Analysts have been talking and writing about a “360 degree” view of the customer for years. Our own benchmark research into customer relationship management shows that only37 percent of organizations are able to produce analysis and reports that yield such a comprehensive view. Other research into next-generation customer analytics reveals that the main issue in this area for nearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations is data availability. To make the situation worse, customer-related data is getting ever more numerous and complex. A principal reason for this growth is the number of communication channels consumers now use to engage with organizations and the type of data these channels produce. It includes call recordings, text messages, email, social media posts, customer feedback surveys, chat scripts and event data such as videos that users download. All of these types of data are unstructured , which makes them harder for conventional analytics tools to access and analyze.
Clarabridge is an established vendor of analytics that over the last few years has focused on helping companies deal with such data. Its portfolio of products is called Clarabridge CX Suite that includes CX Analytics, CX Social and CX Survey. The products capture data from a variety of sources; a big data platform provides the core tools to analyze large volumes of structured and unstructured data; analytics tools execute specific types of analysis; and a set of tools enables organizations to take action based on the results of the analysis. The focus on social media engagement with CX Social was recognized with a 2016 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award.
Clarabridge offers three sets of tools to capture specific categories of data. One captures data from multiple types of surveys such as post-call surveys, NPS surveys, Web-based surveys and employee surveys. A second captures social feedback from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. The other set captures interaction and related customer data from email, chat scripts, contact center agents’ notes, voice recordings, CRM data and other sources. Clarabridge calls these tools the “listening layer” because they enable organizations to capture data from these customer-related sources and connect it to a specific customer.
The big data platform and analytics tools are what the company calls its “analyze” layer. An advanced text analytics tool uses natural-language processing and other techniques to extract insights from unstructured text data. It allows users to set up rules to categorize interactions based on words or phrases they include, to derive caller sentiment at a more detailed level than I have seen in other products, and to spot trends. This layer also includes tools that allow users to create their own analysis, using any of the data captured at the listening layer. I especially like the ability to produce customer journey maps that focus on the customer life cycle, as they search for products, acquire products, use products and seek support – in other words, from marketing through sales and service, rather than on channel use, which many other products focus on.
The “act” layer I find to be the most important. It is divided into proactive support of front-line operations and business optimization. In principle these halves provide similar capabilities to put outputs from the analyze layer to use. In terms of front-line operations this goes beyond visualizing the information in different ways for different uses to recommend actions to, for example, contact center agents. From a business optimization perspective, it also goes beyond visualizing the information in different forms to show analysis across multiple data sources, role-based dashboards, side-by-side comparison of information and root-cause analysis. In conjunction these features allow organizations to make use of the insights they gain from using analytics beyond just producing pretty charts.
Clarabridge is cognizant that many advanced analytics tools are not easy for many business people to use. It therefore provides extensive support services that range from setting up access to data sources, customer segmentation and journey mapping; setting up topics, themes and categorization rules; interpreting emotion and sentiment analysis; using root cause analysis; customizing reports and analysis; redesigning interaction processes; to using the outputs to design a customer engagement strategy. Added together these services extend from help in overcoming the initial hurdles of using the tools properly to helping organizations get full business value from the products. These services and the product set provide a firm foundation and an ongoing process for improving business performance.
Our research into next-generation contact centers in the cloud shows that customer experience (CX) has become the true business differentiator: 70 percent of participants said that it is the primary way they expect to compete for customers. I believe a comprehensive view of customers that makes use of all available data, their business journeys and the business impact of customer engagement are essential components are starting a CX initiative and gaining maximum business benefit from it. So I recommend that organizations wanting to maximize the value of their customers assess how Clarabridge can help those efforts.
VP & Research Director Customer Engagement