Activate Customer Experience Analytics for Marketing

January 21, 2016
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Understand these two ways to analyze customer journeys and voice of the customer across channels.

Lisa wanted more customers to take test drives. As an automobile marketing executive, she knew the business value of drivers signing up for test drives online and she wanted to drive more top-line growth. But given the breadth of the customer experience mandate, how could she understand the perceptions and intentions of the customer when test driving and the interactions of the interested driver across the entire buying journey?

The answer for Lisa’s team and many others struggling with analyzing customer experience lies in following a disciplined analytical process and understanding two common ways to approach customer experience analytics.

Marketing analytics is rapidly evolving past a single-channel and campaign view to encompass the entire customer engagement with the organization, noted Martin Kihn, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.

Analyze the journey

Customer journey analytics attempt to understand how individuals and customer segments interact across channels and over time. The practice is phased around the activities of gathering, connecting, visualizing and acting on data, often collected on an individual level.

Lisa’s team framed the problem as it related to business outcomes, formulated a hypothesis, selected their analytical method and ran an analysis. This helped them stay focused.

Know the customer

The second common area of customer experience analysis is “voice of the customer” and refers to the tools and techniques used to gather information about customer opinions, attitudes and emotions.

Voice of customer analytics differs from customer journey analytics and other forms of marketing analytics in their emphasis on mental states rather than behaviors — on customers’ thoughts, rather than their actions. Marketing organizations use this type of analysis for reputation management, competitive intelligence and managing products.

Methods for collecting and using voice of the customer range from short surveys to comprehensive software platforms. The most common ways to capture voice of the customer for marketing include direct voice (surveys and customer engagement through call center logs), indirect voice (social listening and voice analytics) and inferred voice (behavioral observation and analytical modeling).

Next steps
  1. Understand the business requirements for customer experience analytics and how the business intends to use the output.
  2. Determine whether the requirements better suit one or a combination of: customer journey analytics, voice of the customer, market mix modeling or another analytical method.
  3. Perform careful setup, including any needed integration and normalization of data sources, to enable customer-level analysis.
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