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Four considerations before choosing a customer insights tool

80 percent of customer feedback takes the form of unstructured text data that can be a real pain to analyze without the right tools. Faced with this reality, it’s no wonder businesses are recognizing the need to invest in customer insights tools that help them analyze this data at scale.

Like any piece of your business intelligence toolkit, choosing the right customer insights platform can be overwhelming. In this article, we break down the four most important considerations for choosing the right customer insights tool for your organization. 

1) What data are you going to analyze? 

To be of use for any business, customer insights tools require one essential input: rich customer feedback data. This is why it’s imperative that you consider which sources of customer data are currently available to you and how you might want to enrich that data pool before purchasing a customer insights tool. 

It’s likely that you already have access to a wide array of customer data waiting to be analyzed. Some common examples of the best data to generate customer insights include: 

  • Customer feedback surveys
  • Customer reviews
  • Social media conversations
  • Customer service and chat transcripts 
  • Forum conversations 

But beware – it’s not just about having the data, it’s also essential that the available data is high-quality, representative and easily segmentable. 

When dealing with customer feedback surveys, for example, you will want to make sure that your surveys elicit qualitative alongside quantitative responses by combining rating scales or yes/no questions with open-ends. You also want to be able to associate responses with different audience segments using demographic data points like gender, age or location to be able to compare them and acquire a deeper understanding of each customer group.

2) Why do you want to invest in a customer insights tool? 

When choosing a customer insights platform, it is paramount that you are clear concerning your objectives. 

Generally, businesses tend to invest in customer insights tools for at least one of the following reasons: 

  • Save money: Chances are your business’s qualitative feedback data is already being analyzed by a team of humans in some capacity. Choosing a good customer insights tool means you can automate this work and save money by eliminating endless hours of manual analysis. 
  • Speed up the analysis process: Besides saving money, a powerful customer insights tool will also save your insights team time, which they can then invest in what really matters: crafting a narrative around your customer insights to drive meaningful action. 
  • Remove bias from your insights: Humans are prone to focus on the things that confirm ideas or hypotheses they already have. By automating the feedback analysis process, you can mitigate the potential for human error and bias and ensure objectivity. 
  • Build scalable feedback analysis processes: Your overall objective might be to become more insight-driven in your decision-making. In that case, customer insights tools present an ideal solution for building scalable processes around customer feedback – unifying and analyzing all your customer data to generate insights that can inform different areas of your business. 

3) Who will be using your feedback analysis platform?

At this point, it is important to remember that customer insights tools are an addition to your insights team rather than a replacement. Even the most intelligent customer insights tool requires skilled users who are able to operate it to leverage its full potential. 

This is why you should ask yourself, who will be using your shiny new customer insights platform? Once you’ve answered this question, you should start creating an implementation strategy or choose a software provider that offers dedicated onboarding support and training for users. Without a sound implementation strategy, realizing value from your new platform will be difficult. 

4) Who are your stakeholders and what analytical outputs do they expect? 

Although customer insights tools are on the rise and many businesses are recognizing their value for supporting customer-centric decision-making, it’s important to ensure the analytical outputs you’re getting meet the needs of stakeholders. After all, there’s not much point investing in a tool that can’t give you what you’re looking for.   

The first step is determining who your stakeholders are. Once you’ve done that it’s important to identify what analytical outputs your stakeholders expect. 

Different stakeholders want to receive information in different ways. While some might want detailed reports and statistics, others may prefer visuals they can easily understand at a glance. Customer insight tools like Relative Insight provide both the detail and the high-level visuals so you can cater to any stakeholder audience.

Complete your BI toolkit with the right customer insights platform

As you’ve seen, when it comes to choosing a customer insights tool that’s right for you, it all boils down to being specific about your business goals and what you would like to achieve with your new investment. 

With all the options available in this day and age, it is essential that you don’t simply settle for the next best platform and aim to truly make your investment count. Answering the above questions will provide you with a roadmap for choosing the right tool and producing outputs that support customer-centric decision-making. 

Want to dig deeper into the features of customer insights platforms? Take a look at our introductory guide to customer insights tools or book a no-commitment discovery call with one of our experts.