Integrating Voice of Customer data with Google Analytics – Part I
As I have written before, Voice of Customer techniques are your direct feedback mechanism from visitors to your web site. It provides invaluable qualitative data to your web design, development, marketing, PR and content creator teams. It compliments the quantitative data of web analytics by providing the “why” to the “what” and “when”. However it is often the case that this data remains in a separate silo within the organisation, never to be compared with the quantitative data of your web analytics platform.
This post, the first part of two, is a How-to guide for integrating your voice of customer data with Google Analytics. I have chosen two popular VoC tools: , Clicktools and Kampyle, though it is not my intention to review the merits of the respective tools themselves. However I do use them both, which makes me a fan of them both.
This is Part I – Integrating Clicktools with Google Analytics. Part II – coming soon.
Integrating third party data with Google Analytics
Why should you do this? Well, knowing where visitors come from that take the trouble to give you their valuable time and feedback, is a key component of understanding why things may, or may not, be working on your web site. For example, perhaps visitors that come via a banner advertisement have a poor user experience compared to those that click through on a email link or find you via a search engine. In order to know these when viewing your survey results, you need to obtain that information from your Google Analytics data – and specifically at the point when the visitor clicks through to start your survey.
Essentially, there are two approaches to any kind of data integration – either importing or exporting the data of interest. By this I mean importing your third party data into Google Analytics, or alternatively exporting from Google Analytics into your third party system – a third option is to export both data sets into another system.
Google’s approach is to facilitate the latter. That is, make the exporting of your Google Analytics data as easy as possible. An often used phrase at Google is “data democratisation”, which means making the data accessible to everyone (with suitable access restrictions of course). So the general rule for integration, is to always think in terms of how can I get data out of Google Analytics to integrate it elsewhere. This is the approach I use here.
Of course, that may change in the future. The recent announcement of the Analytics API in theory allows for both the import and export of data into Google Analytics. For now though I am considering only the export of Google Analytics data and without any API programming skills!
Clicktools positions itself as an enterprise version of the very popular SurveyMonkey product. And although the name isn’t as intuitive, it is a powerful visitor survey system. Founded in 2001, Clicktools is a UK company based in the beautiful coastal town of Poole with offices in San Francisco (another beautiful place, but sorry Poole beats it!). The product already integrates with SugarCRM and Oracle CRM, yet surprisingly not yet with any web analytics vendors. Prices start at $3000 for an annual license, though there is a 30 day free demo.
For me, there are two strengths to the Clicktools approach:
- The power of the standard built-in reporting capabilities that help you understand the results. This includes a function called “Cross Tab”, that can show how responses to one question influenced another. For example, how people who answered “yes” to Q1 responded to Q5 – see screenshot
- The ability to generate custom reports using the Analytics add-on i.e. build your own report dashboard with custom filters
Integrating Google Analytics with Clicktools
By integrating with Google Analytics data, you can understand how survey respondents found you, which search engine, keyword, referral, affiliate etc. – without having to laboriously ask for this in the survey. The result is Google Analytics visitor data incorporated into your Clicktools survey reports.
There are 4 parts to this integration:
- Setup your survey in Clicktools
- Add hidden questions within Clicktools to collect the referral information – upto 5, though these can also be combined
- Populate the hidden questions with Google Analytics information by modifying the call to your survey