Social Listening: How Companies Hear Feedback Without a Survey

Your customers are talking about you behind your back and the entire world is listening.

Luckily, you can hear what customers have to say even if they aren’t speaking directly to you. Every mention provides an opportunity to replicate the good (or troubleshoot the bad before it turns into a national or global brand crisis).

Enter: InMoment Social Listening.

Social Listening taps into popular online review and social sites where customers share meaningful experiences about brands. But the social sphere is a big place. InMoment helps find, compile, and analyze brand mentions and reviews, and sorts them into easy-to-digest insights for all levels of an organization, from frontline staff to top-level executives—and everyone in between.

For many companies, the initial plunge into Voice of Customer (VoC) begins with customer experience surveys. However, with the prevalence of social sharing, listening isn’t complete without the social perspective, and this angle is becoming more central to business strategies. Large brands with multiple locations don’t have the ability to easily monitor social media and review sites, glean a sense of customer opinion, and take action to rescue dissatisfied customers. There’s simply too much data from too many sources to compile, analyze, and act without some help.

Social Listening allows companies to track multiple social channels in one place. InMoment embeds these social stories alongside experience data from voice, online, and other sources into alerts, reports, dashboards, and apps for a broader view of customer sentiment.

Several powerhouse brands have seen significant benefits from using InMoment technology to streamline social listening. Here are just a few real-life examples from some of our clients.

Aggregated Insights

Comprehensive insights are integrated directly into InMoment’s platform, and are analyzed and displayed in a centralized location alongside other types of customer feedback for comparison. Area and regional managers receive rollups relevant to their service area, while executives receive a companywide outlook.

Competitive Analysis

Companies receive the added—and critical—ability to “listen” to competitors and gauge how a specific location is performing within a given area, such as a shopping mall.

Real-Time Response

Designated employees are alerted on customer complaints, and may respond directly within the same social channel, or transfer the case to a dedicated customer service department.

Employee Coaching and Recognition

Social listening allows location managers to identify key areas of service and focus their employee training and coaching. Additionally, managers may recognize service teams and individual team members who receive praise on social channels.

Access to Richer Data

By taking in feedback from various social sources, companies find the conversations on review and social sites form an in-depth set of unstructured data to complement the data from customer experience surveys.

Less Intrusive Collection

Collecting critical feedback through social channels allows companies to keep their customer experience survey short, which increases the response rate, and keeps interactions feeling more like conversations than interrogations—gaining insights without having to ask too often.

Focused Marketing Efforts

Companies are able to create targeted social content, based on social conversations, in the form of offers and advertisements.

Social Media Dashboard

Companies receive at-a-glance information about customers’ experiences, including a breakdown of the most common topics mentioned on social media, so they can easily identify trends and address common issues.

Advanced Text Analytics

Companies are able to run the same advanced text analytics on social comments as they do on unstructured survey feedback, automating the ability to quickly understand the large amounts of social data, instantly alert on urgent issues, and easily spot emerging trends.

Asking for feedback from your customers is a good thing. Being able to listen to the stories, understand what they mean to your business, and then act on them quickly, is a great thing.

Does My Data Already Provide the Answer? Using Explore to Examine Your Existing Data

Ever since I was a boy growing up in Colorado, I have loved exploring the mountains. By now I have run, hiked, and skied thousands of miles through this magnificent wonderland and have learned some great life lessons from it—one of which is, “More does not necessarily mean better.”

When I was young, I carried everything I thought I might need. My legs might have gotten stronger, but my experience was hindered with the weight of my pack. Now, before I go out I ask myself, “Do I need this, or can I make do with what I have?”

When it comes to data, businesses are in a similar situation. They have all the data they can handle, but often are asked for more to answer specific questions for other areas of the organization. The rise of DIY surveys have made it fast and easy to survey customers. On one hand, this is a positive: It illustrates that organizations are understanding that customer feedback can inform every facet of their business.

On the other hand, if businesses are not careful, they risk unnecessarily overburdening their customers and contributing to survey fatigue.

We know that if customers care about something, they will tell you—so why not take a closer look at the data you already have?

For example, one InMoment client I recently spoke with was asked to report to executives on a specific seasonal event. Instead of sending out a survey to ask customers for feedback, he used Explore to search comments that had already been provided. He quickly learned that what customers were expecting did not match their actual experience, leaving them with a negative perception of the brand. Customer comments illuminated a clear discrepancy between the marketers who advertised the event, and the store managers who actually carried it out, which can now easily be avoided next time this event takes place.

So, just as I’ve learned to do when hiking, before you send out yet another survey, try asking yourself, “Do I need to do this or does my data already provide the answer?”

