Leximancer

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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Leximancer Adds Satmetrix As Partner

Posted on December 9, 2008. Filed under: Leximancer, News | Tags: , , , , , |

Leximancer announced today a new partnership with Net Promoter® Leader Satmetrix. This partnership is part of strong continuous growth that Leximancer has seen throughout 2008. 

Satmetrix will use Leximancer’s powerful Web-based content analysis platform, The Customer Insight Portal, enabling Satmetrix to add customer analytics and unstructured content mining to their already highly popular Net Promoter platform.

Net Promoter, paired with Leximancer’s breakthrough platform, will allow hundreds of Global 200 companies to outperform their competition in customer loyalty, retention and growth. 

For more information on the partnership, click here.

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Leximancer Partners with Polecat Ltd.

Posted on December 3, 2008. Filed under: Leximancer, News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Building on recent momentum, Leximancer recently added a strategic OEM Partner in Polecat Ltd.  The London-based Polecat will utilize Leximancer’s breakthrough analytics platform through Leximancer’s web service interface in conjunction with MeaningMine, Polecat’s own brand and strategic marketing platform.

The combined services will provide customer service, brand management and customer intelligence professionals with key insights derived from unstructured external and internal data sources.

Click here for more on the partnership.

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The Role of Analytic Geeks in Retaining Customers

Posted on December 3, 2008. Filed under: Leximancer | Tags: , , , , , |

Last Wednesday there was an article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that’s worth revisiting here (Marketers Reach Out to Loyal Customers, Emily Steel, Nov. 26, section B2), because its key message is one that we’ve been talking with customers and partners about a great deal over the past couple months.  Namely, in these turbulent economic times it is more important than ever to invest in a company’s existing customers.  As Ms. Steel noted, “acquiring a new customer costs about five to seven times as much as maintaining a profitable relationship with an existing customer.”  And her main point was that “with the critical holiday sales season at hand, there’s a new character joining Santa and his elves on the advertising circuit: the analytics geek.”  Yes, we’re analytics geeks here at Leximancer.  And proud of it!

We pay attention to numbers.  Of all the information that’s available for companies to use in gaining competitive advantage a mere 20% is addressable by today’s major business intelligence vendors (Oracle, IBM, SAP etc). The other 80% is pure unstructured chaos, which as a result is largely ignored or only sampled in bits and pieces.  While just the numbers suggest a problem here, the fact is that direct customer comments—through contact centers, surveys, and self-service support sites for example—are in that 80%.  How can solid business and advertising spend decisions be made without careful consideration of customer input?  As noted by the venerable Jack Welch, “an organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Marketers need an automatic, systematic and scalable system that can enable unstructured textual information to become a real enterprise asset—good for uncovering new customer insights and unknown customer insights.  While Ms. Steel’s article was more focused on targeted advertising spend that leverage quantitative analytics, the companies that quickly address customer comments in a systematic manner are the ones that are taking it to the next level.  And while the holiday season brings opportunity to this sort of progressive marketer, our economic conditions demand renewed customer orientation regardless of the season—to both ensure revenue performance as well as reducing the cost of customer acquisition.

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How customer reviews can define your advertisements

Posted on November 10, 2008. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal, Leximancer, Webinar | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In an age where the average advertisement costs thousands of dollars and requires hundreds of staff hours – and when a 30-second commercial spot during the Superbowl is nearing upwards of $3 million dollars – companies need to ensure that their ads are being put in the right place and at the right time.

Not every company needs a Superbowl commercial to hit their target audience. Consumers can be reached through so many outlets – including the Internet. With hundreds of review sites like Amazon, Buzzillions, CNET, etc. that contain hundreds of trustworthy reviews from consumers that use your product or services, companies can use this information to gain actionable customer insight and allow themselves to target their advertisements appropriately.

In Leximancer’s most recent Webinar, this notion was discussed. While analyzing reviews on a Canon camera lens from both Amazon and Buzzillions, The Customer Insight Portal was able to identify key issues and themes relating to reviews from each site. When comparing reviews from both, you could see that consumers on Amazon had much different opinions than those on Buzzillions.

