There is no customer obsession without customer understanding, and true customer understanding means knowing who your customers are, how they behave, what motivates them, and how they feel about their experiences. Most companies fall short of cracking the mystery of their customers because of a siloed approach to customer understanding. One team may focus on producing qualitative insights while another focuses on producing quantitative insights, and never the twain shall meet. The result is a jumble of highly detailed jigsaw pieces that fail to come together to solve a holistic customer puzzle.

Fortunately, this is starting to change. Companies such as Spotify see the opportunity of bringing quant-focused resources like data scientists together with qualitatively skilled researchers. Spotify Senior Data Scientist Hannes Lagerroth likens this partnership to police investigating a crime: “The crime scene investigator (data scientist) looks at blood splatter, DNA evidence, etc. But in order to bring the case to court, you need to understand the why. This is where the detective (design researcher) comes in.”

As the trusted emissary of customer empathy, customer experience (CX) practitioners are well positioned to lead the charge in solving customer mysteries. But this means you need to assemble a crack team of customer investigators who specialize in both quantitative and qualitative techniques to examine the evidence and unlock meaningful customer insights.

Customer churn analysis demonstrates the benefits of combining quantitative and qualitative approaches. Sure, it’s great to know your churn rate and even better to be able to anticipate which customers are most likely to defect based on quantitative predictive analytics. But qualitative analysis can reveal why your customers are defecting in the first place. So while you can use churn prediction to plug individual holes in the bucket, at the same time, you should leverage qualitative research to design a better bucket altogether.

At Forrester’s CX North America virtual event this June 7–9, I will be speaking about how companies are applying quantitative and qualitative methods together to unravel customer mysteries. Attendees will learn:

  • Whodunnit? — the roles that should work together on customer investigation.
  • With what? — the customer insights methods that they specialize in.
  • The motive? — the benefits that companies have experienced as a result of this approach.

Through case studies and my attempted impersonation of “CSI: Miami’s” iconic protagonist Horatio Caine, I will reveal best practices that you can adopt to do your customers justice.

So please join us June 7–9. And if you can’t make it, I certainly hope you have a good alibi …