If you’re trying to understand customers’ behaviors, perhaps the last people you should ask are your customers.
A traditional marketing approach for predicting consumer behavior is to elicit behavioral intention instead of actual behavior. Frederick F. Reichheld, developer of the very popular Net Promoter Score (NPS), based his loyalty system on a customer survey that asks how likely they are to recommend a company’s product or service to their friends.
While this is nice to know, if I’m responsible for my company’s marketing strategy, I’m more interested in whether the customer recommended our products to their friends, if their friends bought something from our company as a result, and if their friends had a good experience dealing with our company. In order to get this information, you’ll have better luck dealing with your data scientists than your customers. When it comes to understanding and, more importantly, predicting consumer behavior, your big data analytics team will have better answers than your customers.