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If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably heard John Wanamaker’s famous statement: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This quote doesn’t point to an advertising problem—it points to a marketing data problem.

After more than 100 years, we still struggle with the same problem Wanamaker alluded to. The difference, though, is that where Wanamaker needed more data, companies today have more channels and data collected from those channels than they know what to do with.

Successfully differentiating your company through customer experience requires you to take the wealth of Voice of the Customer (VoC) data collected across multiple channels and convert it into actionable insight. The problem is that many companies lack the proper analytical capabilities to actually make this happen.

Tools to Convert VoC Data into Actionable Insight

We recently conducted a survey that revealed the various solutions that the Best-in-Class firms for customer experience management (CEM) have in their VoC toolboxes. Here are some of the most critical tools to convert VoC data into actionable insights:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Quality and Integration
  • Real-Time Decision Assistance and Guidance
  • Digital Dashboard/Visualization Tools for Reporting Customer Activities
  • Real-Time Reporting and Alerting
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Prescriptive Intelligence or Recommendation Engines
  • Speech Analytics

You’ll notice that many of the tools listed here are rooted in analytics. This is because customer experience management (CEM) programs must do a better job of balancing data capture and analysis. You can collect more data than anyone else about your customers, but if you can’t translate it into actionable insights to improve the customer experience, it won’t have any value.

By looking at the adoption rates for some of these VoC tools, we can see where Best-in-Class companies set themselves apart from the crowd.

A Closer Look at VoC Tool Adoption Rates

The analytics tools on this list help VoC practitioners take large sets of historical and recent data and analyze them to reveal trends, identify correlations and conduct root-cause analysis. For example, business intelligence tools see similar adoption rates amongst both Best-in-Class companies and others (67% and 64% respectively).

With business intelligence tools, businesses can identify which customers are most likely to share positive feedback and use that data to target buyers with similar attributes across multiple channels. Predictive analytics has low adoption rates for now (35% for Best-in-Class organizations and 22% for All Others), but as the technology matures it will be able to enhance the efforts of today’s business intelligence tools.

In addition to these analytics tools are two other solutions that see a large gap between best-in-class adoption rates and the adoption rates for all others—data quality/integration and real-time decision assistance/guidance.

There is a 30% gap in adoption rates for data quality/integration solutions between best-in-class firms and all others. These tools are critical to VoC programs because if, for example, sales reps are given incomplete information regarding feedback for accounts, they can’t use it to fully personalize conversations with buyers. With data quality/integration solutions in place, companies can distance their customer experiences from those of competitors.

Similarly, real-time decision assistance and guidance sees a 40% gap in adoption rates amongst Best-in-Class firms and all others. These tools go a step further than data quality/integration, taking the VoC data that was collected using other solutions to help employees improve the customer experience in real time.

Without these analytics tools in place, companies can’t leverage VoC data to its fullest potential, making it very difficult to compete on customer experience.

If you want to learn more about leveraging VoC data to become a Best-in-Class customer experience provider, download our free research report, Voice of the Customer: How to Compete on Customer Experience in 2016 (and Beyond).

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