Proto experience designer working on a large wall of customer data

Are you drowning in customer data?

If you’re already drowning in the overwhelming volume of qualitative and quantitative data on your customers, think about this: the volume of business data is doubling every three years.

You’ll have three times the amount of data to trawl through to find meaningful insights.

Add to this the rise of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – everyday devices connected to the internet which generate data 24/7. Experts estimate that by 2030, IoT will add trillions of data exchanges to an already overcrowded data field.

How to turn numbers into action

When our clients come to us, most of them are swimming in quantitative data about their customers. They are struggling to draw valuable insights from all this data, and further, are struggling to take effective action.

Here’s an example. On a recent project, our client shared with us some previously undertaken research which stated “65% of customers believed that value means ‘Great customer experience when I call / email’ and 53% of customers believe it means ‘Tailored service/advice’.

What can you do with that? What should our client do to deliver a great experience during a call or an email? What does tailored service and advice even mean?

And did they really need to pay someone to tell them that half of their customers value a great customer experience and a service that is tailored to their needs?

Here’s another example:

Early last year, we were asked by a financial services client to help them understand the current customer journey, and then design a future state that will help them deliver a distinctive and valuable experience. As part of the Discovery process, we received over 200 files, containing PowerPoint reports and Excel spreadsheets. There were brand tracking reports, benchmarking reports, NPS breakdowns by 50 different persona groups and satisfaction reports. There was so much quantitative information it took up over 1 gigabyte of memory on our server.

Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent and countless hours spent preparing internal reports for management, there was next to no real insight on what customers truly valued from the organisation along their journey.

Of the 200 files we received, there was just one piece of qualitative research. It contained over 3,000 NPS responses from customers. And does the average business leader have time to work through over 3,000 customer responses and begin to synthesise the learning into meaningful themes and customer drivers? Not while driving business-as-usual.

No wonder there is a sense of paralysis among business leaders tasked with redesigning and improving the service experience for their customers.

When there is so much information to sift through and interpret, where do you start?

The “two basket” approach

The proven approach we use is to take all your research and create two baskets. Here are the simple steps:

1. Put all your quantitative data and statistics based reporting in one basket.

2. Accept that despite all the best intentions and dollars invested, in terms of really understanding and empathising how it feels to walk along the customer journey you are next to nowhere.

3. Take the very empty qualitative basket and accept that to build a future state customer journey that delivers what customers really want from you, with prioritised, actionable insights, you need to talk with more of your customers.

4. Start asking the right questions, and really, really listening.

The 95 : 5 ratio

In leading more than 100 strategic service redesign and customer experience projects, we have found that quantitative-based reports provide roughly 5% of the deep customer insight needed to create a detailed and insightful customer journey that will create an actionable roadmap.

Quantitative data will tell you what customers are doing along the customer journey.

Qualitative data will you why they are behaving that way. When interpreted correctly, these insights will also tell us exactly how to prioritise and successfully implement customer-focused initiatives.

This is why so many other CX projects are stuck looking and never actually leaping.

If you’re facing significant challenges in turning your data into actionable insights, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your approach. Email us to find out how, or call us on 02 8379 6600

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