Steve Jobs never relied on market research, but you should. Everyday we get feedback from our customers. Unfortunately, that feedback is rarely received, analyzed and channeled into a productive outlet. Instead, we often hear the feedback and react.Qualitative data analysis and customer feedback are one in the same for most service oriented businesses. Through customer feedback analysis you are performing the most important qualitative data analysis…understanding your consumer.

Here is a two step process that will help get the ball rolling.

A Process for Utilizing Customer Feedback and Performing Qualitative Data Analysis

Step 1: Implement an Employee Reporting Process

When you are running operations it is easy to become separated from your costumer.  Fortunately, there are many other people on your team that are directly communicating with your customers. These individuals need a way to transfer their knowledge of the customer into your customer relationship management (CRM) and operational process.

For our operations, we like to use Trello. It is simple yet allows for note taking and complete integration across our devices. This means that if one of our team members is meeting with a customer and the customer provides feedback we are able to input it into our CRM/Operations board directly from our mobile device or tablet and the entire team is immediately notified. We combine these because we believe that our customers are our operations and their insight is just as important as ours.

*Create a tag in Trello or in your collection process of choice so that you can easily filter and analyze your customer feedback

Step 2: Perform Qualitative Data Analysis

You have collected the customer feedback. Now, it will be essential that you begin the qualitative data analysis process so you are able to correctly analyze and respond to the feedback.

First, separate your feedback into three categories: positive, negative, and neutral. Next, read through the negative feedback and look for trends. Is more than one customer saying the same thing? Maybe it’s important.

Then go through the neutral feedback. A hidden gem can often be found here. While most responses appear fairly generic look once again for trends. Open up your creative channels and see if there might be a second degree of separation between what they are saying and what could be done.

Lastly, perform your qualitative data analysis upon your positive feedback. What do your customers love? Organize it in hierarchical manner. After you have identified their greatest affinities it is time to implement.

Be thinking, how can I highlight my strengths and turn my weaknesses into a positive? If you are able to listen and react, company growth will be the inevitable child of your qualitative data analysis of customer feedback.

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