Good inventors and designers deeply understand their customer. They study and understand many anecdotes rather than only the averages you’ll find on surveys. A remarkable customer experience starts with heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, taste. You won’t find any of it in a survey.
Design thinking is a human-centered design method — focused on the customer or whoever the end users may be. Design thinking requires a high degree of empathy for the end user, and thus in-depth knowledge of your audience. It’s solution focussed (“how might we?”) and action oriented, requires a habit of experimentation which involves creating, prototyping and failing (and thus learning!).