Companies that have seen positive revenue growth collect more customer experience (CX) data than non-growth companies, according to a recent survey by Gartner. The data itself is collected through multiple methods: through surveys, usability testing, focus groups, real-time analytics and more.

But data itself is nothing without proper analysis and the ability to implement the results, said Inna Shevchenko, CMO at iGMS, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that develops short-term rental management software. “We collect data in a way that enables us to construct accurate segmentation and prioritize feedback by importance,” she said. “We literally create our product roadmap based on customer feature requests. Every quarter, we analyze all the feedback and update our roadmap accordingly."

Collecting feedback is also essential for content creation, Shevchenko added. “By producing valuable and relevant content you can keep your audience engaged and continue expanding your customer base. That is why our customer experience team works closely with our content team and assists in generating relevant blog article ideas by sharing what our customers are most interested in, what their pains and needs are.”

Learn to Prioritize and Follow up on Customer Recommendations

Simple math will uncover the CX changes likely to produce the best results, said Garrett Ramela, president of Common Sense Coffee Company, LLC.

“If a change is necessary and suggested by a large number of customers, we'll usually implement it immediately. The implementation speed varies, but we always work quickly,” Ramela explained. “We try to balance speed and quality when implementing feedback. We never want to put ourselves in a position where a change is buggy or is not easy to use.”

When implementing changes, the company uses various metrics. If it is a point-of-sale enhancement, the company will use sales as one metric. If it is a page content change, the company uses HotJar to analyze performance. HotJar provides screen recordings, heat maps and funnels that the company uses to determine success, such as increases in a customer's activity in the form of clicks or session times.

“There are many other ways we continually try to engage with our customers to get their honest opinions on our business so we can make it better. Still, these few tools and techniques are the most important that we use regularly,” Ramela added.

Related Article: Not All Customer Feedback Requires Change

Analyze Customer Experience Data in Broader Context

“Regardless of the amount of customer experience data you have, it is most important to look at this data together so that you can see the bigger story of what is going on across all touchpoints that a customer experiences with your company,” said Kate Kompelien, director of CX solutions for Avtex. “You can do this in a variety of ways using Microsoft Customer Insights or Power BI.”

After looking at the data holistically, share it with a cross-functional, cross-channel group of employees at the company company, Kompelien recommended.  She explained that a primary reason that making changes to the customer experience may not be working is when changes are made in a silo without the context of what is happening in that journey right before and right after the problem touchpoints. 

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She also recommended making dashboards available to employees to keep the customer front and center at all times. 

“Once the right people informed, you will want to consider changing what occurs most frequently or what you know is the most severe issue with your customers,” Kompelien said. “These changes should be made by a cross-functional team with an eye towards the full current state customer journey.”

Related Article: The Virtuous Cycle of Customer Feedback

Categorize Feedback for Best Results

“Separate the data you receive into questions, complaints and general information or comments about the brand,” recommended Reuben Yonatan, founder and CEO of GetVoIP. “Note that with complaints, customers will expect a specific solution. If you encounter recurrent complaints from different customers, then it is prudent to consider implementing a change that will address that issue.”

With questions, customers are expressing that they do not have enough information about a certain aspect of the brand, Yonatan said. This is another avenue to diagnose an aspect of the company’s CX that is not translating to your customer base as it should. General information and comments will help generate new ideas on how to improve CX.

“The market has numerous tools such as Wonderflow or Luminoso to help with organizing and analyzing customer feedback," Yonatan said. “It is a matter of choosing which tool you think will work best for your brand. However, make sure you incorporate a bit of manual analysis as well. There are patterns a human being can spot that tool might not.”

Other analysis tools might work better in certain instances, according to Yonatan. “When collecting indirect customer feedback from social media or just the internet at large, consider using tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or Hootsuite. I use Google Alerts and it has proved to be a goldmine.”