Map highlighting the common themes and concepts from Amazon reviews

Map highlighting the common themes and concepts from Amazon reviews

While one set of reviews focused on the more technical aspects of the lens, the other focused on accessories and general features. Ultimately, it would make sense for Canon to tailor to these consumers accordingly – placing ads on Amazon that promoted some of the more technical aspects of the lens, and focus their ads on some of the available lens accessories on Buzzillions.

By being able to take customer reviews and use text analytics to identify the common themes and concepts associated with such, Canon and companies alike can really focus and target their advertisement efforts. In turn, by focusing their ads on what customers are already speaking about, companies would likely see a greater return on investment – proving that when done right and done smart, targeted advertising efforts do pay off.

Join us for our next Webinar,  Don’t Just Monitor Social Media…Analyze and Act On It, on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 1:00 p.m. EST for a discussion on monitoring social media and how to use what people are saying to understand why they are saying it. For more information or to register, click here.

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Did Apple get it right with the new MacBook?

Posted on October 28, 2008. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal, Leximancer | Tags: , , , , , |

When Apple launched their new line of MacBook a few weeks ago, many people were excited to see some positive changes from the outdated version still in stores. Although Apple got many rave reviews on the MacBook, not every user loved everything about the newest version.

A concept map of CNET Reviews of the Macbook

A concept map of CNET Reviews of the MacBook

Using reviews of the new MacBook from CNET, Leximancer’s The Customer Insight Portal was able to identify some of the aspects that consumers were dissatisfied with that Apple could use when they develop their newest version down the road.

A thematic summary of connected themes in the concept map

A thematic summary of connected themes in the concept map

As one can see when looking at the thematic summary The Customer Insight Portal generated, the theme “bad” is the most connected at 100%. This could mean two things. This may mean that the majority of reviewers identified the product or aspects of the product as “bad”. This also may be because many users use CNET reviews as a chance to express their concerns with the new MacBook.

Another interesting thing to note is that the theme “screen” is the most prevalent theme (48%) in terms of what is truly specific to the MacBook itself. Apple opted to use a glossy screen for the new MacBook, which garnered mixed reviews.

Concept map of the theme "screen"

Concept map of the theme "screen"

When zoning in on the screen theme, you can see that glossy and matte are prevalent concepts, as many reviewers prefer the new, glossy screens of the MacBook, while others think that having a matte screen is better. Digging into some of the textual evidence, you can see that there really are mixed feelings about the look of the screen.

“For me personally I was prepared to make the switch from PC to Mac but the 
glossy screen was a deal breaker for me.”

“I am a programmer so having a glaring screen is the real deal breaker for 
me, but the other then this the thing I really disliked about these 
computers which I have not heard anyone else mention so far is the 
sharpness across the front edge.”

“The glossy screen is supposed to make everything seen on the screen, well, 
glitter. I’ve compared a website seen on a matte screen, and on a glossy 
screen, and I must concur that, the same website on the glossy screen looks 
better in terms of aesthetics.”

“The glossy screen doesn’t bother me that much. That I could live with, and 
the flat glass surface on the screen is one of the best ideas in mobile 
computing that I have seen in years.”

“Glossy screen better than matte. (But they should’ve used Opticlear coating 
from NEC)”

“I 
have no idea why everyone suddenly went to these glossy screens. I have no 
idea what they are talking about when they say it has better colors.”

“The glossy display doesn’t bother me as 
it’s the same as my iMac’s and I absolutely love it (and don’t take my 
laptops outside all that much).”

Concept map of the themes "pad" and "worst"

Concept map of the themes "pad" and "worst"

One of the most obvious concerns for the new MacBook users was the mousepad/trackpad. While the spacious pad, made of glass may be roomier and allow for some revolutionary “gestures” similar to the iPhone, the trackpad is now buttonless, which many reviewers have found to be confusing and annoying.

As you can see, the theme pad was most closely related with the worst theme, and included concepts like horrible, sucks and disliked. This shows that for many reviewers, the trackpad was a strong source of discontent.

Close up of theme "bad"

Close up of theme "bad"

Another interesting complaint that reviewers had, as you can see around the concept bad, was the loss the of a FireWire port. Because many digital cameras and camcorders use a FireWire to load onto a computer and some users need it for editing purposes, reviewers were upset that the new MacBook’s did not have this capability. Although the MacBook Pro and some other higher end options do have the FireWire port, the less expensive MacBook does not.

