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Customer Data Analytics Can Stimulate Digital Growth

Informed CEOs know that harnessing their organization's customer data with analytics can expose valuable new insights that enable business model optimization and product or service innovation. That said, the early adopter organizations have already gained a competitive advantage over their peer group.

Companies that have experienced significant revenue growth collect more customer experience (CX) data than non-growth companies, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.

The market study found that nearly 80 percent of growth organizations use customer surveys to collect CX data, compared with just 58 percent of non-growth organizations.

Customer Data Analytics Market Development

"There is a clear trend among growing companies to actively collect CX data using a wide variety of tools such as surveys, usability testing, focus groups and real-time analytics," said Jessica Ekholm, vice president at Gartner.

This is what Gartner's analysts call the outside-in approach  -- the idea that customer value creation, customer orientation and CX will drive long-term business success.

A growth organization is defined as one that had positive revenue growth from 2018 to 2019 and is expected to have positive revenue growth from 2019 to 2020.

In contrast, a typical non-growth organization had reportedly unchanged or declining revenue from 2018 to 2019, with the same expected for 2019 to 2020.

Customer surveys remain the most popular medium among both growth and nongrowth organizations for collecting CX data, according to the market study findings.

While market research surveys can provide product managers with a baseline understanding of customer experiences and sentiment, they do have some limitations.

Consumers are increasingly experiencing 'survey fatigue', with Gartner's research showing declining response rates for each subsequent survey that a customer receives.

Furthermore, survey responses are often written in haste by the respondent or provide ambiguous information, lowering the quality of the data collected.

According to the Gartner assessment, surveys are also unable to surface real-time information.

"Despite their widespread use, customer surveys have some flaws that limit their ability to collect quality CX data," said Ms. Ekholm. "Recognizing this, growth companies are beginning to use near- or real-time analytics, to complement or build upon the data collected from surveys."

Outlook for Customer Data Analytics Applications

The use of near- and real-time analytics to collect CX data is a rising trend among growth companies, with 43 percent of product managers at growth companies using analytics to collect and analyze customer perception and sentiment data. This is compared with just 22 percent of product managers at non-growth companies.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can help organizations gather real-time data about customers’ current issues and experiences. This data can then be used to predict the customer’s next move, proactively recommending features, solutions or actions that improve the customer journey.

"Companies that leverage AI and near- and real-time analytics applications to collect customer data will stand out as CX leaders in the next five to 10 years," said Ms. Ekholm.

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