The Best Way to Hunt for Customer Insights


We’ve all seen the stats spotlighting why customer experience is critical. Now that we’re in 2017, there’s a fresh lineup of choice measures to review. I chose five from a useful list compiled by Carla Johnson:

  • Loyal customers are 5 times as likely to repurchase, 5 times as likely to forgive, 7 times as likely to try a new offering and 4 times as likely to refer. (Temkin Group)
  • 65% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to existing customers. But only 12% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to new customers. (ThinkJar)
  • A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related verses price or product related. (Bain & Company)
  • Research shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed – not just promised – good experience. (ThinkJar)
  • A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner)

Source: Carla Johnson, 97 Customer Experience Stats Marketers Need to Know

What’s more, many of us work for companies that get it. In PWC’s 20th Annual CEO survey, CEOs named CX as one of the top five areas to strengthen in order to capitalize on new opportunities.

What’s The Best Way To Garner Insights Around Customer Experience?

So now what? How do B2B companies pull this off in real life? First, you have to ask the right questions:

  • Which customers, are loyal and likely to spend five times more?
  • Which customers are candidates for a cross-sell and up-sell?
  • At what point in time is a new customer likely to consider an add-on or additional purchase?
  • Does your marketing connect you with both prospects and customers? How do you know?
  • Which customers, are dissatisfied? Which ones are experiencing a poor service experience and likely to churn?
  • Which initiatives and divisions need the most focus and investment to rise to changing customer expectations?

Second, you need to get answers using better insights. That’s where big data plays a critical role. Until you can plumb your enterprise databases for answers, you risk getting stuck in the vision phase of customer experience transformation.

Big data sheds a light on the top sticking points in your customers’ journey. It helps you see patterns, understand the context and prioritize top change areas among all of the options you could pick.

Just don’t lose sight of the fact that CX is an all-in investment. If you focus on one area, team or process for CX investments, your business challenges could easily shift upstream or downstream.

“Customers buy from us because of the sum total of their experience with us.” ~ Michael Brenner, Marketing Insider Group, 9 Digital Marketing Lies You Should Stop Believing

With that said, what are top couple of tips for applying big data to the CX challenge?

  1. Big data needs to transform into the right data to be valuable.

    How do you know if it’s right? It has to answer your business questions. The answers emerging from big data should be detailed enough to guide executive decisions about resources, programs, and funding.

  • Be specific. Make sure you’re not over-analyzing every fact at your disposal. Get the context out of your data rapidly, and then keep digging as needed.
  • Be practical. The outputs of your data should be guidance on tactics, solution or timing recommendations, and targeting lists. Your job is to make it easier for sales, service, marketing and operations to do their jobs better.
  1. Use big data to add context to customer insights and tribal inputs.

Most of us are already strong at leveraging the business optics that allow us to effectively drive revenue and operate. To add value, big data needs to effectively and repeatedly deliver insights on how to address customer experience across silos.

Also, there’s big value in exploring ‘voice of the customer’ insights to find the most emotional interactions for prospects and customers. These are tied closely to loyalty, spend and churn rates. When you dig into moments that matter, big data should highlight how much it matters and what happens to customer satisfaction and churn when you miss.

Simply said, big data is best applied holistically – seeking patterns across customer behaviors, divisions, data sources and business owners.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait

According to research from Autopilot, “High performers [in Customer Journey Marketing] grow revenue faster – by 58% on average. This is consistent regardless of company size or business focus, with high performers outperforming peers by as much as 122% in Enterprise.”

Happy insight hunting.

Christine Viera
VP Global Marketing Strategy, Customer Experience & Product Marketing
Level 3 Communications


  1. Collecting data is not enough, it is must to profile it to create customer insights. Only by doing this, businesses can offer more personalized services to customers. Nice article, really enjoyed.


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