5 essential questions to ask before purchasing a feedback analytics tool

5 essential questions to ask before purchasing a feedback analytics tool

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that customer experience (CX) is a vital differentiating factor for businesses today. It’s so important that a full 87% of business leaders say CX is their top growth engine (although many are struggling to figure out how to take advantage of it).

One of the big reasons many businesses can’t effectively leverage CX as a growth driver is that they don’t understand their customers well enough. They might run NPS or CSAT surveys. They may even get hundreds or thousands of responses each month. But instead of finding insights and direction in their customer feedback, many business leaders simply feel overwhelmed…

…especially if they’re manually coding and analyzing survey responses.

The easiest way to overcome this challenge is to invest in feedback analytics software. The right feedback tool can upgrade your ability to extract insights from unstructured data virtually overnight. The right tool will remove the overwhelm and guesswork, all while saving you a ton of time and money.

The right feedback tool can upgrade your ability to extract insights from unstructured data virtually overnight.

Many organizations struggle to choose the appropriate software for their organization’s purposes. Feedback analysis software isn’t one-size-fits-all. Each tool brings a unique approach and distinct features to the table. Rushing to purchase a new feedback analysis tool without understanding what is required to make that system work for you can lead to frustration and buyer’s remorse. Even worse, making the wrong choice can leave you with no budget to take action and actually improve your customer experience or Voice of the Customer (VoC) program.

Avoiding these mistakes requires asking the right questions ahead of time. Questions like:

  1. Do you have the right data?

  2. Do you have the right people?

  3. Do you have business buy-in?

  4. Will the program quickly deliver valuable wins?

  5. Will the solution suit your organization’s needs?

Here’s what you need to consider.

Do you have the right data?

If your company is currently collecting little to no data from your customers, that might be a non-starter. Feedback analysis software can revolutionize your ability to extract valuable insights from customer feedback, but it can’t create something out of nothing.

Put simply, without sufficient data there’s no real point in investing in feedback analytics. You can’t put the cart before the horse.

To understand if you’ve got enough data—or the right kind of data—consider what you’re already collecting. Is there enough data to tell the full story of how your customers are experiencing your product or service? If not, text analytics won’t be of much value and you’ll still be forced to rely on guesswork and assumptions

To make a text analytics solution work for you, your surveys should include plenty of open-ended questions. Your goal is to prompt customers to respond about their experience in detail, rather than simply giving two- or three-word answers. As you’re creating questions, be sure to use a neutral tone and wording so you aren’t influencing responses positively or negatively. The goal is to collect detailed, unbiased responses so that your analytics software can understand what your customers feel and why they feel that way.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re collecting less than 250 survey responses per month, text analytics software may not be a sound investment (yet).

Do you have the right people?

Feedback analytics software does what it says on the tin: it analyzes feedback. It takes the effort out of combing through reams of data, but it still requires an analytically-minded person to make sense of what the data is saying and to discover actionable insights.

These responsibilities usually fall to someone like a Customer Insights Analyst (or something similar). Individuals in these roles typically have exceptional data skills and a sound grasp of your business model and strategy, enabling them to quickly translate the output of your analysis software into meaningful insights for teams across your organization.

If you want a significant ROI on your text analytics tool, you need an analyst who can optimize, analyze, and query your data to influence future decisions across your business.

Do you have business buy-in?

Customer experience doesn’t start or stop with your customer support team. It’s an overarching discipline, meaning being truly customer-focused requires commitment from departments across your business. Without this commitment, your CX program is doomed to fail before it even has a chance to make a difference.

This is because acting on actionable insights is where your return on investment comes from.

Your customers don’t benefit if you gather a heap of data and insights from their feedback. Your analysis alone doesn’t produce any value for them. If you want business results, you’ve got to be able to move from insights into action.

Individual teams and functions may be able to make small changes and secure small wins for your customers. For instance, if your feedback analysis shows that customers think your support team is unresponsive, your support managers may be able to adjust processes, coach agents, or add new headcount to enable faster response times.

That’s a solid win, but it won’t transform your customer journey. If your product is still missing valuable features or your onboarding process is filled with friction, you’ll still struggle to see significant value from your new software.

It only makes sense to invest in a feedback analytics platform if you’ve got people motivated to improve your customer experience in key areas across your entire organization.

Will the program quickly deliver valuable wins?

In today’s world, your product should no longer be the center of your business model. Customers have usurped the throne. Your customers should be at the center of your brand and business model.

It’s not unusual for businesses to struggle to find time to commit to crafting an amazing customer experience. But building a great CX doesn’t have to be hard or slow!

To kick off a renewed focus on CX in your organization, it’s smart to focus on quick wins. These quick results are instrumental in demonstrating the value of your feedback analytics platform. Showing positive results in a relatively short time frame builds momentum for bigger projects and longer-term initiatives. Enough small wins should also ladder up to overall improvements in topline metrics like NPS, CSAT, or CES.

Before choosing your analytics tool, consider whether the tool is likely to deliver these quick wins for your organization. Will it help you uncover low-hanging fruit?

If so, it probably makes sense to move forward. Once you’ve achieved some quick wins, you can shift your attention to more strategic approaches, such as combining customer feedback with financial and product data to discover insights about what your customers are doing (and not just what they’re saying).

Will the solution suit your organization’s needs?

It’s tempting to think that an all-in-one CX platform—something that includes CRM, survey functionality, analysis, and more—is the right approach. The downside of this approach is that you’re often trading specificity for simplicity. Tools that aim for broad impact across multiple business functions often aren’t specialized enough to deliver genuinely meaningful results.

A Swiss army knife might be helpful in a lot of situations, but there’s a reason professional chefs use chef’s knives.

For very large companies, it might make sense to implement an all-in-one system that does everything. But for organizations that already have CRM and surveying tools covered—or organizations that want a big impact on CX without paying an enterprise price tag—a dedicated feedback analysis tool is a powerful solution.

Easy-to-use integrations are the key to making a dedicated analytics tool work well with your existing tech stack. Where existing integrations aren’t available, does the tool provide an API that can still enable similar functionality?

This post has focused on using a feedback analytics tool for customer feedback, but dedicated solutions aren’t limited to specific types of data. As you’re exploring solutions, consider how other parts of your business—like your employee experience team, your product team, and your trust and safety team—might also benefit from text analytics.

Choosing the right feedback analytics solution for your business

The biggest reason to implement a feedback analytics tool is to deliver valuable CX insights quickly, without a huge investment of time or manual labor. Your analysis process shouldn’t be a burden on the people implementing and using the system.

Choosing the right tool for your organization takes time and careful consideration. You should ask the hard questions and test your assumptions. Seeing potential tools in action is an invaluable step of this process, which is why you should schedule a demo of Kapiche.

Kapiche is a dedicated feedback analytics platform that’s helped companies from Zappos to Toyota better understand their customers, leading to meaningful business results. Get started today!

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