A Product Note: Attensity and the Voice of the Customer

About Attensity
Attensity, an organization with more than 10 years of experience in the customer intelligence market, provides solutions for analysis of unstructured data and offers a new breed of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices throughout the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

As customer conversations can be used to enhance an organization’s products and services, Attensity has developed a stack of products to improve the process of working with increasing volumes of data—in the form of customer analytics.

Attensity’s software helps companies improve their customer’s experience as well as augment their customer’s loyalty and engagement by analyzing customer conversations across multiple online and offline channels, extracting actionable data and insights, and routing conversations to the right person in the organization to respond.

By applying its LARA methodology (Listen. Analyze. Relate. Act) to its software development, the company has created a software stack that enables organizations to not only detect, capture, and analyze information, but also take appropriate action—based on different user interaction sources, such as e-mails, notes, surveys, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and diverse social media sources.

Attensity’s product stack falls under the company’s CEM Suite, and contains an interesting blend of applications ranging from sophisticated text and sentiment analysis of social media, online and internal channels, as well as multi-channel customer response applications for the contact center. It includes the following:

  • Attensity Analyze. Based on natural language processing (NLP), Analyze, a sentiment analysis and visualization application, provides the means to analyze customer conversations coming from over 75 million social media and other online sources, as well as internal channels such as e-mails, call center notes, surveys, and private communities. Analyze users can use the insights to measure marketing campaign effectiveness, product launch feedback, customer sentiment, intent to purchase, churn analytics, emerging trend analysis and more, and establish metrics to leverage the voice of the customer as a business asset (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Attensity Analyze

  • Attensity Respond. With this application, Attensity provides the means to classify, manage, and route customer conversations in social media as well as internal channels such as e-mail to specific customer care agents for response. It then allows those messages to be tracked as trouble tickets and generates a suggested response that can be automatically sent to the customer or routed to a contact center agent for servicing by the appropriate person or team. This provides a blended queue and response capability that enables customer care agents to start a response in any channel, such as social media or short message service (SMS), and then follow up by e-mail or other channels, seamlessly tracking interactions across channels between agents and their customers. Attensity Respond includes a social media interface that enables social responders in marketing or social teams to respond directly to social conversations across multiple social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, and others. A second, agent-facing user interface provides contact center agents with a familiar interface for managing customer interactions across multiple channels, including social media, e-mail, SMS, and others.


The Voice of the Customer Strategy
Attensity has developed its solutions to provide services and functionalities for different vertical industries such as telecom, retail banking and hospitality, and for different business units within a company such as marketing, customer service, and information technology (IT). Earlier this year, Attensity introduced its Voice of the Customer Command Center (Figure 2), which gives organizations the ability to apply its text and sentiment analytics capabilities to real-time social media conversations, giving organizations a dynamic view into customer feedback about a given topic, such as a new product launch or marketing campaign.

The Voice of the Customer Command Center allows both users with customer-facing responsibilities as well as decision makers and analysts to track, analyze, and take action using a single and seamless application, thus enabling all parties to work on a common environment with collaboration features. The Command Center is akin to a network operation center, in that it tracks multi-channel information from a central, multi-screen hub and then dispatches messages to local centers, whose representatives then deal with the identified issues. Information sources can be internal databases, call centers, technician notes, surveys, Web communities, Twitter, Facebook, and millions of other online sources—all coming together into the real-time charts, bars, diagrams, and maps on the Command Center screens.

Figure 2. Voice of the Customer Command Center


The Competition
Some of Attensity’s competitors focus on functionality features for CEM and social media analytics. A few of these well-known vendors are listed below:


More Features 
Attensity’s products also offer customers the following interesting features:

  • Real-time social analytics: the ability to analyze a real-time stream of conversations from over 75 million social media sources, and provide dynamically updated sentiment analytics and other business-critical reports
  • Multi-channel analysis: allow companies to gather information from both internal sources (corporate documents and blogs, data from internal systems, etc.) as well as external sources (social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.)
  • Multilingual support, supporting data analysis in 32 languages
  • Integration with different types of enterprise systems (e.g., enterprise resource planning [ERP], CRM, etc.)

One of Attensity’s key features is its ability to classify and route customer data with its Respond application, which enables customer agents to engage and deliver on the same channel they are receiving feedback from: Twitter, Facebook, forums, blogs, etc. This changes the cycle of customer data management by not only enabling data collection and analysis, but also enhancing service in real or near real time, reducing the time between analysis and action.

Attensity can also help organizations complete the service cycle by enabling early warning and alerts over specific issues and complete reporting and visualization as well as content search capabilities.

Attensity’s success stories include companies such as Cisco, JetBlue, Whirlpool, and Travelocity, along with customers from a wide variety of industries such as banking—Royal Bank of Canada—and hospitality—Starwood Hotels and Resorts, among others.


Some Challenges in the CEM Space
Here and some of the challenges facing Attensity, as well as other vendors in the customer analysis space:

  • Evolving the software technology to
    1. meet the emerging needs in the market,
    2. reinforce access to information from big-data providers (e.g., Hadoop), and
    3. adapt to new Web standards, such as HTML5 and inclusion of non-text formats (e.g., images and maps).
  • Reinforcing user and customer collaboration as well as real-time data collection and interpretation to provide insights in a timely fashion.
  • Applying software technology to more languages, particularly those not based on the Latin alphabet, and to the types of languages used by groups of people with specific interests (e.g., children’s conversations on social media channels are very different from those of adults).

According to the survey Customer Experience: Why IT Can’t Stand Still from the Customer Solutions Group, the top three capabilities that would help chief information officers (CIOs) to create a more compelling customer experience are:

  • support for mobile applications,
  • simpler interfaces for customer-facing employees, and
  • guided experiences.

Another challenge according to the survey is the ability to audit customer transactions, which is always a good starting point for any type of analysis.


Attensity has positioned itself as a serious contender in the CEM space owing to its well-defined methodology (LARA) and professional services offerings, providing customers with not only the software but also the necessary expertise from its staff to help organizations take advantage of and extract value from data gathered from disparate sources.

The company differentiates itself from many others by going beyond simply providing interpretation and analysis to the customer’s voice—it is able to enhance an organization’s customer experience by changing the mechanics of the interaction between the service provider and the customer. Thus, organizations looking for a reliable CEM solution should consider Attensity.



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