Data, data, data – it is all about data nowadays. Still too often we tend to forget that it is not about the data, it is about the person – a human being. Your customers have feelings and emotions and many time they are rather irrational. That one was almost common knowledge so why am I telling this? Well, it seems that even thought it should be quite clear, most of the eCommerces tend to forget this face and collect only observative data about their customers not even little qualitative data.
To collect it, it needs be incorporated into your regular survey plan so that you can gain more information about the variable. We have a saying that your observed data will tell you what happened, e.g. 15% of the customers did not go through the whole buying process even though they started it, but qualitative feedback will tell you WHY something happened – and that is the biggest value. Qualitative feedback will allow customers to vent their feelings if they are dissatisfied. It also gives the respondent a sense of being heard. When space is provided and respondents told to give their opinions, many will give their opinions! It is a motivating factor for respondents to complete the survey.
Analyzing the qualitative feedback is truly a challenge. It is time consuming and given with the quantitative feedback, it has to be taken together with it, even while analyzing. However, it helps in many ways. You can analyze the qualitative feedback at the individual level. A common way of analyzing qualitative feedback is doing a content analysis. In this process, the sentences and words written by the respondent are marked. For example words like “excellent” “very poor” “mediocre” “could be better” “did not know the company policy” and so on can be tallied. Many times this process can be very time consuming! Luckily this content analysis can be automized.
Qualitative feedback is of immense value to you. It can yield interesting data on variables you had no idea of, or thought of in a different way. It can help you refine your surveys, and take steps to improve your processes and procedures. The Qualitative feedback then has some advantages of the survey feedback and some advantages of the interview, without you having to spend time and effort on long interviews with customers and clients!
If you are looking for some help with your processes or you just have something you would like to ask, we are more than happy to help you – Just let me know!
Jaakko is an award-winning CX professional and entrepreneur at Feedbackly, founder and community professional at the biggest entrepreneurial digital community in Finland – Yrittäjä.io. He is a notorious keynote speaker from entrepreneurial stories to day to day human communications and customer experiences.