From ROI to turnover to success rate, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are black-and-white by nature. They quantify the tangible aspects of company performance to guide decision-makers’ actions.
However, many business owners fail to recognize the fact that hard numbers are only one side of the coin. Traditional metrics actually tend to deliver reactive rather than proactive value – they’ll tell you there’s a problem, but without much insight into the reason why.
Customer sentiment analysis is an invaluable practice that can help businesses stay ahead of the curve by providing a real-time understanding of their customers’ feelings and needs.
This article will examine the concept in detail, outlining what customer sentiment analysis is, how it works, why it’s important, and how you can leverage the power of customer sentiment analytics in your own company.
What Is Customer Sentiment?
Customer sentiment is the attitude of customers towards a business, its products, and services. It can be expressed in many different ways, with the underlying commonality being the emotion behind the response.
Measuring consumer sentiment is an important part of any successful business strategy as it allows companies to put themselves in buyers’ shoes. The human perspective unveils insights that traditional data may not otherwise be able to glean.
What Is Customer Sentiment Analysis?
Customer sentiment analysis refers to the actual process of disseminating customer feedback to gain insights into how customers feel about a product or service. This can include surveys, social media comments, reviews on websites and forums, as well as any other sources that clearly reflect customers’ opinions.
Technology is the defining characteristic of modern customer service sentiment analysis. Natural language processing capabilities now make it possible to parse through hundreds, and even tens of thousands of pieces of input and draw meaningful connections.
What Is a Customer Sentiment Score?
Personal feelings are hard to put on paper. They’re basically impossible to quantify in the context of big business, where representatives interact with hundreds or even thousands of customers a day.
Customer sentiment scoring is a way to provide structure and understanding to customer feedback. It assigns numerical values to various words or phrases, making it easier for business owners and decision-makers alike to holistically understand what their customers have to say.
Customer Sentiment Analysis Use Cases and Benefits
Customer Sentiment Analysis Use Cases
Customer sentiment analysis can seem like an unnecessary or ultra-extensive practice to some. While it is certainly detailed, the work that goes into the process is far from pointless. Putting time and energy towards customer sentiment analysis today often means unlocking a whole world of potential for your business tomorrow. The benefits all revolve around insight. The more any leader has, the better equipped they will be to make savvy choices.
Proper analysis has the ability to uncover insights across a range of areas, enabling decision-makers to:
Identify and Address Market-Gap Issues
Market gaps represent the untapped opportunities businesses can capitalize upon to establish themselves on a greater scale. Those who are able to find and fill unmet demands in their sector first get an advantage, while those who are too slow end up chasing after them. The catch is that identifying market gaps is difficult, as it takes time and careful research to understand what people want and how businesses can provide something that fits the bill.
Market gap issues are often best identified through customer feedback. Comments, complaints, and concerns all hint at what makes buyers tick and, in turn, the types of solutions and product features they need.
Evolve Product Offerings
Building upon the last point, there’s perhaps no better way to ensure your products meet the needs of customers than feedback. By classifying positive and negative inputs through customer sentiment analysis, it becomes much easier to get an idea of how people feel across the board. Where do the majority of buyers’ opinions lie? What are their top complaints? Sometimes, you’ll be lucky enough to get direct requests for new features that can be studied in further surveys.
Improve Customer Retention
While the idea of acquisition tends to hog most business leaders’ mindscape, customer retention is an equally, if not more important, thing to prioritize. Companies need to seek a balance between acquiring more customers and retaining the existing ones in order to be sustainable. It’s much easier to get a customer to stay than it is to convert new leads, after all – and if you can do both at once, that’s even better.
Customer sentiment data is a direct window to how customers feel, not just about a business, but with respect to the various interactions and experiences they have throughout their time with it. Acquiring and analyzing this data can give invaluable insights into what keeps customers coming back, or why they choose to leave.
Brand loyalty should be a company’s ultimate goal: having loyal customers who are willing to actively support and promote your product or service is an invaluable asset. Not only do you have access to a larger customer base, but those customers are also helpful in driving business growth.
Customer sentiment data can help identify how loyal customers feel and point out ways that businesses can improve their loyalty programs or even create new ones. It can also indicate the most important factors for customers who are considering becoming loyal to your brand – such as rewards, discounts, or just overall customer experience.
