What is Customer Intent?

Customer Intent is often understood as buyer intent, or the purpose or reason behind a statement or action as part of a customer’s journey toward a purchase. However, in the customer experience and service space, it can mean much more than just the reason for a call or a chat or a purchase. Detecting customer intent helps you understand and classify what a customer is trying to communicate beyond what they are saying or talking about, whether it’s a cry for help, a question about a feature, or a heartfelt thanks.

Why is customer intent detection important to businesses?

When analyzing customer feedback, being able to isolate certain kinds of intents can lead to productive actionability. With basic NLP, businesses are able to categorize the topics and analyze trends from a customer interaction. And with advanced machine learning techniques and intent classification, business analysts and customer support representations can better understand the subtext behind what customer are communicating to better determine the next best action.

Compare “Your website sucks!” and “Your website would be so much easier to use if the chat box didn’t cover up the login area!” While we might be drawn to the obvious negativity in the first sentence, it is the second one that we would deem as actionable. It offers an explicit suggestion that unlocks valuable information we can use to identify specific pain points and to design customer-centric solutions.

Intent detection goes beyond hearing what customers say and enables active listening to customers’ needs.

Clarabridge’s Intent Detection

Clarabridge uses machine learning-based semantic analysis strategies to classify intent, helping you analyze your customers’ statements by what they are communicating to you so you can best respond.

Clarabridge can recognize 20 different kinds of sentence types or intents specifically relevant to CX. These sentence types give Clarabridge users the power to segment their data in ways that go far beyond traditional topic analysis. Common use cases include isolation of suggestions or requests, noise filtering to remove non-actional sentence types, and routing cries for help to appropriate agents.


Clarabridge Sentence Types

The following sentence types—specifically designed for customer experience—are the backbone of Clarabridge’s customer intent detection.

Related Resources

Debunking Natural Language Processing

We’re on a mission to demystify a complex term: Natural Language Processing. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of study that focuses on a computer’s ability to interpret human language in order to process, analyze, and extract meaning from large volumes of natural language text data.

Download Now

Request a Demo