A word from Christophe Vergult

Christophe Vergult is Managing Partner and Director Customer Experience at InSites Consulting.
What’s a new ‘buzz’ word in your domain? What does it mean and what do we do with it?
‘Referral value’, as many customers share their experiences with a company with others. And that matters. Positive recommendations generate new customers (referrals) and bring value to the company. Many companies still have a single focus on the traditional, individual ‘value chain’ of customer experience, or how they can decrease churn and cross-sell and up-sell among existing clients. Nevertheless for many companies the true value of investing in compelling customer experiences lies in the potential referral value.
As such, marketers need to understand how client conversations contribute to the value of their company. What is the current referral value of the customer base? Which customer touch points matter? What drives positive conversations for each touch point?
What are you most proud of?
Ask me the same question in a year, and I hope I can say we have successfully established our office in the UK. First steps have already been taken, but within a year we want to have moved forward substantially: having built a solid team of experienced and enthusiastic people based in London, being recognized in the UK market for our innovative research beliefs and techniques, and being trusted by major brands as their market research partner on an international level.
What has caught you lately?
Recently we set up a ‘360° video ethnography’ test together with a retailer. With this joint R&D study we aimed to develop a consumer driven alternative for traditional mystery shopping. Consumers were asked to record their store visit with a ‘spy cam’, and tag and comment different scenes afterwards. A large group of consumers were exposed to a selection of those scenes and invited to tag and comment them as well. The data have been analyzed both via text analytics and traditional observational analysis techniques. The results proved to be very insightful and lead to a very actionable level of recommendations.
What did your morning look like today?
To start with I had 1 extra hour of sleep due to the shift to winter hour 😉 I primarily introduced new members of the customer experience team at InSites to our beliefs and research offering in this domain. In between regular trips to our London office and client visits in Belgium and the Netherlands it was a relief to be present in our Ghent office for a quite relaxing morning with internal meetings.
Let’s end with a ‘quote of the day’!
I can never remember quotes with more than 2 words… ‘No fear!’, lately often heard in the InSites’ office when we are talking about our plans 😉

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