Are you taking action on your customer data?

I like to write about taking action and actionable insights because there’s a serious lack of action when it comes to customer feedback. I’ve witnessed it for far too long.

I’ve written about this topic a few times in the last several months:

The Definition of #CX Insanity
Do You Employ Actionability Thinking in Survey Design?
The Future is Now: Take Your Customer Data to the Next Level
Two Major Flaws of Your Customer Listening Efforts

It’s a problem.

From the 2016 Temkin Group State of Voice of Customer (VoC) Programs Infographic:

34% of companies reported making changes to their business based on customer insights.

That should read, “only 34%…”

That’s a pretty embarrassing statistic. You know that almost every company in the world listens. Your doctor, the grocery store, the library, your veterinarian, and on and on and on. What on earth do they do with your feedback?

Well, you know, it’s likely they are just chasing the score. Sadly.

How can we shift the thinking? How can we turn data into actionable insights – and hopefully convince the score chasers that this is a better approach? It’s important that we start at the beginning.

I don’t necessarily believe that the items listed below will convert the score chasers, but for those on the edge and for those not sure how to turn data into something actionable and consumable, here are some things to consider as you think about analyzing and acting on your data.

  1. Objectives first: Always, in anything we do, why are we doing this?
  2. What is the target? What are the outcomes you’re solving for?
  3. What problems are you trying to solve?
  4. Ensure that you have multiple streams/types of data for more-robust analysis. Survey data isn’t enough; you need to include customer data: demographic, psychographic, behavioral, transaction, interaction, and more. But…
  5. If you want actionable outcomes, ask actionable questions in your surveys and use actionable data. Not all data is good data.
  6. Heed the evolution of analytics. It has occurred for a reason. Use predictive and prescriptive analytics to ensure you uncover actionable answers to work with.
  7. Know your customers. Segment them, as needed; get down to more consumable, relatable segments of insights that can be applied to the right customers.
  8. Know your consumers, i.e., those who are consuming the insights. What do they care about? What is relevant to them? How do they learn? What motivates them to act? A story?
  9. Keep the insights consumable. Smaller chunks are easy to consume. Identify the top three things to focus on, rather than overwhelming with a dozen to-dos. More than three, and you’ll begin to lose your audience.

So, it’s not just about the data. As Lolly Daskal has said – and I know I’ve quoted this before, but it rings so true: Insight alone does not cause change. Change requires action. You may be in charge of uncovering the insights, but you need to figure out what makes the consumers of your insights move. Speak their language. Motivate them. Help them be successful.

Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso