Bruce Temkin posted a short video recently making the case that we need more qualitative research in the customer experience world.
The problem is that boiling down customer feedback to statistical metrics obscures the fact that there are thousands of individual customers behind those numbers. Each customer has their own story and their own experience, and it's important to not lose those individual experiences in the analysis.
The way to not lose sight of customers is through qualitative data that captures their stories. That doesn't mean not calculating metrics. It means making sure you are including that qualitative feedback as part of the process and then using it.
Too often when companies collect qualitative feedback they either don't use it at all, or they try to boil down the customers' stories into statistics using analytics tools.
What needs to happen instead is someone needs to read or listen to individual customers' feedback to develop understanding for customers' emotions and experiences.
Statistics have their place of course. But statistics don't readily lead to empathy and understanding.