Even the act of asking for feedback alone has the potential to positively influence how buyers perceive your brand. Acknowledging their input, whether positive or negative, proves that you care about their opinion and want to make sure that they are satisfied with the product/service you offer.
Enhance Marketing Strategies
Marketing can be tricky. It’s a two-pronged affair that calls for both understanding the market one is selling to in a broad sense, as well as the specific types of customers within that market who are most likely to buy. Brand strategies and client personas are a guiding light for marketing teams in this regard, spelling out exactly who their targets are and how best to go about reaching them.
Customer sentiment data informs the initial creation of personas and helps shape the marketing strategies that accompany them. It gives a clear picture of customer preferences, attitudes, and perceptions related to brand messaging, positioning, product offerings, etc., helping to produce more effective campaigns. Because sentiment can be tracked in real-time, it also allows for marketing teams to rapidly adjust course as needed in order to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
The insights gained from customer sentiment analysis empower businesses to create competitive advantages that can keep other competitors at bay. Companies are able to craft tailor-made customer experiences that set them apart from the competition, and they’re better positioned to anticipate challenges or changes in the market before they happen.
Understand Important Demographics
Sentiment scores can be used in combination with demographic data to get a more complete picture of customers’ behaviors and tendencies. For example, an organization might find that customers over the age of 35 are less likely than their younger counterparts to be satisfied with a product or service. This information would suggest that the organization should focus more of its resources on creating products and services tailored to younger customers. Additionally, understanding demographic trends can help an organization determine which groups are most likely to be loyal customers or those who may need additional support.
Monitor Brand Reputation
A brand’s reputation is effectively defined by what people think about it. Sentiment analysis can be a great way of gathering those opinions for constructive use. Businesses apply what they learn through sentiment analysis to better understand how their brand is viewed and how they can make improvements. Conducted regularly, this provides a real-time look at where they stand in relation to competitors, and even more importantly, a warning when the company’s reputation unexpectedly slides.
Gauge Employee Performance
By monitoring the sentiment of customer-facing employees, managers can get a better understanding of how they are interacting with their customers and whether any changes should be made. This is especially useful for large-scale businesses with hundreds of employees that would otherwise be hard to keep track of.
How to Measure Customer Sentiment: A Step-By-Step Guide
Measuring Customer Sentiment: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that we’ve properly established what customer sentiment analysis is and why it matters, we can move on to the big burning question of the day – ‘How can I do customer sentiment analysis for my own business?’
The process is multifaceted, requiring both qualitative and quantitative methods, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s a basic step-by-step guide that you can follow as you measure customer sentiment for your business:
First things first – what exactly are you trying to uncover through customer sentiment analysis? Are you looking to gain insights into customer pain points, product strengths, and weaknesses, or general public opinion? Knowing exactly what you want to measure can help guide all of the steps that follow.
Qualitative data is key when it comes to understanding customer sentiment. Use input channels like:
Surveys enable businesses to directly ask their customers about their feelings towards a transaction, product, or service experience. They can be administered in many ways and at various points across this buyer’s journey, but are ultimately most effective when used on a large scale. Survey data paints a picture of customer sentiment examples and profiles across a variety of dimensions, such as product satisfaction, purchase intent, loyalty, and more. Popular types of surveys have been listed below.
Point of Sale Survey: A survey given to customers immediately after they’ve made a purchase.
Follow-up Survey: A survey sent to customers several days or weeks after their initial purchase, allowing them to provide details on the long-term satisfaction of their experience.
Net Promoter Score Survey: A survey that asks customers to rate their experience on a scale from 0-10, with higher numbers indicating higher levels of satisfaction.
Customer Effort Score Survey: A survey that asks customers to score how much effort they had to put into their interactions with the company or product.
Product Satisfaction Survey: A survey that asks customers for feedback on a particular product, service, feature, or experience.
Usage and Adoption Survey: A survey that aims to understand how customers are using a product or service, as well as which features they use the most.
Loyalty Survey: A survey that measures customer loyalty by asking questions about brand preference, likelihood to recommend the company and/or product to others, etc.
