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 information 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.
These 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.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director