CX in 4 Data Points

How I Uncovered Customer Experience Insights With Only Four Interviews

While working with a client in the Insurance industry, my team was asked to conduct Customer Experience interviews for a small portion of their Canadian market. And by small, I mean four interviews. Total.

However, these were key accounts the client did not want to lose, and the competition was advancing fast and hard. So getting detailed customer intel quickly was priority job #1.

So we suited up and got to work reaching out to these accounts. Over the next few weeks, we were able to schedule and complete all four interviews.

Small Sample Lead to Big Customer Experience Insights

Now you may think that four interviews is too small to understand what’s really going on in any market, especially for Customer Experience Analysis. In this case, however, it was gold. Not only were these customers large and critical accounts for our client, but we were able to capture detailed comments and feedback from key decision makers through telephone interviews that complimented the web surveys that respondents also filled out.

In some of our telephone interviews, answers were slow in coming. One gentleman gruffly stated, “I am NOT going to answer that question!” in response to my first—and what I believed was fairly innocuous—question. As we eased into subsequent questions, he warmed up and eventually became so verbose that the interview extended 15 minutes beyond the allotted time.

Needless to say, our client was thrilled, exclaiming, “I can’t believe you got so much detailed information out of these discussions!

The neat thing about this project was that we could see themes in the data, even with only four data points. Customers consistently told us what they liked about our client—the unique offerings that made them stand out in an increasingly crowded market, the items our client needed to emphasize during contract renewals, and even how they can best beat the competition.

Customers Reveal Pain Points

The interviews also revealed our client’s weaknesses—how the competition was increasingly able to beat them on price as the market became commoditized, what irritated and annoyed customers most, and specific areas where our client was not adequately meeting their needs.

This client did what Customer Experience experts worldwide recommend: they asked their customers for feedback, and they listened and reacted to their responses.

Our client cared deeply about their customers’ opinions, not only because it makes good business sense, but because of the decades-long relationships they had built with these individuals that they did not want to end.

And customers did their part too. They offered passionate, no holds barred comments when sharing their reflections of our client. Like our client, these customers wanted to maintain a long-term relationship with people they had grown to like, not just as business partners, but as colleagues and friends. In order for the relationship to continue, however, adjustments needed to be made.

Strategize the Next Steps

After we delivered the final presentation to our client with key findings and recommendations, there was a long and audible exhale from the Canadian team. Wheels were turning. “To do” lists were being formulated. Brain storming sessions were being calendared.

In the ensuing weeks and months, our client scheduled internal sessions to strategize about the next steps. They scheduled meetings with key individuals in their customers’ organizations to address highlighted concerns. And most importantly, they made adjustments to their modus operandi, adopting an outside-in mindset to maintain a consistent focus on their customers.

As a result, our client renewed its contracts with all four accounts—capturing revenue worth millions of dollars. This was a notable achievement in what has become, and will likely remain, a hyper competitive market.

Interested in the the latest research on Customer Experience analysis?

If you’d like to learn about Primary Intelligence’s State of Customer Experience research:

CLICK HERE to read an overview of The State of Customer Experience report from Primary Intelligence.

WATCH our State of Customer Experience Webinar.

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Carolyn Galvin
Director of Partnership Marketing at Primary Intelligence
As Director of Partnership Marketing, Carolyn Galvin works with referral and strategic partners to extend Win Loss and Customer Experience programs to a wider community of B2B buyers. She also produces syndicated research reports highlighting current trends and best practices in Win Loss and Customer Experience Analysis. Prior to her current role, Carolyn served as a Program Consultant and as Director of Industry Insights at Primary Intelligence since joining the company in early 2013.

Carolyn has nearly 20 years of market research, customer satisfaction, and competitive intelligence experience working for large corporations and research agencies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks, and Frost & Sullivan. Early in her career, Carolyn worked as an Intelligence Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Prior to joining Primary Intelligence, Carolyn owned her own consulting firm, where she provided custom and syndicated research to clients worldwide on disruptive IT and telecommunications technologies.
Carolyn has two master’s degrees, one from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a second from Georgetown University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hood College in Maryland. Carolyn has also taken advanced Competitive Intelligence, Strategic Planning, and Strategic Marketing courses at the California Institute of Technology, as well as Digital Marketing classes at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since 2007, Carolyn has taught online global business and management classes part-time at the University of Maryland.
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