“Removing the firewire from the low end macbook seems like a really bad move 
when you’re looking at it now. I happen to use firewire for video editing, 
but I’m not sure it’s important to most people.”

“(maybe Macs too, just 
haven’t done any research) Sure, sure, those of us in the know are aware 
that firewire is much better for HDDs and such, but the average consumer 
doesn’t know that. Most PC users use USB external drives.”

Overall, the new Apple MacBook’s got many positive reviews from sources. However, using Leximancer’s The Customer Insight Portal, we are able to hone in on some of the aspects that reviewers aren’t as pleased with. When it is time to develop the newest version of the MacBook, Apple will be able to learn from this discontent and build a new model accordingly.

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Leximancer Adds Strategic Partner in OrbisIP Limited

Posted on October 24, 2008. Filed under: Leximancer, News | Tags: , , , , , |

Leximancer Adds Strategic Partner in OrbisIP Limited

Innovative customer insight software made available to government and military customers

BOULDER, Colo. – (Oct. 21, 2008)- Leximancer, a Customer Experience Management (CEM) and analytics software development company, today announced a partnership with OrbisIP Limited, a technology transfer and licensing company that focuses on Information and Homeland Security Intellectual Property (IP) Patents and Products, expanding Leximancer’s growing customer base to include government and military sectors. The partnership comes as Leximancer recently launched its SaaS-based The Customer Insight Portal that analyzes customer feedback and unlocks critical insight.

“This strategic partnership is an exciting opportunity to leverage the impact of Leximancer software,” said Neil Hartley, Leximancer CEO. “In a time of heightened concerns about security, it is imperative that government and military personnel be able to fully analyze the data they have and find new and actionable insight-a service that is unique to our product.”

Leximancer’s software enables users to find meaning in a variety of places, including textual information on the Web, in blog posts and social media sites, or nearly any textually-based document. The software pulls out from unstructured text the main themes, ideas and relationships between words and turns this into meaningful insight for the user.

The partnership with OrbisIP will help Leximancer expand its customer base into the international security market, including government and military users. OrbisIP is a recognized leader in the information and homeland security fields and will provide Leximancer with the necessary tools to expand into this field.

“We have seen firsthand that this technology can help organizations to make sense of a wide and complex array of data sets and produce analysis quickly and accurately,” said Pete Jaco, OrbisIP CEO. “A big part of our jobs at OrbisIP is to identify and help distribute emerging technology that can help meet security targets and objectives within a nation’s security industries.”

About Leximancer
Leximancer’s patent-pending software platform is available through OEM partners or through www.thecustomerinsightportal.com. It allows customer satisfaction, brand management and competitive intelligence professionals to automatically extract the root causes of customer attitudes from Internet communications such as blogs, Web sites and social media, as well as the vast amount of data currently locked within the enterprise in the form of e-mails, service notes, call center notes, voice transcripts and survey feedback. Through its intuitive concept discovery, cause-and-effect analysis, thesaurus and search functions, Leximancer is the only solution that delivers deep insight into customer attitudes by objectively identifying “unknown unknowns.” For more information, visit the Web site, www.leximancer.com, or the blog, http://www.customerinsightblog.com.

About OrbisIP
OrbisIP is the first company to focus exclusively on the technology transfer and licensing of Information and Homeland Security Intellectual Property (IP) Patents and Products. OrbisIP is building international partnerships with universities, research laboratories and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) that specialize in producing innovative security technology and research, and assisting these partners in the licensing and distribution of their technology to global licensors of Infosec Patents and Products. OrbisIP Limited has been founded with the support of strategic investment party Imprimatur Capital.

# # #

CONTACT:
Elaine Ellis
Metzger Associates
eellis at metzger.com
303-786-7000

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Powerfully Simple

Posted on October 20, 2008. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal, Leximancer | Tags: , , , , , |

Two concepts you rarely see linked in software reviews are “powerful” and “easy to use,” but those concepts are the first impressions of everyone who has put The Customer Insight Portal through its paces.

Fern Halper is the latest to be surprised by the powerful simplicity of the Portal and the speed of reaching actionable insight. Fern discovered that even a new user can dive in, load data either from internal documents or the Web and in minutes have actionable insight at your fingertips.

