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What customer intelligence will you rely on in 2020?

At the recent CXPA Insight Exchange conference in Atlanta, I gathered input from attendees to learn more about the sources of customer intelligence they plan to use in the future. Presented with a board with eight options, I gave three stickers to each participant and asked them to put them next to the sources of customer intelligence they felt they would rely on the most by the year 2020. Here's are the results:

  1. 60% – Social media listening
  2. 46% – Online customer communities
  3. 42% – Customer interviews
  4. 37% – Journey mapping
  5. 26% – Surveys
  6. 25% – Ethnographic research
  7. 20% – Customer advisory boards
  8. 9% – Online panels

Granted, this was not highly scientific (just 65 participants), but it was pretty interesting. Here are a few observations and thoughts. 

  • B-to-B versus B-to-C: This mattered for some. Customer advisory boards, customer interviews, and journey mapping were selected far more frequently by B-to-B companies. However, for most of the others the results were about even. 
  • Attitude toward surveys: Even though surveys are the most common form of intelligence today, many don't plan to rely on them much in the future. Some even commented, "Surveys will be dead by 2020." Frankly, I'm not to sure about that.
  • Old school: It was interesting to see customer interviews so high in the rankings. Even with all the technology we have today, the old fashioned method of talking with a customer is a great way to really understand what's on their mind.
  • Rise of communities: I can understand the opportunity with online customer communities. However, I don't really hear much about CX professionals using them today. It will be interesting to see if this one comes to fruition. 

What will you rely on in 2020? If you are like other CX professionals it looks like you will use several methods for customer intelligence in the future. Below is a picture of the voting board which was used – thanks to all who participated!

Patrick Gibbons
Principal, SVP

Walker

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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