Optimising your customer journey is crucial for higher conversions, better engagement, and maximum retention. Around 86 percent of customers have said that they are willing to pay more if offered a better CX.

Hence, customer experience analysis is a powerful business strategy that keeps you ahead of your competitors. CX helps you to study the behaviour of your customers at every touchpoint to keep them satisfied.

To study customer behaviour, you need to have access to several data sources. Such data sources are generally divided into two groups, the so called “traditional” data sources and the “alternative” data sources.

In this article, we will discuss both these sources of data and understand why alternative data sources are proving to be a game-changer.

Let’s begin.

What are the traditional data sources?

Traditional data sources consist of surveys, call centres, focus groups, help desks, billing systems, etc. Acquiring data using these sources is time-consuming and expensive.

Besides, it is hard to obtain accurate data because participants are hesitant to share their views and get motivated by other participants’ opinions or the moderator’s feedback.

Moreover, people often don’t like to be questioned, and they might not disclose their true feelings for a business or a product.

Hence, traditional data sources are not sufficient for CX analysis as they do not provide accurate data on customer behaviour.

What are the alternative data sources?

Alternative data sources are all publicly available, and the data is generated by users like online reviews, social media posts, videos, etc.

Even though the data is public, the retail and tech giants are doing their best to stop companies from getting this data. Hence, companies are using proxies for web scraping because the process is effective and safe.

Scraping using a proxy keeps the scraping tool anonymous because the IP remains hidden. You can browse the web and scrape data from different websites while making the websites believe that a real user is browsing their site.

How Brands obtain this data?

One of the most efficient ways to obtain customer behaviour data on the public domain is by scraping eCommerce sites. You can conduct web scraping for eCommerce data and perform quality market research to optimise CX.

Here are some of the reasons why data extraction using web scraping is so powerful:

  • Customers always read reviews before they make a purchase. Hence, real-time price monitoring will help you to optimise your pricing strategy for more sales.
  • Customer sentiment analysis lets you classify customers’ sentiments as ‘positive’, ‘negative’, or ‘neutral’. When you know how customers react to a product, you can optimise your product experience to fulfil their expectations.
  • You can scrape the social follower’s list of your main competitors and create an ideal customer persona of your product.
  • You can combine brand monitoring with sentiment analysis to reward users who share positive sentiments about your brand or take steps to satisfy the users who share negative emotions.

Why is it such a game-changer?

Alternative data sources are a game-changer. It takes a proactive approach to optimise customer experience rather than a reactive approach.

Advantages of alternative data sources

  • It is always better to be a fly on the wall instead of running surveys or focus groups where the insight is biased. Alternative data sources don’t interview the users in a room or conduct surveys to collect their opinion. The views come naturally during the actual customer journey and the insights gathered are not biased.
  • Time taken to complete surveys or organise focus groups might take months, whereas you can easily scrape the web to obtain real customer insights in the public domain within days. Both time-consumed and investment required are less when you choose the alternative data sources approach.

Downsides of alternative data sources

There are some downsides to using alternative data sources for CX analysis. These are discussed below:

  • The data that you obtain is unstructured. Hence you need an excellent sentiment analysis tool to structure the data to make data-driven decisions. These two Israeli companies Revuze and Signals Analytics let you do exactly that.
  • It’s hard to scrape so much data. Hence, you need a strong research and development team to do it for you.

Final Thoughts

CX is essential to remove the friction from different stages of the customer journey. When you have the right data at your disposal, you can proactively target your customers. As a result, customer lifetime value increases, leading to overall business growth. Alternative data sources are playing a pivotal role in optimising your customer journey. Businesses that fail to optimise CX get out of luck in no time. The only way to remain in business is to satisfy your customers and start an iterative CX analysis cycle.

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