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Executive Summary

Voice of the Customer: Text Analytics for the Responsive Enterprise
Text analytics helps business users discern and capture the Voice of the Customer from online media such as blogs, forum postings and news articles; from email, chat interactions and contact-center dialogues; and from surveys and other mechanisms for collecting customer feedback: from the totality of enterprise information sources.

What are your organization’s customers – and your prospects and the media – saying about your company and your products and your competition? Voice of the Customer (VoC) initiatives can answer that question and help you formulate your response. VoC is not just an extension of customer relationship management (CRM) to the customer experience. It is an approach that can guide enterprises in meeting the spectrum of sales, marketing, customer support, brand and reputation management, product and service design, and quality demands.

Businesses seek to understand the totality of customer needs and opinions, whether explicitly stated or indirectly implied. Businesses have faced the obstacle that the majority of relevant information is found in “unstructured” text outside an organization’s databases. Text technologies overcome this obstacle by making relevant information accessible to business analysts, managers and executives who fill critical sales, marketing, support and product management roles, regardless of where the information is found. Text analytics – solutions that convert human language into data for business intelligence (BI) and predictive analysis – has breathed new life into the time-tested VoC business concept.

VoC analysts probe both individual views and collective, market thinking, which we might term Voice of the Market. Important information is no longer found only in corporate-sponsored and internally held sources. Text analytics creates the ability to discern and capture the voice of the customer from online media, such as blogs and forum postings; from email, chat interactions and contact-center dialogues; and from surveys and other mechanisms for collecting customer feedback, complementing traditional transactional sources.

This report describes how text analytics has become an essential part of Voice of the Customer solutions. It describes VoC techniques and processes and explains the fundamentals of text analytics technology and solutions. It covers implementation options and best practices, addressing the basic question: How do organizations get started with VoC text analytics? And it presents the findings of a best practices survey that asked end users and consultants about their goals, information source, return on investment (ROI), and advice for organizations looking into VoC text analytics.

The report concludes with profiles of leading Voice of the Customer text analytics suppliers – Business Objects, IBM and SPSS – accompanied by in-depth customer case studies.

Read the entire study.