“The portal is very easy to use. You simply login and then tell the system the files you would like to analyze. You can upload internal documents or specify the URL(s) you would like to mine. Once the analysis is complete, you can then drill in and out of the concepts and highlight the pathways between concepts.”

And dive in she did. Fern explored several articles on the current financial crisis to see what new insight she could uncover, and using the Pathway Analysis tool quickly found an unexpected link.

“I was interested to understand the ‘seats’ concept and its relationship to the economic crisis, so I highlighted the path. In a separate window all of the articles related to the concept path are highlighted. It then became obvious from the articles, that given the financial crisis, the democrats stand to gain more seats in the senate and lock up a 60 seat filibuster proof majority.”

What kind of insight and unexpected links do you think The Customer Insight Portal can unlock for your business?

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My Starbucks Idea – What Starbucks Customers Really Want

Posted on October 14, 2008. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal, Leximancer | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In the last couple months, Starbucks joined the social media scene in a big way – launching their My Starbucks Idea site, a Web site dedicated to allowing customers to voice their own ideas about that they would like to see change, improve, etc. at Starbucks.

Users can submit their own ideas related to employees, coffee and tea, merchandise and Starbucks cards. Ideas are then rated by points and reviewed by Starbucks corporate employees, some of which are seen through in action.

Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, called this the “start of social computing (where individuals who participate socially to build something greater) work together to craft better products, services and experiences for companies.”

Conceptual Map of My Starbucks Ideas

In the six or seven months since Starbucks launched this Web site, there have been thousands of idea entries. When using The Customer Insight Portal to analyze the top rated ideas of all times, we found some interesting themes that would provide strong actionable customer insight for Starbucks.  

Coffee - a major concept as it relates to My Starbucks Idea

One major theme around My Starbucks Idea was obviously coffee. This shows that by using My Starbucks Idea, many customers have ideas centered on improving the coffee at Starbucks, whether it is through better offers and choices, bolder coffees, etc. There were also many mentions of Starbucks’ Pike’s Place blend, which will be discussed further later.

A map showing the prevalence of the theme love

Another main theme around Starbucks was love, in terms of what customers loved about Starbucks or what they would love to see at Starbucks in the future. As you can see, there are many concepts related to love, which shows that its most passionate customers still are finding much to their liking. It also creates actionable insight for Starbucks to capitalize on the things their customers love, as well as the things customers would love to see changed at the stores. 

Pathway Analysis showing customers would love more vegan options

When looking further at some of the things customers love or would love to see, one can see that vegan options, like sandwiches and pastries would be preferred menu items. Although Starbucks already offers soymilk products, their food items lack vegan options. This theme was repeated through My Starbucks Idea as something customers would really like to see changed in the near future.

“Although I applaud Starbucks for finally offering soy milk for its coffee 
beverages, I would love it if they would offer more vegan food options.”

“While I love that Starbucks offers soy milk at every store, there are 
almost no totally vegan food items. That would be my addition to the store.”

“Love your silk soy, but why don’t you offer 
vegan snacks? if you had a dairy free muffin for example i wouldn’t 
have to make two stops on the way to work every morning!”

“I love that Starbucks offers soy 
milk, but you should start offering vegan pastries & sandwiches. Whole 
Foods sells a lot of vegan pastries that taste great.”

One can see from the excerpts above that Starbucks gained critical insight to retaining some of their valued, vegan customers. By adding some vegan options to their menu, many of these loyal customers would make Starbucks their one stop shop. 

A map highlighting the theme Dunkin Donuts as it relates to Starbucks coffee

One interesting insight for Starbucks was the presence of Dunkin Donuts as a theme on the Starbucks data map. While not directly related to the My Starbucks Ideas per se, looking at the pathway analysis, you can see that Dunkin Donuts is related to the coffee theme, more specifically the Pike’s Place blend.

 “As an avid and loyal Starbuck’s customer I am very unhappy with the 
new Pike Place Roast. It’s obvious that corporate leaders are trying to 
better compete with McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and White Hen, but, please do 
not do so at the expense of your loyal customer base.”

