How to achieve business results when you are stuck in Data Analysis

Listening to customers and analysing data – everyone's doing it nowadays both online as well as in the B2B market. What happens next? How can you ensure that data is converted into actions and measurable results?

It goes without saying that we all listen closely to our prospects and customers. And this is even more the case in times where everything revolves around the customer experience. The experience economy is running on all cylinders, particularly now that almost every company – whether they're forced into it or not based on the current situation – largely operates on a digital strategy.

Yet if you get stuck in the analysis phase, your insights will add little value, nor will they lead to significant gains for your business. This makes it essential to take concrete action.

Go from listening to doing

When looking at the huge quantities of data available, you have to ask yourself why each and every company isn't very successful. We listen, analyse and immerse ourselves in data. All this data needs to be converted into actions to achieve results – and that's the most difficult part. Many companies still find themselves in the analysis phase and, as a result, often overlook the practical side of things. Lots of companies literally often forget to combine operational data (O-data) with experience data (X-data). And if they do remember to combine the data, not all of them are able to unlock its full potential.

When it comes to operational data, you don't need any fancy studies – it's simply what you can measure on a daily basis. Take, for example, the costs of your customer care, one of the largest – but essential – cost items in your digital contact with customers. The O-data that you can analyse in this regard includes items such as the length of waiting times, processing times or the percentage of questions for which customer care can offer an immediate solution. All of this data can be measured almost automatically day in, day out. As a rule, you retrieve your O-data from your CRM at the touch of a button.

O-data often sheds light on the quality of your operation and can, for example, indicate where savings or investments need to be made. This is, of course, useful, but a whole new world will only really open up if you link the O-data to everything you know and measure about the customer experience (CX) and its X-data.

Create the link

One way to measure the quality of the customer experience is through the Customer Satisfaction Score, often referred to as CSAT. This is a straightforward method for measuring the proportion of satisfied customers. To do so, you should use the X-data and link it to your operational insights (O-data) for optimal (business) results.

The trick here is to find correlations that you can then use to map out the customer landscape. This shows you how to distribute costs across your operation in a relevant way, which in turn helps you to make the right decisions. In practice, however, this doesn't happen enough at the moment, although it can be of huge help when setting your goals and ultimately, achieving them in the end. The bottom line is that you want to know how big an impact CSAT has on turnover and costs. You gain an instant insight into where you can (and have to) make a difference in the customer journey – insight that is shown in terms of cash.

How it works in (B2B) practice

In-depth data analysis is a tool that is sometimes seen as primarily being useful for the consumer market. However, that it wouldn't be suitable for business analyses in a B2B environment is a myth – especially if you link your X- and O-data together.

Let's take a few examples:

CSAT vs ongoing costs

Examples include O-data such as sales figures linked to X-data about a product range, the number of staff members or the seller's knowledge level. If you identify a correlation here, this means you will have an opportunity to create added value for your business. If, for example, fewer staff or a smaller product range do not affect the CSAT and turnover, these are potential areas to make savings.

Online vs offline

An interesting experiment with the link between X- and O-data is to compare the online and offline customer journey. Take a specific point (such as the checkout) and compare the CSAT score for both the online and offline journeys. In B2B, a higher CSAT score often means less friction, which results in a pleasant experience and more loyal customers (higher turnover).

The possibilities are endless as long as you link operational data to specific experience insights. You'll then know exactly where you need to intervene and how best to approach customers. That way you can keep it simple, gain an overview and still have a huge profit to be made.

Maintain a curious mindset

Linking X- and O-data is how you can make the move from listening to doing. This works for small, online B2C organisations right through to the largest B2B companies with international branches. Allow yourself to be curious and link together as many variables as possible. The insights you'll gain from doing so will ensure that you ultimately achieve tangible business results using data analysis.

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