Mind Your Qs: The Two Types of Actionable Information

Although collecting a sufficient amount of customer feedback poses its own challenge, actually mining actionable insights out of that customer information creates the largest obstacle for organizations to overcome.

To be actionable, customer information needs to be either qualitative or quantitative—or both. According to our recent report with CustomerThink, “Gaining a Competitive Edge by Optimizing B2B Customer Experience,” businesses reported that qualitative and quantitative information were equally effective at motivating their organizations to act on customer feedback.

To better understand how these types of information are valuable to your organization’s customer experience, let’s take a look at how they’re defined.

Qualitative Information

Unstructured data; relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity (e.g. customer comments, email, audio recordings, stories, etc.)

Qualitative information plays a crucial role in your organization’s ability to understand the significance of a particular customer touchpoint. For many brands, qualitative insights are broken down into three parts: doing, thinking, and feeling. In the context of the customer journey, “doing” represents the journey, “thinking” questions strategy, and “feeling” covers the range of emotions and responses associated with your brand’s customer experience (e.g. frustration, satisfaction, confusion).

Quantitative Information

Hard data; relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality (e.g. customer satisfaction/loyalty ratings, retention statistics, etc.)

Quantitative information provides statistical significance for each touchpoint of the customer journey. This information varies from your organization’s voice of the customer (VoC) data to web traffic reports. Quantitative information can be used to help brands focus on specific parts of the customer journey as well as highlight correlations between aspects of the customer experience such as “engagement” and “type of interaction.”

By surveying business leaders from various industries, we learned that the majority of organizations put equal value in both qualitative and quantitative customer information.

  • Qualitative Information (26%)
  • Quantitative Information (23%)
  • Equally Effective (51%)

Respondents said that quantitative data was valuable in “proving the case” that their organization needed to make operational changes to its customer experience program. This type of data is particularly useful for promoting change within companies that make business decisions based on facts.

Qualitative information, on the other hand, was viewed by respondents as more effective at provoking emotional commitments from each member of the organization and promoting a better, more customer-centric experience.

Learn how your organization can make better use of its qualitative and quantitative customer information by reading the report we completed in partnership with CustomerThink.

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