Can Text Analytics and Speech Analytics Have a Happy Marriage?

Sid Banerjee, CEO of Clarabridge, told me about Clarabridge’s recently announced partnership with CallMiner. It is a marriage of text analytics with speech analytics, and hence it should attract the attention of the big call center users. In fact, it should interest every business that makes extensive use of telephony. Working together, these technologies provide a more comprehensive view of a customer interactions, analyzing both written text (email, documents) and conversations.

The Clarabridge Content Mining Platform (CMP)

Clarabridge CMP is the text analytics part of the solution. It employs automated extraction and optional overlay rules to extract entities, facts, relationships, events, and “sentiments” from documents. Users can source documents from designated servers, then apply semantic extraction techniques to pull data from the documents.

CMP provides data quality, cleansing and organization tools for managing the harvested data. Once extracted and processed, the data can be stored in a database or warehouse and subsequently used by Business Intelligence (BI) tools. CMP has the tools to store the information and establish connectors to various reporting, statistical and data-mining tools for analysis.

Eureka – It’s Emotional!

Cliff LaCoursiere, co-founder and SVP of business development at CallMiner, explained to me that CallMiner’s Eureka! product used speech analytics algorithms to identify speech characteristics such as tempo, silence, or stress in call records, to produce an emotional assessment of the person on the phone.

Apparently, its algorithms measure the tension of a person’s voice by first base-lining the tension and then measuring any increase or decrease. For example, the sentence “You’ve been a big help.” could mean that you’ve actually been a big help, or said sarcastically, could mean you’ve been worse than useless. Without measuring the emotional content of the call, you may think you know what was said, when you don’t. And even if a transcript obviously indicates that a customer is satisfied, you don’t know how satisfied.

The Partnership

It’s clear that merging text and audio analysis will provide a wider and deeper understanding of customer interactions. For obvious reasons, CallMiner is attracting attention and customers in the call center area. Clarabridge already gets traction in customer experience monitoring – tackling the key question “How are my customers feeling and acting?” So, the partnership is clearly a natural one.

In a study we recently performed at Hurwitz & Associates, Customer Care was the top application for companies planning to implement text analytics solutions. Customer care applications use text analytics to gather information about product feedback (“voice of the customer”), customer sentiment, customer satisfaction, retention and churn, market intelligence, or reputation and brand management. So this partnership is a sensible next step in unifying communications channels and understanding comments in context. We expect it to make an impact in the customer care world.


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