Click here to learn more about Explore and how it can help you find insights in your unstructured data.

4 Alternate Channels for Collecting Customer Feedback

For too long the focus has been on “what” your customers are saying, with little consideration to “how” they are being asked. In a time where customer experience is more important than ever, companies are looking to improve the way their data is collected. Traditional methods such as phone surveys, focus groups, and paper surveys certainly serve a purpose, but can leave out important customer touchpoints and insights.

Finding the appropriate channel for your audience will lead to an increase in customer feedback as well as the quality of their evaluations. At InMoment we provide a number of alternative methods for collecting customer reviews and feedback to help you listen and engage with your customers on a deeper level.

Voice Comments

InMoment Voice combines a variety of innovative technologies to glean insights from customers’ voice comments, which are gathered through various channels such as customer surveys or service calls, to support more informed business decisions. Voice responses are transcribed in real time, then text analytics is used to reveal critical information like urgent customer concerns.

Video Feedback

Video goes one step further, giving customers the freedom to express themselves on their own terms. This type of feedback also captures expressions and body language which helps you to better understand both the facts and emotion that make up the user experience. Video feedback typically provides 4-5 times more content than open-ended comments.

Web & Mobile

Online and mobile surveys give a more detailed view into the customer experience. Feedback is gathered at every stage of the buying and online experience, from online browsing, to pre-purchase, purchase, order fulfillment, and delivery and order completion.

Location-Based Insights

Location-Based Insights are used in conjunction with mobile surveys. Through a combination of mobile SDK, beacons, and geofencing, Location-Based Insights help organizations better understand buyer and non-buyer habits. Quick and efficient in-app surveys gather information about a customer’s visit, regardless of whether or not they’ve made a purchase.

Your customers are your best resource. When they are comfortable with the survey method, it empowers them to share valuable insights and touchpoints. This data allows you to make better, more informed decisions that improve your organization as well as the customer experience.

InMoment’s John Sperry Named CEO of the Year

InMoment Founder and CEO John Sperry was named CEO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine at an event held March 16.

In addition to this honor, John has received many leadership awards, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He’s also led InMoment through 118 consecutive months of profitability.

“John Sperry is one of the true technology visionaries in the Intermountain Region,” said Stephen P. Weisz, president and chief executive officer of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation and chairman of the InMoment Board of Directors. “Watching him mature as an executive and bring the right leaders into the company at the right time has been a pleasure to witness.”

Since acquiring one of its chief competitors in 2013, John has overseen a significant jump in revenues and size, including growing from 60 to more than 330 employees worldwide. InMoment has been recognized for consistent innovation and growth from Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 and a Best Company to Work For award, to eight years on both the MountainWest Capital Networks and Inc. 5000 lists of high-growth companies.

Mindshare Technologies Acquires Empathica

  • Acquisition Makes Mindshare the Largest Provider of Voice of Customer (VoC) Feedback Solutions in Food Services and Retail Industries; Combined Entity will have Collected More than 300 Million Surveys by the End of 2013
  • Acquisition Significantly Bolsters Mindshare’s International Presence, Collecting Surveys from Consumers in more than 125 Countries and in 32 Different Languages
    World’s Leading Brands Will Now Have Access to the Most Comprehensive Solution Set on the Market

SALT LAKE CITY and TORONTO (September 19, 2013) – Mindshare Technologies, a leader in Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies, has acquired Empathica, the leading global provider of social Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions. The acquisition establishes Mindshare as the largest VoC provider in the food services and retail industries, and will continue to aggressively grow in contact centers, hospitality and many other areas.

The acquisition was financed in part by Sorenson Capital and Peterson Partners. Cascadia Capital served as Empathica’s financial advisor in the transaction.

Empathica’s social CEM and social media technology will be incorporated with Mindshare’s industry-leading VoC platform and extensive text analytics solutions, positioning Mindshare to consolidate and lead the VoC market. With Empathica, Mindshare will serve more than 200,000 locations and business units worldwide. Since inception, the companies will have collected more than 300 million customer reviews combined by the end of 2013. Mindshare will also significantly expand its national and international footprint through Empathica’s strong presence in both North America and Europe.

“In the age of the empowered customer, the ability to get strong, actionable feedback from each customer is becoming of paramount value to companies that want to drive business transformation and brand advocacy,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare. “The addition of Empathica is incredibly valuable in helping us make the voice of the customer that much more valuable in decision making among consumer-facing companies. This acquisition gives Mindshare the strongest customer feedback solutions – and the largest client base in the food services and retail sectors – as we continue to grow across many industries.”

