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Clarabridge is a well-known text analytics vendor that markets its products under the banner of customer experience management. As I wrote last year, its products allow organizations to take a closed-loop approach by capturing all forms of text data, analyzing it, categorizing it, understanding root causes of customer issues and raising alerts so that action including collaboration can be taken based on these insights. Such a process is supportive of customer experience management, but for me the missing link is using these insights in real time to actively influence customer interactions.

To help fill this gap, Clarabridge has launched two new products, Collaborate and Engage, which is part of the latest product release. Collaborate uses Facebook-like capabilities to share information to relevant users through one common system. This ensures the right information gets to the right people at the right time, and, since the informationvr_cfm_benefits_of_capturing_customer_feedback comes from a common source, lets everyone act and collaborate on consistent information. Engage takes the process one step further. It supports the collection of text-based data from any source, including social media and customer feedback forms. It then analyzes all these sources, referencing other customer data sources, to establish issues, trends and customer sentiment out of which it can categorize the insight: product issue, a specific customer issue, at-risk customer and so on. Based on this information, the item in question (a social media post, say) can be routed to the most appropriate individual or group to handle the response and direct interaction using social media. That individual can gain immediate access to all related data and prepared templates that have been set up to decide the best response. When required this can happen in real-time, so for example a tweet could be captured, analyzed, categorized, and the insights sent to an individual to respond in real time, the objective being to engage with the customer in an informed way using consistent information regardless of who handles the response. This approach helps organizations realize the benefits of capturing customer feedback which our research has identified as the largest benefit is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty in 65 percent of organizations but have the ability to act upon it enables the ability to improve customer experience. This last step is what I call real customer experience management, as the end-to-end process enables the individual handling the interaction to proactively influence the outcome using up-to-date information and analysis.

vr_cfm_most_important_customer_related_metricsThese new capabilities come as part of a package that includes enhanced reporting and visualization of the reports and analysis, architectural improvements that include the use of Hadoop to speed up the process and make it more flexible, and more options to run on-premises or in the cloud. Its efforts to improve its reports are fine but the underlying metrics are most important as our research finds that the customer satisfaction scores are the most important metric in 71 percent of organizations.

I find a lot of nonsense written about customer experience management, and my customer experience management research shows this is confusing companies as they try to improve the way they provide customer service and engage with customers. Analytics is a good foundation, but for me the real requirement is to operationalize analytics and use it to drive actions, especially real-time responses to interactions. This means sharing information with everyone handling interactions and surfacing the information in a way it can be easily accessed and used, and that supports collaboration with others if a given individual doesn’t know the answer to a customer issue. The new release from Clarabridge supports this approach, so I recommend organizations take a look how it can support their customer experience initiatives.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Clarabridge is an established vendor of text analytics products, which it sells both directly to the market and indirectly through an extensive set of partnerships with companies such as MicroStrategyIBM Cognos and Verint. Recently it has been marketing its applications under the category of customer experience management (CEM). To me, CEM is about personalizing and influencing the customer experience while an interaction is in progress. Organizations cannot do this without the right information about the customer, and text analytics is one of the primary tools that allows organizations to derive that information; in this way Clarabridge fits in CEM.

Text analytics enables users to extract text data from multiple sources, classify it, analyze it and produce reports and analysis that yield insight into what their customers are writing about them. Clarabridge Enterprise can extract data from any kind of electronic text: forms, surveys, email chat messages, online feedback, text data in business applications or a customer database, and social media. Using natural language processing techniques, the product can extract insights and deliver these in multiple formats to meet individual user requirements. Reports can use prebuilt templates provided by Clarabridge, or users can build their own. The Professional version of the product supports nontechnical users with templates and drag-and-drop capabilities to build their own reports and analysis.

The Clarabridge product supports a closed-loop process that allows companies to extract data, understand its content, including hot topics and trend analysis, analyze customer sentiment and the root causes behind customer comments, predict potential future customer behavior, and raise alerts and establish workflow items that ensure users take action on them. It is challenging for companies to do this in real time (while an interaction is in progress) and deliver the information and/or recommended action back to the person handing the interaction, thus influencing the experience as it is occurring.

Clarabridge’s value proposition is to analyze text data from many sources, integrate it with structured forms of customer data (billing, CRM etc.) and deliver insights to anyone in the organization who is interested in customer-related information. Its software helps individuals make information-based decisions to improve the customer experience and business outcomes. The products are available in the cloud, which, along with the customization tools, makes them easily accessible and easy to use for regular business users and expert analysts.

Text-based data is an increasingly rich source of customer insights, and Clarabridge is a vendor to watch in this area. In 2011 I covered their expansion into Europe and its product advancements which is part of their expanding footprint in the industry. I understand the company will be adding more capabilities in a release planned for next month; I will report on the new capabilities when they are available. So please come and collaborate with me. 

Regards

Richard Snow – VP & Research Director

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