Unlock the Potential of Unstructured Data for a Successful VOC Program

emerges around an inefficient billing process, the team knows to focus on that. Without text analytics, companies might miss the cause of customer dissatisfaction because customers have only said that they're unhappy, but not why. Or even worse, customers may publicly share their dissatisfaction on Twitter or other forms of social media, instead of completing a private customer feedback survey.

Integrate with Structured Data

Even the most successful VoC programs have fallen victim to silos. Whether they stem from the use of multiple feedback channels, such as the Web, mobile, or phone, or from different teams running their own "independent" surveys, silos limit the insight a program can generate.

In a siloed setting, unstructured data poses a real problem if it's treated differently from the rest of an organization's information. It's critical to ensure that companies capture and analyze text and integrate the results with information sources such as survey data, CRM and ERP data, and employee engagement information.

When an organization is looking for the right business solution, it must make absolutely sure that the solution can move data from the collection stage into the core of the VoC analysis. If VoC provides the "why" to the CRM solution's "what," then unstructured data often offers the "what's next" that companies need to take action.

Actionable Unstructured Data for Business Success

As with structured customer feedback, companies must take action on unstructured input as well. While it's unlikely that companies can respond to every comment, they can group customers by the "themes" their comments fit into and tell them what the organization is doing to make things better. Unstructured data provides incredible insight into the underlying drivers of loyalty, and it's vital that companies make the most of the information available to them.

There's no doubt that the idea of mining potentially millions of customer comments is daunting. But with customers carrying on their own conversations about an organization, it's no longer something companies can afford to avoid. The companies that get it right, by listening in the right places, using unstructured data to augment structured, solicited feedback, and taking action accordingly, will have a huge advantage over their competitors. Unlocking the potential of unstructured data is manageable if taken one step at a time, and the results will be well worth the effort.

Karine DelMoro is the vice president of marketing at Confirmit.

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