I’m a huge fan of the idea that companies should deliberately capture as much information as possible for analysis. In the case of text, since I personally hate structured survey forms, I believe that free-form surveys have the potential to capture a lot more information than traditionally Procustean abominations do. SPSS indicated that there’s indeed some activity in this regard.
I found another example. ClearForest’s strong position in serving the automobile warranty market let them also scarf up customer-satisfaction surveyor J. D. Power as a customer. And it seems that J. D. Power has indeed added several new free-form text entry fields to its surveys.
No report yet, however, on whether any dramatically improved insights have come from these efforts.