We all know that solid data is your best friend when it comes to sound decision-making, but did you know that only 12% of organizations base almost all of their decisions on real-time data? Even more worryingly, nearly three-quarters lack a centralized source of data across the customer journey that’s available to the whole company.

Silvia Frucci and Jaimie Corby are here to help us change all that. They joined the Customer Marketing Summit, hosted by our sister community, Product Marketing Alliance, to share their knowledge on centralizing customer intelligence and dive deep into Castor’s customer experience framework.

We’ve distilled their insights into an article for you below. Read on to find out how you too can leverage data that will drive your whole company forward.

About the speakers

Silvia Frucci and Jaimie Corby are two leading lights at Castor. Silvia has a wealth of experience in sales, pricing, and product management in the electronics and IT industries. She joined the healthcare trends industry five years ago and has been Castor’s Senior Product Marketing Manager since 2020.

Jaimie is a CX/CI specialist with a background in enterprise solutions and change management. More recently, she’s led a range of UX-focused projects for digital strategic products in consultancies. She’s been with Castor for four years and is currently their Customer Insights Lead.

How do you know that you know your customer?

Before we get into the weeds, let us tell you a little about Castor and illustrate why it was so vital for us to centralize our customer intelligence.

Castor is a scale-up SaaS provider offering tools for clinical trials. We’re a product-led tech-first company – that means that all of our budget and efforts are focused on product innovation for our customers.

In July 2021 we received series B funding, and this injection has put us on a completely different scale of growth. In the last six months, our employee count has risen drastically. When Silvia joined the company in 2020, she was employee number 79. Today there are 163 of us, and we’re set to reach 200 employees by the end of the year.

As you can imagine, our customer base has grown and diversified dramatically along with our company. So we kept asking ourselves the question: how do we know that we know our customers?

We needed data to give us peace of mind that we were nailing the verticals and sub-segments we were targeting. We had to make sure that we were tracking trends and transmitting data in the right way internally so that it could be transformed into actionable insights that align with our company vision. With this goal in mind, we put together a new CX framework.

Understanding CX maturity

Before we started establishing our CX framework, we wanted to understand holistically across the company the building blocks it would be made up of.

Key focus areas for:

  • Assessing CX maturity,
  • Identifying blockers,
  • Address improvement areas.

Ensuring a scalable, future proof CX program.

Alt: Triangle graph with four parts. Top point with technology, left point with employees, right point with operations, and the middle with vision and strategy.

We started by zooming in on our vision and strategy, which was pretty straightforward: at Castor, it’s always been very important for us to have customers at the center of how we make decisions.

Some of the other building blocks were less easy to get a clear snapshot of – the number of employees has changed quite significantly of late, technologies are constantly evolving and emerging, and our operations have had to develop rapidly to keep up with these changes.

Looking at the industry trends, we were in a similar place to most companies. Very few are using real-time data to make decisions or have centralized knowledge management practices that make this information accessible for all teams. And only a few have an overarching strategy in place that allows everyone to tie themselves to a clear vision for their CX work.

But first, understanding CX maturity

12% - Best-in-class: Nearly all decisions using real-time data, and the majority have mature knowledge management practices with an accessible source of truth available. Almost all have a formal strategy

35% - Optimized: Most decisions using real-time data have at least consolidated their knowledge management practices across their organization if not developed a single source of truth. Almost half of these enterprises have a formal strategy.

28% - Consolidated: Some of the decisions using real-time data, and have brought some consolidation to their knowledge management practices - either at the departmental level or organization wide. But not to the point of having a single source of truth. Almost none of these enterprises have a formal strategy.

10% - Fragmented: Only make a few of the decisions using real-time data and have knowledge management practices that are scattered or siloed across their different CX stakeholders. No clear strategy in place.

The evolution at Castor

In the beginning, we had a lot of unknowns. As a startup, we had a monopoly over our customer base – academic hospitals – here in the Netherlands. When we were growing and branching out, we had a lot of questions about what features and products we actually needed to focus on to best serve the industry. That meant a lot of short bursts of research, answering one question and then moving on rapidly to the next one.

Alt: two graphs. One titled quick decisions with knowledge on the left axis, and t for time on the bottom. The line is a non-linear, jagged line, rising and lowering quickly. The second is titled cumulative, journey braces decisions. This graph has the same labeled axis but the line is a smooth s-bend curve.

This worked really well when we were a small team. As we move forward, however, it’s becoming more and more important to have an accumulative, centralized, scalable, journey-based knowledge system. We want people from across the company to be able to contribute and extract information about our customers from one central bank.

Our approach to developing a CX framework

Alt: Image shows the five steps of the CX framework, align, develop, engage, uncover, and influence.

Our CX framework is made up of five steps:

  • Align - Understand the scope of work inline with business objectives.
  • Develop - Develop the first version of your framework.
  • Engage - Rallying champions across the business.
  • Uncover - Analyze data sources to reveal relevant trends.
  • Influence - Tailor your message and actionable insights to your stakeholder pool.

In other words, it starts with understanding the scope of the work and highlighting its objectives. Next, you develop your minimum viable product (MVP), engage your data champion, analyze the data, and finally, you communicate actionable insights to your stakeholders.

Simple, right? Let’s take a closer look.