In marketing research, verbatim coding is the assignment of numeric codes to various words, phrases, ideas, or concepts in text, so that the information and meaning in the text can be extracted and analyzed quantitatively. Open-end questions in surveys generate reams of verbatim text that must be coded and analyzed. CRM systems, customer feedback systems, customer records, competitive websites, etc., can also provide large amounts of verbatim text to code and analyze.

Coding Process

Coders being by reading the text to be coded. As they read, they begin to build a codeframe (a list of codes by question). Then all of the open-end answers to each question are coded. This system enables coders to move quickly through the questionnaire text. All answers are carefully coded by a person trained in coding (no automated or computer coding). The results are precise codes that fully reflect the true meanings of the open-end verbatims.

Types of Coding

Symmetric sister company, Nuance, codes all types of open-end verbatim answers, comments, and text across many different product categories and industries, including:

  • Open-end verbatims from surveys (paper surveys, online surveys, comment cards, etc.)
  • Open-end responses in customer-feedback systems
  • Open-end answers to phone surveys (CATI, voice, or text)
  • Voice/Video recordings from IVR systems or ethnography studies
  • Social media text
  • Photographs and images

Multilingual Coding

Nuance provides verbatim coding services for more than 30 languages. The following languages are coded by Decision Analyst native language coders.

Arabic French Japanese Russian
Chinese German Korean Spanish
Dutch Hindi Portuguese Turkish
English Italian Romanian

In addition, Nuance codes over 20 other languages through partner companies in their respective countries. Coding in the actual language saves time and money so that translation is not needed. If you need to code in an unusual language, please check with us. We may have a partner company that can code that language.

Quality Assurance Standards

Symmetric and Nuance adheres to rigorous and consistent quality standards. The level of coding quality is largely determined by the quality of the coders. They must be very smart, intellectually curious, and capable of great attention to detail. Decision Analyst coders are carefully trained for a minimum of six months, before independent work is permitted. Our coders average over 15 years of marketing research coding experience.

The work of each coder on a project is carefully checked at multiple points by quality-control specialists within the department, and then checked again, independently, by the Quality Assurance Department.

Multilingual Coding Services

If you need a cost estimate for a coding project, please email