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How your data is helping to fatten up big tech firms like Amazon

How many times have you been asked to fill in an online survey? Or answer ‘a quick question’ after buying something online? It’s a lot right? That’s because customer experience data is more crucial than ever, in the eyes of growing businesses. 

Companies that have seen their revenues grow over the last year collected far more customer experience (CX) data than non-growth companies, according to a new survey conducted by Gartner.

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The results of the survey showed that almost 80% of growth businesses use customer surveys to collect CX data, while only 58% of non-growth organisations do the same.

“There is a clear trend among growing companies to actively collect CX data using a wide variety of tools such as surveys, usability testing, focus groups and real-time analytics,” said Jessica Ekholm, research vice president at Gartner.

“This is what we call the outside-in approach — the idea that customer value creation, customer orientation and CX will drive long-term business success.”

Data has been a hot topic in the world of tech for some time, with increasing pressure on giants like Facebook and Amazon to be responsible with users’ data. CX data is slightly different, being sourced mainly via surveys, rather than given to a company when you sign up for their service.

However, both sorts of data are contributing to the huge amounts of information that ‘big tech’ collects from users.

A Guardian report shone more light on this as long ago as 2017. A reporter requested all the data that dating app, Tinder, had collected on her and received 800 pages in response. It’s a figure that puts the importance of data – and the popularity of collecting it – into sharp perspective.

Gartner’s latest findings reinforce the fact that businesses believe your data is crucial to growth. In this case, CX data can offer real insight into what customers want from products and services. However, as Gartner notes – and as internet users well know – the sheer amount of ‘quick questions’ thrown at us online can easily lead to survey fatigue, which reduces the accuracy and quality of responses.

“Despite their widespread use, customer surveys have some flaws that limit their ability to collect quality CX data,” said Ekholm. “Recognizing this, growth companies are beginning to use near- or real-time analytics, to complement or build upon the data collected from surveys.”

“Companies that leverage AI and near- and real-time analytics applications to collect customer data will stand out as CX leaders in the next five to 10 years.”

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Between survey fatigue, data breach stories and the slightly scary amount of data that companies hold on their customers, it’s easy to see why consumers aren’t always excited about the subject. However, companies are more enthusiastic than ever to collect consumer data and we shouldn’t expect that to change any time soon.

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