Along with its key personnel with industry expertise, Empathica’s deep experience in consumer insights and benchmarking will enhance Mindshare’s approach to focus on the Sample Size of One™, ensuring every individual’s feedback is valued and acted upon. Empathica’s marketing sciences capabilities will also strengthen Mindshare’s client services team by providing rich insight into emerging trends in customer service. In addition, the acquisition will augment Mindshare’s real-time feedback solutions and improve its ability to deliver actionable customer insights to all levels of management personnel, from front-line managers to executive teams.

The acquisition marries two companies with comparable visions and similar client bases. The combined organization will have a dominant market position globally, collecting VOC surveys in 125 countries and 32 languages, serving the world’s leading brands with a focus in Europe and North America.

“We are excited to join Mindshare and become the dominant player in the industry as a combined entity,” said Mike Amos, founder and CEO of Empathica. “By gaining access to the deepest and widest range of insights in the market, we can empower companies to fully leverage their most valuable asset: their customers.”

With the combined product innovation and development capabilities of both companies, Mindshare will seek to aggressively produce solutions that improve the customer experience industry and drive measurable increases in customer loyalty, retention and brand advocacy for companies.

“The feedback from the market is clear. Leading companies want a VoC provider that can respond to the most demanding aspects of their global business. With the acquisition of Empathica, Mindshare will stand alone, providing the technology, service and global footprint required to serve the world’s largest and most valuable brands,” concluded Sperry.

 

Mindshare Technologies Announces 2013 Best Practices Conference

  • Mindshare Technologies Announces 2013 Best Practices Conference
  • Fifth Annual Conference in Park City, Utah Will Explore How to Gain More Advanced Insights from Customer Feedback
    Keynote Addresses to be Delivered by International Bestselling Author Shawn Achor and Independent Research Firm Vice President and Principal Analyst, Customer Experience Kerry Bodine
  • Mindshare Will Also Unveil New Enterprise Feedback and Text Analytics Technologies at the Conference

Mindshare Technologies, the leader in Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies, today announced its Best Practices Conference will be held from September 11-13, 2013 at The Canyons Grand Summit Hotel in Park City, Utah. Mindshare’s 2013 Best Practices Conference will bring together experts, analysts and innovators in the customer experience industry for three days of presentations, breakout sessions and roundtables to set standards that raise industry performance.

Mindshare’s fifth annual conference will explore how to obtain more advanced insights from customer feedback to improve the overall guest experience. Keynote addresses will be delivered by:

  • Shawn Achor, international bestselling author and founder and CEO of Good Think Inc., who will present on his newly released (September 10) book, “Before Happiness”
  • Kerry Bodine, vice president and principal analyst, customer experience of Forrester Research, Inc., who will present on “The Customer Experience Ecosystem”

The conference will feature industry-specific roundtables for contact centers, retailers, quick serve and fast casual restaurants, full service restaurants and others. It will also include breakout sessions and presentations from Mindshare’s team of executives and customer service experts on the following topics:

  • Big Insights: Solving the Big Data Problem
  • Accelerating the Speed to Insight
  • Social Media and Your Online Reputation
  • Program Standards for Successful VoC
  • New Insights from Unstructured Comments

Mindshare also plans to release new customer feedback technologies to its clients attending the conference, including innovative solutions in text analytics. In addition, Mindshare will present the 2013 VoC Outstanding Service Awards at the conference to companies and individuals that best respond to customer needs in real time through effective implementation of customer feedback.

“For more than a decade, Mindshare has been helping companies put customers first, and we look forward to navigating the newest frontiers of customer feedback at this conference,” said Lonnie Mayne, president of Mindshare. “With so many experts in one place, this conference provides the perfect opportunity to push the industry forward and establish standards of excellence.”

For more information, or to register for Mindshare’s 2013 Best Practices conference, visit http://mshare.net/conference.

Mindshare Restructures Leadership to Accommodate Continued Rapid Growth

  • Mindshare Co-Founder Kurt Williams Named Chief Product Officer
  • Long-Time Mindshare Management Team Member Derek Newbold Promoted to Chief Technology Officer
  • Enterprise Customer Feedback Company Also Introduces New Vice Presidents: Nate Call, Vice President of Client Experience; Chad Hortin, Senior Vice President of Insights; and Greg Lloyd, Vice President of Customer Experience Strategy

Mindshare Technologies, a leader in Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies, today announced it has restructured its management team following recent rapid growth. As part of the reorganization, Kurt Williams has been appointed as chief product officer (CPO) and Derek Newbold as chief technology officer (CTO). In addition, Nate Call has been named vice president of client experience; Chad Hortin senior vice president of insights; and Greg Lloyd vice president of customer experience strategy.

