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Maximising the Insight and Value

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In this blog we look at how to make the most of the data you gather. It’s all too easy to get lots of customer feedback, but then not be able to make good use of it.

We are going to look briefly at 5 topics today:
1. Big Data and some of the truths and myths
2. The value of combining customer feedback with other data sources
3. How to keep the analysis and insight relevant for your organisation
4. Advanced analytics, when and how to use them
5. How to share the feedback effectively

Big data is much talked about, often as a replacement for gathering information and insight from customers. The idea that we can know everything just by looking at data is a much debated topic. It’s true we can find out a lot more than we used to be able to just from the data at our fingertips:
1. Visitor analytics can tell us all sorts of things about our customers – how many, how long they stayed, whether they transacted, what they saw and so on. But it won’t necessarily tell us what they liked and didn’t like
2. Transaction data can tell us what was purchased, what was in the basket, whether spend is increasing or not. What it can’t tell us is whether the customer got all they were looking for or whether they purchased something on impulse
3. Customer data can tell us about habits and behaviours, frequency of purchase, spend, lifetime value and so on. But it can’t tell us if they wanted to shop more often or if they wanted to buy more
4. Web analytics can tell us a huge amount about website interaction, duration, path, pages visited even other website usage if tracking tools are used. But we don’t know if that was what the visitor wanted to be doing. Did they spend a long time because they were interested or because they couldn’t find what they were looking for?
So yes, big data can help paint the picture but it still can’t tell us everything and in particular can rarely tell us why.


Consequently, there is huge value in combining big data with other information, Combining with customer feedback can help to understand and explain. For example movement in sales volumes may be understood through customer feedback on availability of the products they were looking for. Increasing visitor numbers may be explained through understanding why people visited (saw an advert, recommended by a friend etc.) Repeat visitor numbers may be down, customer feedback may highlight an issue with the experience that can be addressed in the future. Combining data sources will always provide deeper insight.

Avoiding data overload in your organisation can be challenge, so when analysing customer feedback make sure it is relevant. The Key to this is rapid turnaround, getting results out quickly to those who can take actions is important.
Collecting feedback is most valuable when the results allow for targeted and actionable improvement. Once the results are in, using them to contribute to improvement helps to get the most value from the feedback activity and shows consumers that you take their views seriously.

Consider the best format in which to share your report, both internally and externally. This includes using software to create dashboards, providing a high level view at a glance of important information which can be shared, or embedding a link to the report on websites or social media which increases the accessibility and means the results will reach a wider pool. Sending the report via a newsletter or private email provides the opportunity to include a personalised note, and shows customers you value their opinion, as it demonstrates “You Said, We did”.

In a similar vein make sure you share the right information with the relevant audiences. Not everyone needs to see all the data every time.
– Leadership teams typically need to know the headlines and the main focus areas.
– Individual teams need to know the overall customer sentiment and the feedback for their areas of responsibility.
– Sharing too much information can make it hard for the audience to work out what’s important for them.
– Linking outcomes to insight is key. Creating Action plans or storyboards with your team highlighting areas of success and improvement can open a discussion and help team members feel accountable for improvement actions and involving them is motivating and empowers them.

Sharing customer feedback effectively is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Engaging your whole team in what customers are saying is vital if you are to deliver ever better customer experiences. The principles for achieving this are very similar to those for questionnaire design
1. Keep it simple and focused; share the outcomes and implications that are most relevant to the audience
2. Use the styles of reporting that will resonate best with your audience – charts, infographics and workshops are often more effective than dry, written reports
3. Make sure the priority is always on the ‘so what’, if there isn’t an obvious resulting action then the data may not be important. But in this case remember that keep doing what you are currently doing is an action!

Advanced analytics is something that for many is a daunting topic area, but in simple terms it is about using statistical analysis to increase the amount you can learn from the data. The most valuable techniques in customer experience research will help you to understand what is most important to your customers. If you know what has the biggest influence on their overall opinion you can prioritise your actions to those areas. It’s not always the obvious things that make the biggest difference and people are not always able to articulate what matters most, hence the use of advanced analytics to help uncover the truth. We can look at what delights your customers and what causes them distress. We can look at patterns of consistency or inconsistency in service levels. We can explore how different customer groups feel and trends over time. All these and other techniques provide you with a deeper understanding of your customers and from that you can make more informed decisions to improve the customer experience further still.


Software packages such as that provided by Webropol give you access to a host of analytics including these professional statistics or Text mining solutions to provide greater insight into the data collected and can be used to monitor trends and correlations, including word clouds which are easy to understand so can be effective when sharing with a wide network of people. Webropol and XV Insight can provide training and support on both software usage and how generate the best insight from it.

This content comes from a series of short webinars in which we share our perspective on how best to understand your customers experiences and how to ensure they are happy and loyal. They are jointly produced by Webropol, a web-based survey and analytics tool provider and XV Insight, a market research and insight consultancy. Please share your feedback on our Webinar series here so that we can improve our content. Thank you! 

You can view the full set of webinars on YouTube or if you’d like more information please get in touch: