Walker Information
Helping you put the customer at the heart of every decision.

We have all this data, but does it agree?

Remember back to a few weeks ago, we were discussing the topic of incorporating operational data or any other information we keep on our customers with their survey data to help us get a fuller picture of the customer experience. This data can be very useful to include in analysis of the customer experience, but as mentioned we need to take the time to assess our confidence in the information (i.e., is it up-to-date, etc.).

Ideally all the data sources that we have will agree with each other, but practically that really does not always happen. The first thing we need to do is assess the level of agreement – where is there agreement? Where is there disagreement? Next, we need to decide what we are going to do when they don’t agree. For example, if a customer indicates their issue was not resolved, but our records indicate the case is closed – do we treat this respondent as one with a resolved or unresolved issue? What about the number of transfers or the reasons they called support, which data source do we treat as the ultimate authority? What do we do?

Well as with most things, it depends on what you want to do with the information and how it will be used. There are cases where the customer’s voice should override other data sources, but there are also times when it makes sense for other data sources to be the authority. Ultimately this comes down to the objective of the analysis, but a few examples are outlined below…

The Customer indicates their issue is not resolved, but our metrics indicate the case was resolved.

  • Some things to consider:
    • What steps does a case have to go through to be resolved? Do any of these give indication on why there could be disagreement?
    • With the type of issues that we are being looked at, could an issue be resolved for a short time but then reoccur?
    • Typically, we see scores decline tremendously when issues are not resolved. Is analysis is looking at these groups separately, as the placement of these respondents will impact scores and findings.
  • Possible Decision:
    • Since the customer’s experience is completely the survey with the mindset that their case is not resolved, then the customer’s voice should override our metrics and they should be considered as an unresolved case.
    • A follow-up could be triggered based on survey responses that would allow someone to contact the customer to see what issue they are dealing with. This would have a two-fold advantage in that it would help the customer resolve their issue, as well as showing them you are listening to what they are saying.


The Customer indicates the called for an issue, but our records indicated they called for another issue.

  • Some things to consider:
    • Do the lists in the survey correspond with how you talk about issues internally? 
    • Is any organizational or operating structure trying to be mimicked? For example, are separate teams/departments to handle certain issues?
  •  Possible Decision:
    • One of the goals of the survey is to provide actionable information to teams that are in charge of fixing the issues customers call about. In this case it is important to ensure the information can be aligned with the various teams. 

I’m sure there are multiple other situations or possible decisions that you can think of that would result in either the customer voice being the authority or operational data. While there will never be a cut and dry answer of always using one or the other, it is important to think through your objectives and use of the information to come to the best solution.

Becca Lewis
Director, Marketing Sciences

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