Unpacking Data-Driven CX: Insights from Simone Silva (CX Consultant, Prev Head of CX @Whirlpool)


Tom Firth

How do you view the relationship between product data and customer satisfaction?

Simone: Product data, such as telemetry from smart appliances, can provide valuable insights into the perceived quality and experience that a customer has with the product. However, it's important to recognize that product data is not a direct measurement of customer satisfaction. While it can help identify potential issues before they lead to a breakdown, it doesn't necessarily correlate directly with the customer's expressed satisfaction and overall experience with the brand.

For example, a smart appliance might send signals indicating that there could be a problem, much like a vehicle's dashboard lights. This data can be used to proactively support customers and prevent potential issues. However, the presence of these signals doesn't automatically mean that the customer is dissatisfied with the product or brand. It's crucial to consider product data as one piece of the puzzle when assessing customer experience, but not the sole determinant.

What are the different layers of data you consider when analyzing customer experience?

Simone: When analyzing the customer experience, I like to think about data in three distinct layers:

  • Product data: This includes information gathered from sensors in the example of  smart appliances, which can help identify potential issues and support product development efforts. While not a direct measure of satisfaction, product data can provide valuable context and insights into the customer's experience with the product itself.
  • Operational data: This layer encompasses metrics such as answer times, first call resolution, and spare parts consumption. By analyzing these operational metrics, we can gain insights into customer satisfaction and brand perception. For example, a high first call resolution rate might indicate that customers are receiving effective support, which can contribute to a positive overall experience.
  • Unstructured data: This layer includes information from social media mentions, customer interactions, and other sources that allow you to collect true experience data without prompting customers for specific responses. Unstructured data provides a wealth of information about how customers genuinely feel about your brand and products, as they express themselves freely without the constraints of a structured survey or questionnaire.

By considering these three layers of data together, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the customer experience, identifying areas for improvement and uncovering opportunities to exceed customer expectations.

How can you leverage these different data layers to identify blind spots and opportunities?

Simone: The true power of a multi-layered approach to data analysis lies in the ability to merge these different data sources to identify unknown issues and opportunities. While diagnostic data is valuable for confirming suspicions and providing context, the real treasure lies in uncovering what you don't know.

Cross-functional collaboration is key to leveraging this data effectively. For example, by working with product teams and analyzing unstructured data, we were able to identify signals about the value of certain accessories or customer preferences for consumables used with the product. This information might not have been captured through traditional methods, but by combining insights from different data layers, we could uncover new opportunities to improve the customer experience.

It's important to approach data analysis with an open mind, looking for the unknowns and blind spots rather than solely focusing on confirming what you already suspect. By merging the three layers of data and fostering cross-functional collaboration, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the customer experience and identify areas for improvement that might otherwise go unnoticed.

How did you utilize unstructured data, such as speech-to-text analysis, to improve customer experience at previous companies?

At my previous jobs, we made significant strides in leveraging unstructured data, particularly through speech-to-text analysis. By recording and analyzing 100% of our interactions from email, chat, and voice, we were able to gain valuable insights into customer sentiment, correlations between positive and negative reviews, and the primary reasons for customers contacting support.

One of the key benefits of analyzing unstructured data is the ability to identify opportunities for automation and self-service. By understanding the most common reasons for customers reaching out and their preferred channels of communication, we could optimize our customer support offerings to better meet their needs.

For instance, if a significant portion of customers were contacting us with questions about their warranty coverage, we could identify this as an opportunity to proactively provide clearer information upfront or offer self-service options for customers to easily access this information on their own. By addressing these common pain points and making information more readily available, we could reduce the need for customers to contact support, ultimately improving their overall experience with the brand.

In addition to identifying automation and self-service opportunities, analyzing unstructured data also allowed us to gain insights into customer sentiment and preferences that might not have been captured through traditional methods. By monitoring social media mentions and customer interactions, we could identify emerging trends, gauge customer reactions to new products or features, and proactively address any concerns or issues that might arise.

What did we learn?

In short, a lot! Here are some of our key takeaways:

  • A multi-layered approach to data analysis, encompassing product data, operational data, and unstructured data, is essential for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer experience. By considering these different data sources together, companies can identify areas for improvement and uncover new opportunities to exceed customer expectations.
  • Unstructured data, such as social media mentions and customer interactions, provides valuable insights into customer sentiment and preferences that may not be captured through traditional methods. By analyzing this data, companies can gain a deeper understanding of how customers truly feel about their brand and products, uncovering blind spots and identifying opportunities for improvement.
  • Cross-functional collaboration is crucial for leveraging data effectively and identifying opportunities for improvement across various aspects of the product and customer journey. By working together, different teams can share insights and perspectives, uncovering new ways to enhance the customer experience.
  • Analyzing unstructured data can lead to the identification of automation and self-service opportunities, enabling companies to optimize their customer support channels based on customer needs and preferences. By proactively addressing common pain points and making information more readily available, companies can reduce the need for customers to contact support, ultimately improving their overall experience with the brand.
  • Approaching data analysis with an open mind and a focus on uncovering unknowns is key to identifying blind spots and opportunities for improvement. By merging different data layers and fostering cross-functional collaboration, companies can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the customer experience and continuously improve their products and services to better meet the needs of their customers.

By embracing a data-driven approach to customer experience, as exemplified by Simone’s insights and experiences, companies can unlock valuable insights, identify hidden opportunities, and continuously improve their offerings to deliver exceptional experiences that keep customers coming back.

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