(Feedback + Analysis) = Valuable Commodity


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There is an unassailable truth that while data is a valuable commodity, managing it is problematic. In customer experience, feedback is the commodity.

John D. Rockfeller once said,
“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.”

Just like most other commodities, data is not valuable in its raw state. When was the last time you purchased some iron ore? As you remember from school, Iron ore is the raw material used to make pig iron, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel. Iron ore is a truly valuable commodity, but without careful manipulation it isn’t much use.

Feedback data, while valuable, in and of itself, without careful attention and analysis is not much use. If a customer takes the time to give you feedback, you owe yourself and them the courtesy of extracting as much value out of it as possible.

There are numerous ways a manager can leverage feedback to improve the experience offered to customers, but more often than not, this valuable commodity is being underutilised. There is an awful lot of wastage.

Intutively we know that we need to leverage something to gain value from it. To gain the most amount of value from feedback, at the most basic level, there are 2 things you need to do. 1. Gather it. 2 Analyse it.

Gathering it:
There has been an explosion of feedback data, the main reason for the explosion of data is the proliferation of technology. Therefore, to leverage feedback, you need to leverage technology, as it is through technology where most of the engagement will occur. You need to engage your customers to gather it, but a lot of the time, they are already talking about you on social media, so you need to have a way to capture data from a range of media and channels. This you will find is increasingly unstructured, qualitative data.

It’s not only important to have regard to how you gather your feedback data, but you also need to identify the touchpoints where your customer is interacting with you, and look at each of these moments of truth. A touchpoint is “an interaction between 2 or more entities which happens anytime any place by any means for a purpose” For this purpose, I would recommend our 5 stage touchpoint management process.

Analysing it:
The extent to which you analyse data is directly correlated with the value to can draw from it.

Quantitative data is a great way to highlight what are the key issues that need addressing and areas of strength. There are various forms of analyses that can be conducted on quantitative data from basic calculations to complex statistical analyses. There are various type of analysis that can be run, think, Regression, Monte Carlo, ANOVA, to name but a few. Make sure the number crunching serves a purpose (see return on investment below).

While the quantitative data will highlight the problems, it’s the qualitative data that will unearth the solutions. When working on qualitative data it’s important to try and put some structure on it, and try where possible use it in conjunction with quantitative data for further analysis. There is a huge amount of value to be uncovered here. It is here where insights into innovation and competitive advantage can be unearthed. Managing these complex data sets is not easy, business managers are advised to ensure that the technology being used is designed to draw sense form this unstructured data, there are many neat tools out there that should be investigated for this purpose.

In a competitive market, you need to see how you measure up against the competition. If your business is scoring 78% on a key experience metric, you may think you’re great, not so, if the competition are averaging 82%. Conversely, if you score 54% on something you may think, you have fallen off the abyss, but the indicator in question may be tricky for all businesses in your sector, think pricing in the utilities market, 54% satisfaction may not be such a bad score, when industry average stands at 47%. This intelligence gives a more objective overview and helps you to decide where resources need to be allocated.

Return on Investment
In business if something is not measured it’s not managed. Feedback needs to be charted against key outcomes through time in order to draw value from it and to effect significant change. In hotels, the key outcome, for example may be occupancy, or in mobile phones the indicator may be churn, but you must at all times measure data against a key outcome.

So once you have gathered the raw material, it is should be treated like any other valuable asset. Any wastage of this asset will cost your business. Not running proper analysis of this data is akin to a steel producer throwing away half its iron ore. If you leverage this asset (there is analysis to show) it is, unequivocally, the most powerful tool available to improve business performance.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Heneghan
David founded CX Index to help businesses leverage feedback to make more profitable decisions. Through our software platfrom we conduct sophisticated data analysis to help businesses drive more porfitable customer centric decisions. @cxindex


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