In the customer experience industry, too often I see companies using the terms data, analytics and insights interchangeably. This is particularly true during the sales process for a customer experience management software platform – sometimes it is not intentional, but rather a lack of understanding from the individual trying to close the sale.
It gets even more complicated when people throw around terms like “big data”, “predictive analytics” and even “prescriptive analytics”. These sound like really interesting terms that can help a business to grow and retain customers, but are they really?
The Lego Example
Most people can relate to Lego, so I’ll use that as my analogy. Think of “data” as the individual blocks or groups of blocks. Even some aggregated data is just data.
Next, there is analytics. This becomes controversial as some are of the belief that getting the average or a count is analytics. In contrast, I firmly believe that central tendency metrics are just aggregated data on their own. Using the Lego block example, if you have counts of each color, that is just data that tells you some direction of what you can do with those blocks.
Data can help inform analytics. Rather, if you built a basic house with those blocks, that would be more analogous to the analytics. It is something you made. If we looked at manager dashboards on a Voice-of-the-Customer platform, the ability to see KPI metrics or frequency charts using different filters, evaluation dates or trends would show a close view of analytics. Something you can see in multiple dimensions, just like that house made of Legos.
Insights – in my view – have a higher standard. The line of differentiation between analytics and insights is also a little less clear. If I look at the Legos example one last time, once you have that house built, what is available to add to that house to make it better?
If you read my columns, you’ve heard this line before many times from a colleague of mine: “Insights rarely come from one source of data”.
Driving change with the use of insights
The most basic form of insights would be our QuestionPro priority matrix widget. Taking inputs from NPS or CSAT, then comparing them against attribute performance will provide a quick and efficient way to highlight improvement opportunities to drive the customer experience KPI higher – insights toward performance change.
Often, we see financial linkage analysis as insights as well, but I’ll contend that only those analyses that demonstrate a way to improve the financial performance really would count as insights.
A great example of this was out-of-stock insights that we have conducted with retailers. By understanding the percentage of out-of-stock rates, we can provide an analysis that details the financial impact of those items that customers cannot purchase using an average price per product sale. If we can add the department and/or category level information and per product price, we have insights that tell us where we can first start trying to make improvements. To me, that is insights, rarely from one source of data and can provide action to the business.
3 types of CX insights
While I can provide many specific details of insights versus analytics, I wanted to take a moment to outline through categories of insights that every business should expect from their CX Enterprise Software provider.
These three categories include:
1. Journey Insights
This is not about a customer journey template or building a customer journey map and what that tells you, rather this is about what a company can do across the customer journey to make the overall experience better for the customer. The approach is simple: find the customer experience touchpoints impacting your overall KPI the most, find a common element and improve it. The experience should be at the center of these insights. It is easy to see how the impact of buying online and pickup in-store tools now, but initially there were groups of touchpoint owners saying “in-store buyers” want one thing while “online buyer” want something else. Looking across the buyers and across the journey, we now easily recognize that there was a group of buyers that wanted the ease and convenience of shopping online at home, but still wanted that immediate gratification of having something the same day – recognized by bringing information from across touchpoints.
Part of your customer experience strategy should be trying to improve the experience for everyone across the entire journey – across all touchpoints. At times, this means looking at the individual paths in a touchpoint to see what can be improved. This means that we are moving back to a single source of data trying to find improvements. However, if you use tools like our QuestionPro NPS+, it can enhance both the customer feedback inner loop response to customers and build strategies from root cause analytics using Outer Loop tools. Now with the root causes analytics and the touchpoint KPI, you can then compare against attribute performance to identify key improvement areas or use our exclusive churn risk analytics to determine which root causes are impacting both detractors and and passives – representing opportunities for business improvement.
3. Transformational Insights
We all love polysyllabic words, especially when we show up to strategy meetings with our company executives. However, this particular word – Transformational – has a special meaning when we talk about insights. It will be about pulling together the operational metrics, the experience metrics and the financial metrics.
You may even incorporate sentiment analysis to understand other things being said “outside the constraints” of a survey or social media analytics and brand awareness data to get a view of both improving experiences for current customers, but also finding ways of attracting entirely new segments of customers.
Looking past customer experience
Let us not overlook that we should also be incorporating Employee Experience analytics and insights. Most of the time, this is not “contained” within a platform, rather it should be viewed as an in-depth review of all insights to find where the business is going over the next five years and how.
These insights can be viewed in the context of dashboards or analytical tools, but you should always think about ways you can take more data, more analytics and we even combine insights. When we look at these, each one increases in complexity and data needs, but provides an entirely new perspective on what can be done to improve the business. No need to get caught up in talk of “statistical significance” and “correlation-causation”, instead viewing these insights from operational and strategic perspectives – the best types of insights, ones that you can action.
QuestionPro offers the most advanced customer experience tools available. Gain valuable insights into your customers’ thoughts and emotions with QuestionPro CX free trial today.