into branches to complete this task. Users of the HSBC app who cash their cheques in person will be advertised the functionality of in-app depositing when they load up the HSBC app, as well as driving in-app support and advice based on their real-world banking behaviour.

Uncovering the opportunities for your business

The ideal scenario is to have all your systems integrated, a full digital picture of your customers and how they interact with your business. This is not always a possibility.

However if you are creating a brand new way for your team to do their jobs, a new way for customers to interact with your business or even if you have an existing product that you are looking to improve, as a minimum, you can utilise observations of offline behaviour to build up a deeper understanding of your customers and your team to see where the real opportunities are. Whether that is to support the creation of a business case for a brand-new digital initiative or to understand where your current digital offering may be falling flat.

As always if you are struggling with this in your business and you are looking for a partner to help you unlock the opportunities that come with better understanding your people, processes and technology that make your business tick, we are just a phone call away.


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