Data is everywhere; making sense of it all is the hard part.

We asked attendees at our Glossy Forum event on Tuesday how they’re using customer feedback to inform their business models. The following responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

James Tagliani, CFO, Le Tote
We use customer feedback for everything; from purchasing new inventory to user experience online, pretty much everything we do is customer service–driven. This is done mostly through the website and social media. We’ll send employees out to talk to our best customers, but our customers are so vocal, we almost get more information through social media and some of the private groups that are set up on Facebook for the brand. Those tend to be super engaged and there are hundreds of people in them.

Ani Collum, CMO, Ellie Kai
As a made-to-order women’s brand, part of our model is taking real-time feedback directly from customers and applying it right back into our design process. That allows us to concept, iterate, manufacture, process and get out to market in four weeks. The reason we’re able to do this is we have a very distributed network of channels — one of which is style consultants that are out in the field, and getting that direct feedback verbally and anecdotally from our customers.

Ciara Rabbitt, cosmetics omni buyer, Macy’s
A lot of the insights that we get from consumers is online. We also participate in focus groups. A lot of this process involves sitting with groups like millennials and asking them what emotional incentives lead to purchase. We also utilize our vendor community, because they do many in-depth studies, and use those.

Kaylan Wetzel, business development manager, Priv
As an on-location beauty and wellness app, using customer feedback is how the entire app was built. When we first launched Priv, it was purely on-demand, but then we saw that customers wanted something more, so we implemented future scheduling because people felt a little safer when they could pre-schedule in advance. We implemented texting the client, as well, to encourage a back-and-forth dialogue. The clients want that instant gratification, and want to be able to communicate and know there are people dedicated to getting them the service they want. To be able to chat with them beforehand allows us to build trust.

Margaret Crabtree, senior manager of innovation, JCPenney
We’re trying to dig through our internal databases and the systems we already have and re-engineer them to create new processes and concepts. With a larger organization and a legacy brand, a lot of it has been siloed and dealt with inside each vertical within the organization. So it’s our job to pull across and get teams together and find that consumer centric data.

Quynh Dang, brand strategy director, Marc Fisher
We’re just starting to use customer feedback. At Marc Fisher, we own and license an array of brands. For example, we just acquired Easy Spirit, and the customers are so loyal and so engaged. The product reviews are so robust. We’re going to be re-platforming our website and our experience to really showcase that prominently, and leverage that information to be able to drive conversion and get more insight form that consumer experience.

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