“These moves give us the internal infrastructure necessary for future expansion,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare. “Our compound annual growth with recurring revenue is 31 percent from 2010 to 2012, and with this new team in place, we can focus on delivering constant improvement in customer feedback for an expanding client base. Kurt and Derek’s software development expertise is second to none, and we are confident they – along with Nate, Chad and Greg – will excel in their new capacities to execute our aggressive growth strategy.”

Williams co-founded Mindshare and most recently served as CTO, where he oversaw the creation of several enterprise feedback management technologies proprietary to Mindshare. Prior to Mindshare, Williams was director of software design for BlueStep, Inc. and director of Internet technology at SunGard Data Systems.

“I am excited about these changes that will create an opportunity to enhance our position in customer feedback,” said Williams. “We are committed to providing the best analytics solutions to accelerate the speed of insight for our clients and ensure they have the valuable and actionable data they need at all levels that will drive customer satisfaction.”

Newbold has worked at Mindshare for eight years, most recently as vice president of product development to deliver customer feedback solutions that offer real-time insights. Newbold joined Mindshare Technologies from Ingenix, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Healthcare Group, and also worked at BlueStep.

“It is imperative that Mindshare has world-class products built using only the best technology,” said Newbold. “Large quantities of companies choose Mindshare for their customer feedback program and this requires that we keep our expansive technology footprint and provide an excellent foundation for future growth.”

Call joins Mindshare from SunGard, where he was vice president of strategy and product management. Hortin previously served as vice president of client experience at Mindshare, and Vice President Expert Solutions at SunGard. Prior to his promotion, Lloyd was director of marketing at Mindshare, and previously served as director of customer experience at OrangeSoda.

Mindshare Technologies Appoints Marriott Vacations Worldwide President Steve Weisz as Chairman of the Board

  • As Chairman, Weisz will Direct Aggressive Efforts to Solidify Company’s Position as Leader in Voice of the Customer Technology
  • Weisz has Enjoyed a 41-Year Career of Various Leadership Positions at Marriott International

SALT LAKE CITY (June 12, 2013) – Mindshare Technologies, a leader in Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies, today announced that Steve Weisz, president and chief executive officer of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC), has been appointed chairman of the company’s illustrious board of trustees.

“Mindshare has some very big ambitions for the future, and as we aggressively pursue our long-term goals, we need a solid governance team in place to give us thoughtful and effective direction. Steve is a born leader with fantastic instincts, and is absolutely a great fit,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare. “I’d like to personally thank our former Chairman of the Board, Rich Hanks, who served in that capacity for eleven years, since the founding of the company. Rich has resigned as Chairman in order to serve a three-year mission for his church. He will still remain an active member of our board.”

Recently, Mindshare has strengthened its position as an industry leader with a string of measurable accomplishments and successes, including a 50 percent employee base growth in 2012. The company also has also been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list for five consecutive years.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time as a member of Mindshare’s board, and I am honored that they have now asked me to preside as chairman,” said Weisz. “This is a company that has already accomplished some spectacular growth—both in terms of company size and as a burgeoning leader in the industry—and I look forward to helping them discover additional potentials.”

Weisz has enjoyed a 41-year career affiliated with Marriott International, and has served in several leadership capacities throughout his tenure. Prior to his current position, Weisz served as president of Marriott Vacation Club for 14 years, where he led the vacation ownership division and oversaw three brands under the department’s umbrella. Additionally, Weisz has served on numerous boards for organizations in the hospitality industry as well as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, for which he was a past chairman of the board of governors and currently serves as vice-chair of its board of trustees.

Weisz graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree and returned as a visiting lecturer for 14 years teaching courses in hotel operations.

Mindshare Technologies Promotes Lonnie Mayne to President

Mindshare Technologies today announced it has appointed Lonnie Mayne—who had been serving as the company’s chief experience officer (CXO)—as its president. In his new role, Mayne will be responsible for leading the continued efforts of growing the company and further establishing Mindshare as the Voice of the Customer (VoC) market leader. His experience as CXO will serve to strengthen Mindshare’s focus on keeping the customer at the forefront of every decision.

Mayne was recently voted onto the board of directors for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of customer experience management practices.

“He’s simply the right man,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare. “Everybody on the Mindshare team loves and supports him because he knows that focusing on the success of our employees ultimately leads to success with our customers. As president, his dedication to the customer, his ability to work with and develop key personnel, his inexhaustible energy, and his genuine good nature will take Mindshare to even greater places.”

