CX Blueprint Series: How to Use Customer Feedback for Competitive Intelligence

By: Clarabridge Team

November 18, 2014

By: Brendon O’Donovan

Customer feedback is a great source of information about your customers – but what can it tell you about your competition?

Customer feedback can tell you what your customers perceive your strengths and weaknesses to be, in comparison with those of your competitors. You can then use that information to position yourself in the marketplace and develop your messaging accordingly, which can potentially help you extend your market.

Here is a quick introduction on how to start using customer data for competitive intelligence:

  • Find out where their customers are talking. Start looking at your competition by identifying and monitoring your customers’ core customer feedback sources. Depending on your industry, this might include online review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Bookings.com for their products or services, or other publicly accessible feedback channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. These sources will provide you with valuable feedback on your competition for you to analyze.
  • Analyze their feedback. Your competitors’ customer data gives insight into their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by their customers. Use this information to understand their position in the market and to identify areas of opportunity. For example, if your competitors are receiving negative feedback on a specific product, it may be an opportunity to promote your similar product offering based on its superior capabilities.
  • Compare insights. Juxtapose your customer feedback against that of your competitors for a full view of the market. This will show you both areas of competitive advantage (which you should then highlight in your marketing as differentiators) and areas of improvement (which you should share internally so you can make changes).
  • Act on the competitive intelligence. Ultimately, competitive intelligence is only valuable if it is operationalized. You can do this by using your data to create a consolidated report or a competitive brief and delivering it to the appropriate department(s) in your organization. Follow up regularly with those departments and monitor how change is being implemented, as well as how you are stacking up against the competition.

How does your company use competitive intelligence? To learn more about how CMOs can benefit from customer feedback, read our cheat sheet.