What is Verbatim Analysis and How to Use it?

The ultimate goal of every business is to provide its customers with utmost customer satisfaction. Don’t you agree? Businesses always ask their customers for feedback. If a company wants to improve itself and understand its audience they must conduct a lot of quantitative research online. Most companies conduct online and offline surveys to understand their customer’s preferences and how they’re serving their customers and what they can do to make it better. 

You can even find the automated surveys, these are also valuable. Some companies even ask their companies to leave comments. This is also a way for customers to express their views and opinions. These comments will help companies in knowing better about their audience. But, what is the point of gathering the verbatim but not acting upon it? Here is where verbatim analysis comes into the picture, a verbatim analysis software helps you in collecting, mining and organising actionable data. 


What is Verbatim Analysis?

Verbatim Analysis or Text Analysis takes feedback from the customers and turns it into a meaningful statistical cumulativeness. This statistics helps the companies in understanding the verbatim better. Verbatim Analysis uses an algorithm to translate patterns or languages into themes. This research is quite popular in the market as it provides both insights and authoritative data on all the questions relating to the customer experience. 

Who wouldn’t want to stay close to their customers, right? For an organisation to provide better services to its customers it should understand its audience better and today most companies receive comments of their customers. These comments are the voice of the customers and the companies receive too many comments from their customers and all this data comes from internal sources such as customer care, call centre, Website, social media.

But most of them don’t even know what to with all this verbatim. One of the ways to analyze the comments and convert them into actionable insight is traditional survey research. It can give us many useful insights and many market research firms are using this technique for years to provide their clients with insights to improve their customer experience. 


How to use it?

Surveys usually are of two types i.e., closed-end and open-end. A closed-end type of questions is usually multiple-choice questions. For these types of questions, you already know the answer to the question as it will only be one of the options. Whereas, in the open-end questions the responder can provide the answer in the form of text. The point of the open-end questions is that you cannot guess what the user is going to say. It allows customers to voice their opinions.  Such open-end responses are known as verbatims.  

If you’re wondering how verbatim analysis is used? Here is the answer.

The surveyor or researcher codes the responses with verbatim codes. People trained in verbatim coding invent a set of codes or tags that would capture the concept of the question. Once the verbatims are coded they could analyze the responses and once the process is completed you can get answers to questions such as what percentage of your customers like your products? the proportion of people liking to disliking etc. Simply put the verbatim analysis will convert your qualitative information into quantitative information. 


Setup & Orient

To code your comments, first, you must export them from your survey platform. Once you download the raw verbatims along with the unique participant ID. Those ID’s are important and you would be using them later. Usually, people code their comments in Excel. Once you finished exporting then comes the examination part. You must examine the open-ended responses and familiarize yourself with comments to understand different types of themes that are going to emerge. Read at least 100 comments to familiarize yourself.


Sort & Group them

Before you’re starting the analysis, you must sort your verbatim. Based on the question you will get so many responses, some of them may be blank, N/A’s, etc. Sorting your comments will speed up the coding process and make sure to sort your responses along with user ID. While sorting your comments you can remove all the poor quality comments too. 

Once your data is cleaned then comes the time for grouping these comments into different themes. You can either create and assign codes to each response or create groups in an excel sheet and drop your comments into them. Once you have grouped them, depending on the number and types of comments create themes i.e., 10-20. Creating more themes can become harder to interpret and take action.     


Split & Combine

No two customers of you are the same, so it becomes hard to guess their responses. Some of them can leave a blank response, while others may talk about multiple themes. When you come across such comments then split into the different themes the response talks about. Once you’re done with splitting and coding your responses, now combine the themes or rename them into a doable number to make it easy to interpret.


Quantity & Add intervals

When your comments are coded into themes, then simply count the number of comments in each theme. Create a graph of the total percentage of the comments. You can simply understand your customers with just the percentage. So, to make the data with even less uncertainty add confidence intervals to the percentages. Once you’re done with the process of coding, you now have to create a new variable to facilitate additional analyses. The new variables will help you in segmenting, cross-tab or creating a key driver analysis. 


Add examples 

While summarizing the process there are high chances of the information getting lost. To avoid such situations and improve the quality of your categories. You can add some prototypical example comments. Making such additions will provide you with rich detailed comments and categories. It even becomes easy for those accessing the data to improve.



The verbatim analysis will help you understand your customers and their preferences. You may have lots of questions and why’s relating to your customer’s experience and this analysis will help you answer them. It transfers the qualitative information to quantitative. It takes a lot of time and energy to perform verbatim coding since it involves human judgement there are high chances of making mistakes in evaluation. 

If you have enough budget and are looking for a systematic way to automatically code issues, then consider using more advanced software than excel to perform verbatim analysis. If you’re looking for ways to understand your customers experience with your brand then it is time to perform verbatim analysis and improve your customer experience.


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