“Pike Place is not my first choice brew. It is too mild and I 
feel I could get the same type of coffee from a Dunkin Donuts or a man 
selling coffee from a cart on the street.”

“I just don’t understand why Pikes Mistake has to be the only option 
for a cup of brewed coffee. It isn’t as though there isn’t enough business 
to justify keeping Pikes Mistake and also offering a bold coffee for those 
of us that like something better than the many gas stations, McDonalds, and 
Dunkin Donuts coffee.”

“It is your choice, as Pikes Peak is weaker than Dunkin Donuts.”

OK, I’ve tried the 
new blend 10 times to be fair and I must say – it is terrible. It 
tastes old the second it is brewed and the aftertaste is something 
reminiscent of a taste from the Dentist’s office. I am mostly a decaf 
drinker and the new blend has driven me to Dunkin Donuts. I love the 
Starbucks people, and I will miss them, but I can’t stomach another sip.”

Looking further into this correlation at the textual level brings Starbucks two actionable insights. First, one can see that Pike’s Place is not popular amongst Starbucks regulars, especially when it is the only option available. Secondly, one can see that some customers are actually choosing to go purchase their coffee from Dunkin Donuts, instead of Starbucks, as a result of this disliked blend and the lack of more options. My Starbucks Idea shows Pike’s Place is already under review, which is important considering the frequency of how often it showed up

This would show Starbucks that in order to retain their current coffee drinkers, may need to look into a) replacing Pike’s Place blend altogether or b) at least providing more than this blend as an option.

A map showing that Starbucks customers enjoy free incentives, especially when it comes to free WiFi availability

When My Starbucks Idea first launched early this year, Becky Carroll of Customers Rock noted that customer requests focused on free “loyalty” drinks and free WiFi. Six months later, free WiFi still remains one of the more popular ideas, while free “loyalty” drinks isn’t a strong theme.

“I think that there should be free Wifi in all Starbucks stores. My hometown 
Sbux does not have free WiFi but I am currently abroad and all the Sbux I 
have been to overseas have it for free, and I feel that it is a nice 
amenity that would make me come in more and stay longer.”

“My local library has free internet. I 
can’t think of how many latte’s I would have purchased over the past few 
years if Starbucks did not nickle and dime their potential customer base.”

“It is beyond me why Starbucks does not get that free internet across all 
retail stores for ALL customers would dramatically increase business.”

While free is an overarching theme on My Starbucks Idea, it should be noted that customers are always going want free options but Starbucks will have to determine if their business model can support it.

By using Leximancer’s The Customer Insight Portal, Starbucks can use their My Starbucks Idea Web site to even better satisfy their customers and increase retention. As Maria Palma of Customer is Always notes, Panera started getting more of her business after she got tired of paying $30 for WiFi that didn’t always work. Free WiFi is a concept that Starbucks customers are clearly calling for.

With thousands of ideas to sift through, using The Customer Insight Portal allows Starbucks to know exactly what their customers would like to see, and would they would like not to see, ultimately allowing the Starbucks corporation to better understand what ideas they should focus on putting into place.  

 

 

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Leximancer CEO Neil Hartley Interviewed by B-eye Network

Posted on October 13, 2008. Filed under: Leximancer, News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Leximancer recently was featured on the industry renowned B-eye Network. Mary Jo Nott, executive editor of the B-eye Network interviewed Leximancer CEO Neil Hartley about Leximancer’s growth and technology.

The pair talked about short- and long-term business strategy, current and future trends in the market place and the importance of being able to extract actionable customer insight from social media – including specifics of what Leximancer is doing to address this customer need.

Bottom line is that many text analytics options are both cost-prohibitive and time-prohibitive. According to Hartley:

“First, it needs to be usable by a business person who can pick it up and get to usable set of results extremely quickly. Second, it needs to be able to process masses of data regardless of the language or the source where the data is coming from and without the need for any setup. And it needs to go the extra mile in getting to the root cause of problems – particularly in that customer insight space, just listening or knowing what customer attitudes are is not enough. You need to get to the why your customers are happy or why they are unhappy, so you can make the insight actionable. After all, the link between cause and effect is not always a straight-forward, one-to-one connection.”

To learn more, please join us for a live Web demo. In the meantime, send us your data and we will help you uncover valuable customer insight specific to your business.

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