Recently, we covered the need for software to improve Insights and CX teams output for organizations collecting hundreds or thousands of NPS, CSAT or other customer feedback surveys each month - especially if they are manually coding the responses!

If you are looking to upgrade your organization's analysis process and have started to explore feedback analytics or text analytics software, chances are you’ve recognised the gold hidden within unstructured data such as customer feedback or employee survey data - as well as the huge reduction in cost and manual labour required to get to actionable insights fast.

At this stage of the purchasing process, we see many organizations struggle to choose the appropriate system for their organization's purposes. Rushing into the purchase of a software product without understanding what is required to make that system work for you can leave you with a system that doesn’t fit your business and no budget left to take action to actually improve your CX, VoC or employee experience (EX) program.

Navigating the procurement process for a new software like this can be daunting. To help you choose the best solution for your business, we’ve highlighted five questions to consider.

Do you have the right data?

If your organization is collecting limited data, or the wrong type of data to improve your CX, no software is going to help your business understand why your customers are giving the feedback that they have.  Before you start looking at potential solutions, consider the data you currently have available - or the data you plan on collecting. Is there, or will there be, sufficient data to tell a complete story about how your customer’s experience your product or service? If not, output from your text analytics software will be limited and your organization’s ability to make a difference to your CX program is left to gut feel rather than hard data.

To make any text analytics solution work for you, survey questions should be open ended to prompt the respondent to respond in detail, rather than a two or three-word answers.  Questions should have a neutral tone - asking what a customer likes best about a service or what an employee thinks the organization should improve colours the responses either positively or negatively. Instead, leave it as open-ended as possible so the respondent can enter whatever is on their mind. For more on this, check out this blog here.

Like this article? Check out this video to see how you can extract maximum value out of your VoC insights with an existing CX platform such as Qualtrics/Medallia/InMoment.

It is important to keep in mind that if you're receiving less than 250 survey responses per month, text analytics may not be the right solution for your business.

Do you have the right people?

Text analytics software is designed for just that, analysis. 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 in order to discover the actionable insights.

Typically, the right person for the job is a Customer Insights Analyst or similar, with exceptional data skills and the ability to translate these insights into actionable insights for the relevant parts of the business.

To see a ROI on your text analytics solution, an analyst should be optimizing, analyzing and querying data to find the actionable insights and influence customer experience strategies across the business.

Do you have business buy-in?

Customer experience doesn’t start or stop with the CX department alone. Without commitment from all departments to make the necessary changes to improve customer satisfaction, a CX program will fail before it has a chance to really make a difference.

Acting on the actionable insights is where the ROI will come from.

58% of enterprises are seeing a significant increase in customer retention and loyalty as a result of using customer analytics. Harvard Business Review

But this wouldn't be happening without buy-in from all areas of the business. An analyst can pull out the most insightful, actionable insights from the text analytics tool, but without the right people making the necessary changes to systems and processes, nothing will change for your customers.

It is also important to note that text analytics should not be considered by your business as an ongoing drain of time and resources. On the contrary, when implemented and used as it is intended, a solution like text analytics software becomes part of your business as usual operations and should begin providing ROI in the form of actionable insights almost immediately after implementation.

Will the program deliver valuable wins, quickly?

As more and more organizations realise the need to move away from product-centric business models and put the customer at the center of their brand, they often struggle to find the time to commit 100% to creating an amazing customer experience. But customer experience doesn’t have to be hard, or slow to implement!

To kick off a CX, EX or VoC program in your organization, focus on quick wins, as these will be instrumental in demonstrating the value of your text analytics investment and should help you to start seeing a positive shift in your CSAT, CES or NPS score. Ideally, a text analytics solution can be used instantly with the data you already have, without the need for heavy customization or weeks of set-up and training.

Start by focusing on the low-hanging fruit that can be easily addressed. These are the areas most frequently identified by your customers or employees as needing to be improved. Once the quick wins have been attended to, the organization’s attention can be turned to more strategic approaches to improving CX (more on a strategic approach to CX here), including combining this data with your financial and transactional data to give you a detailed insight into what your customers are ‘doing’ versus what they are 'saying' and where the disconnect lies. Read more about this here.

Will the solution suit your organization's needs?

We see many organisation's default to thinking that a complete CX software platform - one that covers every aspect of the CX process from CRM to survey and analysis - is the right option. The downside is that, as with any generalised solution, you are trading specificity with simplicity, often at the cost of an enterprise level price.

Often, text analytics forms one small part of these larger CX software platforms. For very large organizations, it may make sense to implement a system that does everything.  But for organizations that already have CRM and surveying tools covered, or are looking to have the biggest impact on their CX without outlaying upward of $150k, a dedicated text analytics solution is a powerful way for an analyst to dig deeper into their unstructured customer feedback data.

When considering a standalone text analytics solution, consider it's ability to integrate with surveying tools such as Qualtrics so that survey data can be easily analyzed without the fuss of exporting and importing. Are there APIs or integrations available that make this process easy?

One major draw card of a dedicated text analytics solution is that there are no limitations to the type of unstructured data that can be analyzed.  

Data agnostic text analytics solution can analyze data from survey data from any platform, support tickets, social media, chat logs and email.

Consider how other parts of the business, aside from CX & EX teams (tech, product, support & safety) could utilize text analytics to improve their departments - there are so many additional applications outside of CX.

Whatever the solution, make sure it suits your organization's needs

The purpose of text analytics for CX is to deliver valuable insights quickly, without the huge investments of time and manual labor. The process should not be a burden on those implementing and using the system.

Whether your organization is considering a complete CX platform or a dedicated text analytics solution, it is important that everyone is clear on what the organization hopes to achieve by implementing a text analytics solution. This clarity will ensure the chosen solution is the right fit and will work hard to achieve these expected outcomes.

Ensure that the right people are onboard and dedicated to making the changes necessary to improve customer satisfaction - with the right people in the right departments driving a move towards customer-centricity, your organization is likely to greatly improve customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and ongoing growth.