Customers Have Strong Feelings About Toothpaste. This Startup Uses AI to Help Companies Understand Those Sentiments.

Manufacturers and retailers still can’t quickly make sense of customer sentiments. Startup Revuze uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze customer opinions across different external channels and internal data sources.

If you’re like me, you have strong feelings about the things you buy. From diapers to toothpaste, I have high expectations of products, delivery (when ordering online), and customer service. If those expectations aren’t met, I’m not shy about sharing my experiences. Turns out I’m not alone.

For shoppers aged 30 to 64 years old, 73 percent have posted online product reviews. This can have a huge financial impact: 94 percent of shoppers say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.

The problem for product manufacturers and retailers is how to quickly make sense of consumer sentiments across multiple online forums – not to mention data from internal sources like call centers, stores, or surveys. With all that unstructured data and no way to make sense of it, companies struggle to understand their customers, competitors, and markets. Currently, most organizations rely on data scientists and analysts, but this manual process is slow and expensive.

Revuze Helps Close the Customer Experience Gap

New York City-based Revuze has found a way to automate this process using its AI algorithm to analyze customer opinions from different channels and data stores, tracking their perception of specific products and markets. The company believes it’s closing the last gap in customer experience with its solution, which is already used by giants like Dolby, Pampers, Oral-B, Zara, Gillette, and Barbie.

Revuze was founded in Israel by Ido Ramati in 2013, with funding from Nielsen Innovate, the venture capital arm of research giant Nielsen. With its solution, companies can quickly and easily gain insight into what customers think about their products — and those of their competitors.

CEO Boaz Grinvald explains that generally when a company launches a new product, the only way to analyze customers’ feedback is to ask experts. “It can take three to six months to get information about people’s response. Typically, that’s why most product launches fail,” Grinvald says. “But Revuze cuts out the middleman and connects you immediately to real-time, deep insights that a machine can scale, but humans can’t.”

When companies introduce a new product, different stakeholders can use Revuze to get a handle on different aspects of customer satisfaction both pre- and post-purchase. “The scale we provide, allows our customers to see behind corners and identify all potential issues immediately – and see where products are performing well or not,” explains Grinvald.

If a new toothpaste is launched, Revuze will automatically collect online feedback and identify different parts of the customer experience that have been discussed, such as taste, abrasiveness, cost, packaging, or regional availability. Grinvald says, “Manually you might be able to track 10 to 20 sentences talking about a particular issue but most likely you will miss many issues. With machine learning, we can look at tens of thousands of examples associated with each category.”

This system also helps companies grasp consumer perception of their brand over time – or put together a customer wish list that can inform their product and go-to-market strategy.

Similarly, Revuze can help companies evaluate new markets. For example, a large consumer packaged goods producer wanted to go into pesticides. “They used our solution to understand the market and decide whether to build or buy,” says Grinvald. Revuze helped them build a dashboard showing how customers felt about every product in the market, thus identifying the biggest opportunities. With that insight, the company decided to develop their own solution, filling a niche that helps people eliminate flying insects in their home.

Grinvald says Revuze acts like an extremely large focus group with hundreds of thousands of opinions. “We help brands to deliver a superior customer experience by connecting them to what’s important to their direct customers and the customers of their competitors,” he says. “Moreover, we provide a complete picture of what the market wants. And with that, companies can build a better experience for customers when it comes to not just your products but the whole customer life cycle.”

In 2019, Revuze received funding from SAP.iO Fund, which invests in early-stage startups building solutions that help customers receive highly incremental value from SAP solutions. SAP.iO Fund is part of SAP.iO, a strategic business unit within SAP that accelerates innovation and drives new business models for the company. Revuze’s solutions analyze unstructured data about customer sentiment, extending the SAP portfolio of customer experience and experience management solutions.