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5 Ways Text Analytics Helps You Know Your Customers Better


Bruce Temkin of the Temkin Group joined us recently for a webinar, “How Text Analytics is Changing the Customer Experience.”  It was among our highest-rated and best-attended online events. During the webinar, most questions centered on one simple concept: “What can I do with Text Analytics that I’m not getting in my current survey-based customer experience program?”
Here are five ways Text Analytics will help companies get more from their Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs:
1)   Text Analytics provides more context behind every experience
Without free-form text, an overall satisfaction score is just a number. With Text Analytics, instead of merely getting a 7/10, you can understand the why behind the score. Are customers unhappy because of the returns policy, the experience in the store, the call center experience, or something you haven’t heard about yet? In many cases, customer feedback is the cumulative effect of multiple experiences, some with positive sentiment and some with bad. This additional context brings you closer to really knowing your customers and to understanding what actions you can take to get better.
2)   Text Analytics is better at identifying emerging trends
The beauty of free-form text responses is that people focus on what matters to them and omit what’s not important. When themes change and develop, Text Analytics is very efficient at noticing emerging issues before they become wide-scale problems. For example, have a few customers started to mention a product defect that you’ve never seen before? Without a systematic, integrated, real-time way to look at text feedback, you might miss the issue until it’s too late for a quick resolution.
3)   Text Analytics can get answers to questions companies can’t ask
Every company has specific questions that they can’t directly ask customers. Companies need to know, specifically, how rude an employee was or whether there were bugs in the hotel room. Text Analytics uncovers this important feedback without forcing the company to ask for specifics. It also yields answers to questions that companies simply forgot or never thought to ask.
4)   You can shorten questionnaires while increasing insights
We like to say that the survey is an extension of the customer experience. We don’t have the ability to ask every question we’d like to, because surveys would simply be too long. Some Text Analytics users don’t want to ask any direct questions; others want to quantify SMS feedback with a large text component. Text Analytics is fully capable of identifying key drivers and improvement opportunities as traditionally quantified approaches. That means companies can cut the number of questions they ask while actually reporting hundreds more topics hidden within the free-form text.
5)   Text Analytics helps get to the root-cause
Well-run VOC programs should help companies identify what is important and where they should take action. But quant measures often do a good job of uncovering what’s broken without giving you many clues about how to fix it. Say your company uncovers that you have a customer service problem, as reported by low satisfaction scores. What is it about the customer service? Text Analytics can identify linguistic connections and uncover the whys behind the whats. It helps you go a level deeper and see that bad customer service scores in a particular department correlate with long lines.
Medallia believes strongly in the merits of Text Analytics as part of our integrated Customer Experience Management offering. Our solution is purpose built for understanding the customer experience, and we’ve invested in making it a native component of our core application. Do you have any good stories about using Text Analytics to add context to your feedback program?
Watch our recent webinar led by Bruce Temkin and yours truly to learn more!

Photo credit: Okko Pyykkö