Article first published as The “Who, What, How, and Why” of Customer Sentiment – Interview with Sid Banerjee, CEO of Clarabridge on Technorati.
Call centers have served as a primary medium for customer engagement long before social media and the proliferation of the web. They have long been a key channel in customer experience management (CEM), the practice of actively listening to customers and analyzing what they are saying to make business decisions. One company, Clarabridge, has a deep history of developing sentiment and text analytics technology, beginning years ago with these call centers.
Having been around long before social media is part of what makes this company so effective. Clarabridge is the leading provider of sentiment and text analytics software for CEM. I was introduced to them at the Big Data Innovation conference hosted by the IE Group. There I spoke with Clarabridge CEO, Sid Banerjee, about the role of text analytics and his technology in today’s social media measurement practices.
Clarabridge is driven to view the customer experience in its entirety. Sid explained how his company does this by “pinpointing key experiences and issues, and helping everyone in an organization to take actions that make a difference.” A quote I once read from Alan See from “8 Steps for Building Customer Bonds” states:
“Organizations that implement learning relationships are better able to understand and anticipate a customer’s unique needs. Learning organizations understand that great customer experiences start with listening to the customer to learn instead of talking to the customer to sell.”
With all the communication channels available to today’s consumer, collecting insights has become extremely difficult, and at the same time, exceptionally necessary. Serving Fortune 1,000 customers the likes of United Airlines, Walmart, Expedia, Intuit, J.D. Power, and Walgreens, Clarabridge is able to implement these learning relationships.
Management icon, Peter Drucker once wrote, “What’s measured improves.” As Sid explains, “Clarabridge’s sentiment and text analytics software enables companies to achieve a universal view of their customer feedback by transforming text-based customer feedback into valuable insight.” When analysis includes as many listening posts as possible, organizations gain a more comprehensive view of the customer.
Sid explained, “A lot of today’s social media analytics tools were built around the expertise of data ‘collection,’ not ‘interpretation’.” And the latter is more difficult. Clarabridge specializes in delivering qualitative analytics that are used across the spectrum of departments in an organization. The company’s insights result in things like improved marketing, product/service offerings, operations and customer service across organizations.
Clarabridge’s Accurate Sentiment and Text Analytics expertise is built around a four-step process.
This is one of the company’s key differentiators. Clarabridge integrates customer feedback from internal and external sources, through a variety of channels, and in structured and unstructured format. Part of this includes the integration of social media with internal data untapped by social media analytics tools. Because the company can aggregate all these touch points, Clarabridge can deliver a 360-degree view of the customer experience.
After collecting customer feedback, Clarabridge extracts linguistic content and ensures accurate sentiment analysis. As Sid explains, “It’s not just what people say, but how they say it that’s critical to brands.” Clarabridge is particularly good uncovering true sentiment where others aren’t. Sid gave the example of the word, ‘thin.’ “Thin in hospitality, is bad,” he said. “But in electronics, it’s good.”
To gain an edge in an ever more competitive and dynamic market place, organizations are finding they need to understand this level of distinction. Clarabridge delivers this by categorizing and assigning sentiment scores to distinguish the “who, what, how, and why” of the customer experience.
Clarabridge makes its data accessible from a variety of interfaces, so that it may be channeled into an organization’s existing systems and structures. To be effective, customer intelligence must support a variety of roles within an enterprise. The insights need to be accessible by anyone, when and how they need it. Access to these reporting and analytical capabilities enables Clarabridge customers to drive action.
The company’s technology has been tested across large CEM deployments. It deploys quickly, meets rigorous performance requirements and, providing organizational flexible and scalability.
A good overview of Clarabridge can be found in this video.