During his tenure at Mindshare, Mayne has been at the heart of cultivating a company culture that motivates Mindshare employees to be passionate about their work. One of Mayne’s most influential initiatives is his Red Shoes Experience blog (http://www.redshoesexperience.com), a website dedicated to featuring the stories of individuals who have delivered outstanding customer service through simple acts.

Since Mayne first joined the company, Mindshare has increased revenues by 300 percent, and has expanded to taking surveys in 28 languages across 150 countries worldwide. While Mayne served as CXO, Mindshare experienced a 50-percent employee base growth in 2012, and that same year was named to Utah Business magazine’s annual Best Companies to Work For list, Inc.’s 500/5000 list for the fifth consecutive year, and was recognized by the MountainWest Capital Network as one of the year’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Utah Companies.

“During my time as CXO, I was privileged to work with every level within our organization to build lasting and loyal customer relationships, and I see this new position as an extension of those efforts,” said Mayne. “During my time here at Mindshare, I’ve seen us experience some incredible successes based on a commitment to the customer, and I look forward to building on that foundation as I lead the company to our next chapter.”

Mayne has more than 23 years of executive-level experience. Prior to joining Mindshare in 2006, Mayne was the vice president of special and emerging markets for the Affinia Group. He also worked at No. 1 International, where he began as vice president of sales and finished as president of the factory engineering group and a member of the board of directors.

Mindshare Technologies Caps 2012 with Continued Growth and Prestigious Recognitions

  • Banner Year for Mindshare Led Company to Grow Revenue, Increase Staff by 50 Percent, and Receive National Recognition

SALT LAKE CITY (January 29, 2013) (BUSINESS WIRE) — Mindshare Technologies, a leader in Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies, today announced the close of another successful year, with notable achievements including revenue growth, a staff increase of 50 percent, and several prestigious recognitions.

“In a day when the customer holds all the cards, our platform and our outstanding employees have given companies a way to retain customers and grow revenue,” said John Sperry, CEO of Mindshare Technologies. “Our products and services continue to provide our clients with the right options for understanding and serving their customers. As our clients have succeeded, so have we.”

“When customers offer feedback, they expect someone to be listening,” added Mindshare CXO, Lonnie Mayne. “Our Sample Size of One(TM) approach enables companies to hear each and every customer voice, putting the customer first.”

Highlights of 2012

New Leadership

2012 saw the appointment of Mark Webb to chief financial officer. Webb’s focus is ensuring a financial infrastructure is in place that will enable the company’s ongoing expansion. Also in 2012, Mayne, who had formerly been the company’s executive vice president of sales and account management, stepped into the newly created role of CXO and assumed the responsibilities of managing and improving the end-to-end customer experience for Mindshare.

Honors and Awards

For the fifth consecutive year, Mindshare Technologies was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list. Over the five years that Mindshare has been on the Inc. 500/5000, its revenue has grown from $7.1 to $18.9 million by the end of 2011.

Mindshare Technologies was also named to Utah Business magazine’s annual Best Companies to Work For list. The employee-nominated honor is bestowed on companies with a proven commitment to ensuring employee satisfaction and success.

Additionally, the MountainWest Capital Network recognized Mindshare as one of 2012’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Utah Companies.

Team Growth

Mindshare’s employee base grew by 50 percent in 2012–which required the company to expand its office space in Salt Lake City to accommodate the growth. When founded in 2002, Mindshare had just two employees. Now, it has grown to a staff of more than 120.

New Automated Call-Back Product

In March 2012, Mindshare unveiled Outbound Dial, an automated call-back service designed to help its call center clients effectively gather and interpret customer feedback. Specifically designed to help Mindshare’s clients in the call center and service industries, Outbound Dial can be used by any company that wants to gauge the quality of its customer interactions in a system that can’t be manipulated by agents.

Mobile Application Enhancement

In a year that saw the majority of U.S. mobile phone users switch from feature phones to smartphones (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2012), Mindshare focused much of its efforts on mobile optimization for customer feedback collection and reporting, releasing an updated mobile app for its clients on iPhone and Android devices. As the percentage of smartphone users rapidly grows, customer expectations increase, and a user experience designed specifically for mobile is a necessity. The enhanced app allows Mindshare clients to access real-time customer feedback, reporting, and management tools at all levels of their company–from the location level to the executive suite. Users now have access to Mindshare’s full management dashboard whenever they need it, wherever they are.

Mindshare’s 2012 Service Awards

Mindshare presented service awards in 10 divisions to honor companies that show excellence in applying customer and employee feedback across several categories of customer experience improvement. These awards were announced at Mindshare’s annual Best Practice Conference, which was the highest attended conference to date and had a 95 percent overall satisfaction rating from attendees.

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