Finding out what consumers are saying on the internet about its products and performance has helped electronics retailer Best Buy to act to improve its customer experience.
It has used findings from text analytics software to put in place improvements across its business. Jared Anderson, who heads the customer experience research team at Best Buy in the US, said that before the company introduced the technology it had effectively used surveys to gauge customer opinion but had been less able to make use of customer comments – or to pick up on what customers were saying about it on the internet, through forums such as social media.
But text analytics software from Clarabridge, which has just opened for business in the UK, allowed Best Buy to monitor unstructured data such as customer comments from sources including its call centre, as well as monitoring social media to find out what Best Buy subjects customers are discussing - and what they feel about them.
Anderson said: “We identified some key areas in our customer experience, in our retail stores as well as our phone centres and online that we needed to pay attention to and improve upon. These were often things that we hadn’t been asking about in our surveys because we didn’t think they were relevant or important to our customers.”
He added: "The voice of customer and however that voice is represented is critically impt to best buy. As we evolve the way we develop our customer experience in the store, interaction between customers and the products we carry, we always bring the customer’s voice to the centre of that conversation. I think Clarabridge has helped not only with the resources we have but also with social media. For example, when we look at preorders for a particular video game, and suddenly we notice many more people tweeting, chatting online, we know we need to beef up our training around that because there’s this massive amount of conversation.
"Using it to better our experiences is something it’s always been used for."
Anderson spoke last week at the launch of Clarabridge's Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in West London, where it is led by Darren Jaffrey, previously chief operating officer at talent management start-up MrTed and senior vice president at Taleo.
At the same time the technology company has released the latest version of its technology, Clarabridge 4.5 Tower, which includes advanced sentiment analysis.
Jaffrey said: “The rise of social media means that consumers are using a host of new technologies from mobile commerce to tablets to channel their feedback. At the same time they are increasing their use of more traditional media such as surveys, chat rooms and call centres.
“The global nature of today’s consumer is forcing companies to think more broadly about a universal view of their customer, looking across cultures, time zones and media.
“Our new EMEA headquarters means that Clarabridge is now in a great position to support more companies outside the US.”