Editor's note: Jeofrey Bean is the principal of Del Mar Research and Consulting and is an adjunct professor at the University of California San Diego Extension. 

With so many choices of data and other types of inputs available for developing customer experience insights, it can be challenging to explain to clients or employers how inputs can be used together to create effective customer experience intelligence (CXI). 

Working with business and health organization clients and teaching customer experience leadership at UC San Diego Extension, I’ve found a portfolio approach to customer experience intelligence to be an effective way to explain it and to improve the acceptance and quality of customer experience intelligence and related decisions. I hope the approach explored in this article will help you do the same. 

Time after time the customer experience leaders – small or large, business-to-business or business-to-consumer – seem to have an inside track to customers and the experiences they want. How do they do it? It’s not by accident. Most of the leaders have repeat success stories of determining, developing and delivering customer experiences that inspire people to advocate for them.

Is it some secret intelligence available only to these CX leaders? Partly yes and partly no. Yes, because companies have their own qualitative and quantitative data views just from being in business. No, because some of their methods of gathering customer experience intelligence can be used by almost any business. 

These intelligence-driven customer experiences effectively make companies with well-developed and -applied CXI better and different for customers. They increase revenues and profitability with improved customer retention, double-digit customer advocacy rates and declining cost of acquiring new customers. These are just some of the hallmarks of a CXI-centric business. CX leaders are committed to...