Clarabridge is a provider of sentiment and text analytical software. Instituted in 2006 in Reston, VA, the firm strives to provide software solutions idiosyncratically to utilize sentiment analysis and text analytics to automatically collect, categorize and report on structured and unstructured data.
It is no secret that customers are talking, telling you exactly what they like, or do not like, about your brand, the latest product they purchased, or even their bad service experience. Whether this feedback comes through email, survey, chat, or particularly now-a-days social media, as the owner of that brand, it is up to you to listen to your customers. Listening and then acting on insights gleaned through customer feedback drives product innovation, improves customer service, bolsters customer loyalty, and produces measurable ROI. But what are the trends in the Customer Experience Management (CEM) industry today? As technology advances, where is this space headed, and what challenges face entrepreneurs vying to build a business in this growing marketplace?
In order to overcome the challenges of handling Big Data, such as efficiently analyzing vast quantities of unstructured content that comes from multiple feedback sources, organizations need to invest in a scalable text and sentiment analytics platform to automate the analysis process. Through such types of technology, organizations can intelligently tag customer feedback for categorization and sentiment in order to glean actionable insights. It used to be enough for businesses to just analyze the data, hear what customers are saying, and then react internally. However, the trend in CEM today is to not just listen to consumers, but to engage with them.
Organizations need to prove to customers that they are actively making the customer a valued stakeholder in business decisions by maintaining an open dialogue with consumers. Through social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and online communities, organizations need to respond directly to customer comments, answer questions, or follow up with an unhappy customer. Companies are increasingly operationalizing business insights as well. For many organizations, any feedback collected on products or services is generally not routed to the operational department best able to respond. This is a huge untapped opportunity. Organizations will only truly benefit from social media when social interactions are efficiently and quickly delivered to the right people who use the feedback to take action.
As a company interacts and analyzes customer experiences over time, they can build out a more comprehensive and nuanced profile of customer interests, influences, and drivers of loyalty, profitability, and promotion. Organizations need to expand their customer engagement beyond social media platforms and build out the most holistic view of their customers. After all, a tweet may only say that a customer is unhappy with the latest line of oatmeal, but an email elaborates on why—and tells you how to change it.
The challenges facing entrepreneurs looking to exploit opportunities in the social and CEM space today are not much different from the challenges for any entrepreneur. Starting Clarabridge in 2006, we first sought out creative, risk taking employees who had a passion for coming up with and translating new ideas into new products. We raised capital when we realized that our ideas needed to be funded beyond our own ability to invest. And as our business has grown across the U.S. and now internationally, we have created scalable sales, marketing, support, and technology organizations with the talent and ability to build ever more sophisticated, market responsive solutions.
Through the entire process, we have sought to do, as a company, what our solutions do for our customers – listen. Our customers are our inspiration, our source of creative ideas, and ultimately, our partners. By listening to them and translating their insights into improvements in our business and offerings, we are successful.