Many of the market researchers and custom experience managers we have met during the course of 2008, view customer verbatims, the open-ended comments received by companies through surveys, contact centers and many other channels, as a potential goldmine of customer insight. But verbatims are also seen as a waste of time by many because of the manual, unscientific nature of manual coding, which often destroys their relevance when clear business decisions need to be made.
Here is a sampling of the absurd:
“We take 100 comments every 6 months and have them manually coded. That’s it.”
“I spend 50% of my time just reading verbatims.”
These come from well-placed managers at market-leading corporations.
Manual coding is slow, biased (one coder won’t do it the same as the next, I don’t care what you say), and certainly is expensive. Manual coding also relies on categories. Some categorization methods don’t allow comments to be coded into more than one category. When’s the last time a customer said something in a sentence or two and didn’t cover a lot of ideas? Never. Also categorized comments don’t do anything in terms of identifying relationships between ideas and meaningful trends.
Slow and expensive market research initiatives aren’t an answer that works for many companies. Plus, there are many more organic sources of vertabims arising, especially online and from Web 2.0 sites, meaning companies need to look at all the verbatims to gather the information needed to understand the behaviors and needs of their customers.
To be a customer insight driven organization, a business can’t ignore 80 percent of the information your customers provide you. By ignoring the resources at their fingertips, companies are missing a huge opportunity to identify emergent customer issues, and to test and measure new methods for making customers happy and loyal.
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Today marked the formal launch of The Customer Insight Portal, and the news was picked up around the Web.
Forbes.com, Marketwatch.com, Morningstar.com, Reuters, Yahoo! Finance and others picked up the story of how The Customer Insight Portal is the “game changer” for companies looking to gain insight into their customers
The full press release:
“Game Changer” Customer Insight Portal Launched
Powerful Leximancer software available as Software as a Service (SaaS)
BOULDER, Colo., Aug 14, 2008 – Leximancer, a Customer Experience Management (CEM) and analytics software development company, today announced the launch of The Customer Insight Portal, a Web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) that delivers insight to not only what customers are saying, but why they’re saying it.
“The Customer Insight Portal is a game changer for the way companies seek to understand their customer attitudes and behaviors,” said Neil Hartley, Leximancer CEO. “It allows virtually any organization or individual user to easily gain insight into the root causes of customer opinion and feedback. Our state-of-the-art market intelligence software has been proven on the desktop world-wide and now we are making it available through The Customer Insight Portal.”
For consumer-focused organizations, The Customer Insight Portal gives marketing professionals, brand managers, competitive intelligence and customer experience managers the ability to make critical decisions based on factual data regarding customers’ thoughts and feelings toward their brand, products or service. The Customer Insight Portal goes multiple steps beyond traditional text analytics by employing a rich variety of scientific methods to analyze call center notes, survey data, e-mails, documents, blogs, social media and Web sites. This enables Leximancer to uniquely provide insight into the root causes of customers’ attitudes and actions, allowing companies to determine not just what people think of them, but also why.
“The Customer Insight Portal lets business people explore and automatically find meaning, and identifies structured relationships between the key ideas or issues that are important to customers – uncovering information that was previously hidden,” said Chris Westfall, Leximancer vice president of business development. “From the people that have already used the portal, they’re saying that it provides previously unknown, actionable insights, which is great validation of what’s possible.”
The Customer Insight Portal provides deep insight without the need for set up, which means that analysis is provided without previous knowledge of the information under investigation. Users of the Customer Insight Portal can upload the data and the analysis is complete in the time it takes to make a pot of coffee. Because there is no selection of terms before getting started the results are unbiased. Companies find out what is there, not just what they think should or might be there.
Leximancer’s patent pending software platform 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 keyword 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 http://www.leximancer.com or http://www.thecustomerinsightportal.com.
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Leximancer has started its expansion from Europe and Australia into the North American market – and that move is gaining attention as businesses realize the power of the software, the great possibility of partnerships with OEMs and the ease and depth of The Customer Insight Portal.
We were featured in the business section of the Boulder Daily Camera (a regional publication in Colorado). Business writer Alicia Wallace highlights why the Leximancer software and The Customer Insight Portal are such important business tools in today’s marketplace.
The article also talks about the features of Leximancer including language independence, the ability of the technology to deal with massive amounts of data and quotes Chris Westfall, Leximancer vice president for business development:
“The program, which is language-independent, analyzes the words, phrases and context from a broad spectrum of forums and pools that information together in a chart- and web-based form that allows the users to gain meaning from the content.”
Also noted in the article was the unique ability for Leximancer and The Customer Insight Portal to work with no prior set up. You upload the data and the analysis begins, in the time it takes to make a pot of coffee. And, the software delivers the root cause of customer problems or issues, giving insight in the “why” there is an attitude or behavior, not just “what” that attitude or behavior might be.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
At Leximancer, we talk about finding the unknown-unknowns. Those moments where you look at the concept map and find connections you had no idea were there.
We were recently working with a technology client we’ll call Company Z (we’ve changed some specifics to keep client confidentiality – but the story is true) and they found out, through Leximancer analysis, that their very happy clients were happy for different reasons which had huge implications for strategic planning and deployment of resources.
Company Z is in a good place. Profits are solid. Things are running smoothly. Customers are happy. Being a smart company, they didn’t rest on their laurels and sought customer feedback.
The marketing department spent dozens of person hours (sound familiar?) crawling through comments to find patterns and insight.
When we sat down with Company Z, we took the same data they spent a couple of weeks on, uploaded it in a few minutes and we found that customers in the United States were satisfied for one reason and customers in Canada were satisfied for another reason.
Apparently U.S. customers like the service, but can’t find parts. In Canada, it was the exact reverse.
You could hear the jaws drop. Not only did Leximancer find the same information in a few minutes that it took them weeks to sort through, it discovered something they had no idea was in the data. That is what it means to uncover the why, not just the what. That’s the power of Leximancer.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )