A Decade of Text Analytics Innovation

A hand hovers over a hologram of a data chart

Here’s how Medallia has innovated and iterated to build the most accurate, actionable, and scalable text analytics offering in the industry to help companies provide world-class experiences.

Words. Text. Unstructured data. Whatever you want to call it — it’s powerful for a number of reasons. Text is the natural way in which we all communicate. This is the way in which customers and employees are providing feedback every day. Second, text is universal. While quantitative data may vary based on the context of its scale, the unstructured nature of text makes it possible to combine and compare data across sources, which is invaluable for both prioritization and spotting issues.

Building the first experience text analytics engine

Medallia recognized the huge potential of unstructured experience data well over a decade ago, but we didn’t want to build a solution that kept data siloed with only data analysts. Instead, we followed these six tenets to build the most accurate, actionable, and scalable text analytics offering in the industry — right into the core of our platform. 

Comprehensive: While we started with open-ended comments in surveys, we have since expanded our text analytics engine to capture anything your customer or employee may say or write across social, chats, support, tickets, survey comments, and more. For example, last year alone, we processed over 6.7 million hours of speech.

Connected: Unstructured text has become the universal language of experience. While metrics may vary, sentiment and topics help us combine and compare data sources across channels. This holistic, unified view is essential to quickly react, prioritize, and innovate.

Accessible to All: Democratizing data to anyone who needed it was an important requirement for us from the beginning. Unlike existing text analytics solutions on the market at the time, we built an engine that could scale for mass consumption across large organizations with unlimited role-based access. Personalized reports, intuitive workflows, and topic-based alerts empower every employee, from the C-suite to the front line, to use valuable insights from unstructured data to drive decision-making and improvements. Our adoption speaks for itself. In the past 30 days, over 200,000 Medallia users from thousands of customers have accessed 3.75 million text analytics reports.

“Using text analytics, the team is gathering actionable insights on a weekly basis. Listening to the voice of our guests/owners has enabled us
to take swift, meaningful action in these unpredictable times.”

Nicole Myers, Vice President, Customer Experience
Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Action-Oriented: With a focus on proactive engagement, our platform automatically surfaces key themes so you can quickly dive deep into what’s truly driving customer loyalty and employee satisfaction. We use machine learning algorithms to automatically detect new issues and trends as they arise, eliminating blind spots and highlighting unexpected problems. This is extremely helpful in contact centers where there is a high volume of comments. Medallia Text Analytics also enables real-time coaching and quality assurance workflows directly into Medallia and other systems of work.

Scalable: Because the world’s largest enterprises rely on Medallia to run their businesses, our text analytics engine had to scale, transforming text from millions of surveys, social media reactions, reviews, emails, agent notes, call transcripts, and more into actionable insights widely accessible across an organization. We process, on average, 55 million survey comment responses every 30 days.

Easy to Maintain: We intentionally designed our Text Analytics engine to require little to no maintenance for users. To ensure fast time to value, we provide hundreds of pre-built AI models and pre-packaged topic sets focused on customer and employee experience needs such as predicting churn, legal risk, upsell opportunity, employee recognition, and more. Our AI models also incorporate elements of continuous and active learning, helping to maintain a high, consistent level of accuracy with minimal human intervention. Our goal with Athena has always been to minimize the time and effort it takes to drive iterative fine-tuning of rules and accuracy maintenance, and to give our customers time back to focus resources on building topics that matter to their business.  

Text reveals a whole new world of feedback

Our investment in text analytics has opened a whole new world of growth for our customers. Data-driven decisions bolster employee efficiency and responsiveness, fuel innovation, increase revenue and profitability, and improve customer experience and loyalty (NPS®). 

Medallia research found that companies using customer verbatims to create and test new ideas score 10 NPS points higher than their competitors. And those that integrate feedback from four or more channels have a +14 NPS compared to those using only one channel.

Here are a few ways our customers are driving growth by analyzing and acting on customer and employee feedback. 

Rent-A-Center increases customers satisfaction by gathering open-ended feedback across the customer journey.
Since launching a Voice of the Customer program with Medallia, Rent-A-Center increased their NPS by 54%. Rent-A-Center uses customer feedback to develop insights, prioritize improvement actions, and ensure both customers and employees have consistently outstanding experiences. By listening to customer and employee feedback and leveraging text analytics to surface root causes of issues, Rent-A-Center is creating smoother customer experiences and making it easier for their customers to do business with them. They have seen a 19% customer growth increase on a per store average, and top-performing NPS stores outperform low performers by 28% in year-over-year sales growth.

Fidelity International drives revenue growth by taking focused action from millions of customer comments.
Top global investment management company, Fidelity International, worked with Medallia to launch a globally consistent approach to measuring and improving customer experience. Medallia’s text analytics solution was a pivotal part of the initiative, allowing a more nuanced understanding of what customers are saying through the open comments they leave in survey feedback. Now Fidelity can more holistically understand customer journeys and use that insight and analysis to connect directly with customers to better meet their needs and focus their continuous improvement efforts.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses customer feedback to support veteran’s mental health.
Starting in fall 2017, the VA began digitally collecting customer feedback via Medallia from Veterans receiving VA services. In the first two years of the program, Veterans responded with more than 4.2 million surveys, including more than 1.6 million free-text comments. This feedback is accessible to VA employees across the country for action, prompting customer service efforts and influencing VA decision making. The system is heavily engaged, and Medallia Text Analytics alerts led to early intervention for more than 1,400 Veterans in need to provide them assistance within minutes of the alert. 

Looking at our next phase of analytics innovation

For more than a decade, Medallia’s Text Analytics has turned every word from customers & employees into actionable insights that drive business results. With the introduction of Athena Studio, Medallia continues its leadership by empowering companies of all sizes to build AI custom models for text analytics, without any coding. This puts AI insights in the hands of data scientists and business users alike, to serve both of their needs, while pushing out data at scale.


Learn more about our best-in-class text analytics by speaking with an expert for a demo.