3 reasons why data-based insights are key to delivering a winning customer experience


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The customer experience (CX) landscape is changing fast as new technologies accelerate digital transformation, consumer behaviors and expectations evolve, and social media allows for more transparency than ever before.

And yet, despite budgets that are staying the same or growing only marginally, delivering an outstanding CX is increasingly vital (and expected!) in a world where more than half of consumers (57%) would stop doing business with a company after one poor experience, and 42% would switch after just two, according to recent research focused on the emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in today’s CX space.

Fear not. There are opportunities to deliver on leading CX and digital marketing professionals’ priorities in the face of uncertainty. Like many things, success starts with information. Access to accurate, timely customer insights is helping CX and digital marketing teams thoroughly understand their customers’ evolving needs to deliver the experiences they want—when and how they want them.

Let’s take a closer look at how data-based insights can address CX and digital marketing pros’ top priorities—boosting customer retention and loyalty—to meet their most pressing needs.

1. Customer happiness is improved, aiding in retention efforts.

Improving customer retention is the number-one priority for CX and digital marketing teams, with 50% of these professionals saying CX matters ‘a great deal’ when it comes to customer retention.

According to Gartner, more than half of marketing leaders who prioritize the use of first-party data surpass their customer retention expectations. And data-driven organizations are not only 23 times more likely to acquire new customers, they are six times as likely to retain them, according to McKinsey.

Why? Because data-driven companies are more informed and able to adapt to rapidly evolving market dynamics, making them increasingly agile and better equipped to respond to customer needs in real-time. This ability to address challenges quickly makes for not only happy customers, but also happy customers who return.

2. Customer loyalty is boosted, defueling the rumor mill.

Remember that 57% of customers I mentioned who said they would stop doing business with a company after one negative experience? This is where their insights come in.

Hot on the heels of customer retention, boosting customer loyalty is the second leading priority (this year) for CX and digital marketing teams.

Customer response to poor experiences demonstrates just how tightly bound CX is to loyalty. In fact, a mere 5% of consumers say they would ‘never stop doing business’ with a company due to a negative experience. And 81% of customers would be very or somewhat likely to share a poor experience with others.

Net net? For better or for worse, customer loyalty is quickly driven one way or the other by CX. And beyond anyone’s control, customers are inevitably chatty. Access to the right customer insights can help CX and digital marketing teams not only provide better experiences resulting in satisfied, loyal, returning customers, but they can generate more positive word of mouth for their brand.

3. Data confirms perception is not always reality.

CX and digital marketing professionals are using data in two key ways to make progress against their main goals of increasing customer retention and boosting loyalty. How? By collecting and acting on customer feedback and taking more strategic action on CX data.

Collecting feedback at various customer touchpoints through a range of channels helps CX and digital marketing teams ensure they are acting on accurate information, which isn’t always a given. Research shows there is a major disconnect between what consumers say they are getting out of their experience, and the perceptions professionals’ have about the experiences they are delivering.

For example, CX and digital marketing teams are much more confident in the level of personalization they deliver than consumers are about the personalization they receive. 86% of CX and digital marketing professionals say they deliver a personalized experience all or most of the time throughout the entire customer journey; but a mere 8% of consumers say they receive a consistently personalized experience, and 10% say they do not receive a personalized experience at all.

Stats aside, one thing is clear: CX and digital marketing pros and consumers are not seeing eye-to-eye. That’s where data-based insights can help with alignment.

Bottom line: Information drives investment.

Accurate and timely customer insights can help CX and digital marketing pros think and act more strategically. That’s why 34% of these teams say they are prioritizing taking more strategic actions against their CX data, better equipping them to respond to customer needs and expectations as they evolve.

Capturing vital data is necessary to improve CX, especially considering that 50% of respondents said the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the most important metric for their company’s CX program. And shockingly, more than one in three (35%) CX and digital marketing professionals say they don’t have the customer data and insights they need.

Hence, many CX and digital marketing pros see the apparent need to do something about it. 32% are implementing new CX tools and resources to build streamlined and automated processes, measure performance, and improve customer engagement; and 27% are measuring the ROI of their CX programs to demonstrate their value and secure ongoing investment and support from the organizations they support.

Look to data first (and don’t stop there).

Delivering outstanding customer experiences that meet consumer needs and expectations starts with knowledge—identifying what customers want and the motivations behind their needs—and it doesn’t stop there. In today’s digital age, CX teams have a tremendous opportunity to access and leverage data-based insights throughout every stage of the customer journey to more deeply understand authentic customer experiences, improve customer satisfaction, and drive business results.

Marci Kirkpatrick
Marci Kirkpatrick is the Director of Customer Experience (CX) Programs at SurveyMonkey, a global leader in online surveys and forms. An energetic CX professional, in her role Marci is focused on understanding client needs to ensure their programs are successful, whilst allowing them to provide the best experience possible for their customers.


  1. Great insights, Marci; I’d love to hear your thoughts on how businesses can effectively collect and utilise customer feedback to improve CX. Is implementing new CX tools and resources sufficient, or do you see any other strategies to help bridge the gap between customer perceptions and professional beliefs?

  2. Excellent article! This article hits the nail on the head regarding the indispensable role of data-based insights in today’s customer experience landscape. In an era of rapidly evolving technologies and heightened consumer expectations, relying solely on instinct is simply not enough.

    The statistics highlighting the impact of data on customer happiness and loyalty are particularly eye-opening. It’s clear that data-driven organizations have a distinct advantage in not only acquiring new customers but, perhaps more importantly, retaining them.


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