Survey Says…

Business woman at workMany of our clients use surveys to help them understand part of their customers’ experiences. Typically, these surveys include sections that ask about different functional areas within the company – product development, service and support, account or sales teams, etc. Within each of these sections, we ask specific attribute questions to gain more context.

For example, in the “Account Team” section, we might ask respondents to rate the following satisfaction areas:

  • Satisfaction with communication
  • Satisfaction with understanding your business
  • Satisfaction with product knowledge

Getting to this level of detail allows us to better understand what affects the customer experience, but asking a relevant open-ended question, or OEQ, lets us precisely identify what is driving that customer’s responses. Within that “Account Team” section, we might ask customers to provide additional feedback on their ratings or their experiences with the team.

After we obtain these verbatim comments, we can use our text analytics software to pair topics in the text with the attribute series listed above. Do comments typically revolve around communication, understanding customer business, or product knowledge? Predictably, there will be comments that elaborate on these topics. After all, just asking these satisfaction rating scale questions don’t give much context, so a customer might want to explain their rating.

However, there can often be new topics mentioned in the comments that were not captured in the rating-scale questions. Perhaps customers are complaining about not knowing how to reach their reps, or are concerned that there is a high turnover rate in their account team. These ideas might not have been captured elsewhere in the survey, and are only available in the comments.

My colleague, Laura Spice, has deemed these new ideas “novel concepts.” With her help, we’re able to further define these novel concepts and identify who’s providing these types of responses. What customer group is contributing the most? Maybe it’s product managers in the US, or CEOs in Europe? Maybe a certain product user base is having trouble with their account teams across the globe?

Profiling customers and diving into content from these “novel concepts” allows us to pull out some of those valuable insights that text analytics promises. If you’re interested in more information, or learning how to implement your own text analytics program, contact us today.

Have you had any luck with finding these new insights in your text analytics implementation? What successes or failures have you experienced?


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