Unstructured Feedback Analysis Technology: Making Sense of the Market Fragmentation
5/5 (1)
Spread the love
5/5 (1)

In my last Ecosystm Insights, I spoke about why organisations need to think about the Voice of the Customer (VoC) quite literally. Organisations need to listen to what their customers are telling them – not just to the survey questions they responded to, answering pre-defined questions that the organisations want to hear about.   

The concept of customer feedback is evolving, and how organisations design and manage VoC programs must also change. Technology is now capable of enabling customer teams to tap into all those unsolicited, and often unstructured, raw feedback sources. Think contact centre conversations (calls, chats, chatbots, emails, complaints, call notes), CRM notes, online reviews, social media, etc. Those are all sources of raw customer feedback, waiting to be converted into customer insights.  

Organisations can now find the capability of extracting customer insight from raw data across a wide range of solutions, from VoC platforms, data management platforms, contact centre solutions, text analytics players, etc. The expanding tech ecosystem presents opportunities for organisations to enhance their programs. However, navigating this breadth of options can also be confusing as they strive to identify the most suitable tools for their requirements. 

As CX programs mature and shift from survey feedback to truly listening to customers, the demand for tech solutions tailored to various needs increases.

Where are tech vendors headed? 

As part of my job as CX Consultant & Tech Advisor, I spend a lot of time working with my clients. But I also spend a lot of time speaking with technology vendors, who provide the solutions my clients need. Over the last few weeks and months there’s been a flurry of activity across the CX technology market with lots of product announcements around one specific topic. You guessed it, GenAI.   

So, I invested some time in finding out how tech vendors are evolving their offerings. From Medallia, InMoment, Thematic, LiquidVoice, Concentrix, Snowflake, Nice, to Tethr – a broad variety of different vendors, but all with one thing in common; they help analyse customer feedback data.  

And I like what I hear. The conversation has not been about GenAI because of GenAI, but about use cases and real-life applications for CX practitioners, including Insights & Research team, Contact Centre, CX,  VoC, Digital teams, and so on. The list is long when we include everyone who has a role to play in creating, maintaining, and improving customer experiences.  

It’s no wonder that many different vendors have started to embed those capabilities into their solutions and launch new products or features. The tech landscape is becoming increasingly fragmented at this stage.  

What are an organisation’s tech options?  

  • The traditional VoC platform providers typically offer some text analytics capabilities (although not always included in the base price) and have started to tap into the contact centre solutions as well. Some also offer some social media or online review analysis, leaving organisations with a relatively good understanding of customer sentiment and a better understanding of their CX.  
  • Contact centre solutions are traditionally focused on analysing calls for Quality Assurance (QA) purposes and use surveys for agent coaching. Many contact centre players have evolved their portfolios to include text analytics or conversational intelligence to extract broader customer insights. Although at this stage they’re not always shared with the rest of the organisation (one step at a time…).  
  • Conversational analytics/intelligence providers have emerged over the last few years and are a powerhouse for contact centre and chatbot conversations. The contact centre really is the treasure trove of customer insights, although vastly underutilised for it so far!  
  • CRMs are the backbone of the customer experience management toolkit as they hold a vast amount of metadata. They’ve also been able to send surveys for a while now. Analysing unstructured data however (whether survey verbatim or otherwise) isn’t one of their strengths. This leaves organisations with a lot of data but not necessarily insights.  
  • Social media listening tools are often standalone tools used by the social media teams. There are not many instances of them being used for the analysis of other unstructured feedback.   
  • Digital/website feedback tools, in line with some of the above, are centred around collecting feedback, not necessarily analysing the unstructured feedback.  
  • Pure text analytics players are traditionally focused on analysing surveys verbatim. As this is their core offering, they tend to be proficient in it and have started to broaden their portfolios to include other unstructured feedback sources.  
  • Customer Data Platforms (CDP)/ Data Management Platforms (DMP) are more focused on quantitative data about customers and their experiences. Although many speak about their ability to analyse unstructured feedback as well, it doesn’t appear to be their strengths.  


But what does that leave organisations with? Apart from very confused tech users trying to find the right solution for their organisation.  

At this stage, there is immense market fragmentation, with many vendors from different core capabilities starting to incorporate capabilities to analyse unstructured data in the wake of the GenAI boom. However, a market convergence is expected.  

While we watch how the market unfolds, one thing is certain. Organisations and customer teams will need to adjust – and that includes the tech stack as well as the CX program set up. With customer feedback now coming from anywhere within or outside the organisation, there is a need for a consolidated source of truth to make sense of it all and move from raw data to customer insights. While organisations will benefit immensely from a consolidated customer data repository, it’s also crucial to break down organisational silos at the same time and democratise insights as widely as possible to enable informed decision-making. 

The Experience Economy

Please rate this

Melanie is an experienced CX (Customer Experience) and VoC (Voice of Customer) strategist with over a decade of experience in CX, insights, research, and data-driven-intelligence. She has worked with top brands across a variety of industries and has designed, managed, and matured CX and VoC programs for both B2B and B2C. Her sweet spot is the intersection of strategy, data & technology, people, and insights to understand and build capability to enhance customer experiences. With a passion for data and technology and pushing the boundaries of what good looks like, Melanie helps organisations harness the power of CX, specialising in VoC to truly understand customer experiences and identify continuous improvement opportunities. She provides clarity on strategy and program design / development and helps businesses create actionable roadmaps to realise the value of customer centricity and drive sustainable success. Thinking beyond the norm and applying strategic thinking and innovative solutioning to improve what, how and why we do the things we do is what she loves. In her free time, Melanie is a passionate athlete, competing nationally and internationally in various canoe sports, up to World Championships level.

Similar Blogs

Join the community and receive insights and analysis directly to your inbox.

Connect with an Expert
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments