Archive for January, 2009

Making Social Media Work for QSRs

Posted on January 27, 2009. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal, Leximancer, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Time and time again we’ve stressed the importance of both listening and responding to social media conversations. We’ve highlighted how companies like Dunkin Donuts, W Hotel, Apple and others are missing huge customer intelligence opportunities by not truly acting on the wealth of unstructured insight available via social media sites on the Web. What this information can give companies – quickly and easily – is a gold mine of customer insight.

QSR Magazine agrees, and in a recent article featuring Leximancer’s The Customer Insight Portal and CEO Neil Hartley, discussed the importance of these social media sites and their customer conversations for quick service restaurants. Using Yelp, Twitter, BooRah, etc., quick service restaurants can uncover actionable and invaluable customer insight that they can act upon accordingly.

To read the full article, click here.

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Finding the Right Voices in the Crowd

Posted on January 26, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Listening. Easily said, not always easily done. Companies are now keeping in tune with social media and many are doing their part to listen to what is being said about them, their competitors and their industries, but how do you really cut above all of the noise and the static to find meaning in this space?

Simply listening and monitoring social media for mentions and conversation about your company, product, service or what have you – will not help you fully understand the trends and themes of your customer responses.

Imagine, you’re standing in a massive coliseum listening to all of the people in the room talk. You are going to hear the people around you, but past that, nothing else – only white noise. How do you manage all of these conversations going on around you? How do you possibly make sense of what one group is talking about versus another and why? How do you interact with the conversation?

You can begin to sort people into groups – but what determines who the various groups are? Do you sort by the color of clothes they are wearing? Or the section of seats they are sitting in? Or by how many times they mention a company name? Unfortunately, by picking groups based on my preconceived ideas, I could be missing what they are saying as a mass. I won’t be able to easily decipher the important trends and themes of the mass by just listening.

Leximancer provides a way to find the signal amongst all of the static and noise – a way to conduct surveillance on the conversations happening in the coliseum; in the social media space. Using its powerful social media content analytics tool, The Customer Insight Portal (TCIP), companies can go one step further from listening to overwhelming chatter. They can truly understand it.

The Customer Insight Portal can break through the clutter, taking unstructured data such as comments in the social media space and from this identify the most common themes and trends throughout the conversations. It can identify the positives, the negatives and everything in between. By leaving it up to TCIP to sort through this noise, you can rest assured there will be no bias. It’ll ensure that you’re finding the right voices in the crowd enough to understand what are just whispers and what may be being screamed by the majority. Either way – instead of just listening to the noise, using TCIP you’ll actually be able to understand it and act on it.

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Four Resolutions Needed to Create a Better Customer Engagement Experience in 2009

Posted on January 16, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

1. Leverage Your Lost Information (Analyze Unstructured Data)
Companies in 2009 are facing a large obstacle –they don’t analyze or capitalize on 80 percent of their internal data, which isn’t even counting the social media data that most companies ignore. Think about that for a second. Using only 20 percent of resources in a business – think personnel, machinery, etc.—would be completely useless. Can you imagine telling the president of your company that you’re only successfully using two out of the ten employees in your division? So why, as a company, would you ignore data that can help your company make intelligent decisions?

What if this data told you that your entire customer base was displeased with your new product or service? Would you be able to then justify ad spending for your product to an already dissatisfied customer base? By analyzing this unstructured data, you will be able to tap into the hidden unknowns that could save your company considerable amounts of time, money and other resources.

2. Make Sure Your Customer Insight is Actionable
It seems like it should go without saying – make sure your customer insight is actionable. But it can be a common occurrence for companies to dig around and drum up data that is accurate but not actionable. Achieving actionable customer intelligence requires cutting out all of the background noise to get to the heart of what your customer wants and needs.

You can’t treat every comment and rant from every Tom, Harry and Sally the same. Consider this – every day, 20,000 new WordPress (blogging software) accounts are opened and BlogPulse estimates 70,000 blog accounts are opened globally per day. The reality is the Internet generates more information then a company can filter through by hand. The answer doesn’t lie in ignoring it all together but rather employing tools that can dig through to identify the signal from the noise. Creating actionable insight requires analyzing the majority of your data to find the discernible patterns and topics throughout all of your data – offline and online.

Creating actionable data is further hindered by the time involved with set-up with traditional analytics tools, ultimately taking away time from analysis and understanding. Furthermore, to truly create actionable data, you need clear insight on who is saying what. Actionable data requires knowing how the 18-to-35 year olds feel about your product versus how the 36-to-45-year olds feel. This requires the ability to analyze your data, comparing known variables to gain specific understandings about specific portions of the population.

3. Use Social Media for Marketing Research and Reduce the Time of Your Marketing Research Cycle
This is an area we’ve hammered on before – companies should no longer solely rely on traditional marketing research, which can take a year before finding the answers to a year-old question. Customers that complain on the internet pose a challenge to traditional market research methods. Take for instance companies like Get Satisfaction, which is built around serving as an unofficial customer service center. In addition to serving as a hub of customer dissent, it’s ripe with customer insight that can help companies nail down exactly what isn’t working or what needs to change with their latest product version. This is more preferable than waiting for the focus groups and phone surveys to take place where the results will often take months before trickling in. As the saying goes, “too little, too late.”

4. Increase the Metrics of Your Marketing Program

The next year will continue to see a heavy focus on social media as a marketing medium. With tightened budgets, the C-suite, more now than ever, is going to be focused on measurable results and ROI. This will involve more than just adding up page views, the number of links clicked and incoming links, which can be the standard means of measuring social media. Instead think of social media content analytics. This involves analyzing the comments being made or general buzz, whether on your site or the top blogs for your company. If you’re the Hyatt, this would mean analyzing the posts and comments on sites like Hotels.com, Trip Advisor, Expedia, Travelocity and Hotel Chatter. What is the general sentiment on those sites? What are the primary topics that occupy the attention of reviewers?  How does it compare quarter after quarter? Delving into social media content analytics will help companies truly understand the kind of buzz they are generating online. Truly moving the needle to change customer sentiment requires knowing how the sentiment is changing.

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