Customer Feedback Forms
The only challenge that comes with choosing this option is that it requires initiative on behalf of customers. And an unfortunate majority of the time people actively seek to provide businesses with feedback, what they have to say isn’t positive. No one goes out of their way to submit compliments, so a majority of what an average company receives through web form submissions can be classified as a complaint of some kind. While thoroughly reviewing negative feedback is a critical aspect of customer service, the holistic analysis process must consider the many different opinions and feelings people have about a business, both good and bad.
Social media can be an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to understanding customer sentiment. By engaging with customers through direct messages, comments, and posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter/X, and Instagram (among others), you’ll be able to uncover the personal side of customer sentiment, all the way down to individual opinions and experiences. It’s an added bonus that most comments and concerns can be traced back to individual profiles – this makes it easier to draw the demographic connections we explained earlier.
Clean the Data
Gathering customer sentiment data is all well and good, but it can’t be used to its fullest potential unless you have a system in place to clean, organize, and categorize the data. This is a critical step in understanding customer sentiment – it’s what allows you to identify patterns and draw meaningful conclusions from the data you’ve collected. Cleaning your customer sentiment data involves eliminating duplicate entries, removing irrelevant or inaccurate information, and organizing the data into categories that are easy to understand. It can be done manually, but if you’re dealing with a large dataset it’s best to use automated tools or software solutions designed for the task.
Now comes the hard part – making sense out of all those numbers you’ve collected and prepared for analysis. The tricky thing about customer sentiment is that it can be very abstract. No two people are the exact same, and a variety of factors are capable of influencing why someone might feel the way they do. This is why gathering a large sample size is so important. It generalizes customer sentiment and makes it easier to draw accurate conclusions.
There are a few different ways you can analyze customer sentiment data. The most common approach is by cross-referencing the data with existing surveys or polls to identify trends or correlations.
Another popular option is to use natural language processing (NLP) to identify patterns in customer sentiments. This type of analysis takes into account the words and phrases used by customers as they express their opinions, which can be more revealing than simply looking at their numerical responses.
What Advanced Customer Sentiment Analysis Can Do for Your Call Center
Customer sentiment analysis is a valuable practice that virtually every B2C organization can benefit from in one way or another. It’s particularly useful for those who have call centers, customer support lines, and other channels of conversational client communication. Phone-based conversations are sometimes hard to read, as the customer’s feelings are not always conveyed in spoken words.
AI-powered sentiment analysis technology enables call takers to readily identify elements like tone of voice, pauses, and other audible cues in real-time. They’re given a set of ‘seeing ears’ to detect things that would otherwise be missed, allowing them to address customers’ concerns more efficiently and effectively.
AI-driven sentiment analysis technology also helps businesses assess customer satisfaction levels, identify areas of improvement in customer service practices, and develop better customer service strategies. It can even be used to generate feedback reports that help organizations track overall customer satisfaction trends over time.
How Ozonetel’s Speech Analytics Solution Helps Effectively Analyze Customer Sentiment
Call centers often grapple with challenges such as understanding shifts in customer sentiment, understanding the connection between call duration and satisfaction, and identifying peak days for positive or negative sentiment. What they really need is an objective and intelligent analysis of customer sentiment at the end of every single call.
Ozonetel’s Speech Analytics solution can help you effectively analyze customer sentiments by applying its deep learning techniques. Our patented algorithm enables a business to achieve the accuracy of a deep learning model without training time or the GPUs needed to run the system. It is highly customizable, easy to deploy, and delivers accurate results in a contact center environment.
Other systems depend on a transcription service; however, Ozonetel’s Speech Analytics engine offers insights based on more than 20 data points, helping supervisors improve agents’ performance. Ozonetel’s new and purpose-built speech analytics solution sets it apart from its competitors, with superior design, reliability, and affordability as its central pillars.
Here’s how Ozonetel’s speech analytics software helps
Customer sentiment analysis
Ozonetel’s AI-based analytics automatically gauge customer sentiment for the duration of a call. This can help get an idea of agent performance as well as help plan how to better address certain concerns. This is language agnostic and is determined by pitch, tone and volume.
Instantly learn critical demographic information about your customers to create more focused marketing campaigns and product launches.
Signal to noise ratio
Ensure your agents are clearly heard by monitoring the background noise on calls and receiving notifications when calls are of low quality.
You can setup your call center to track specific keywords that are indicative of how your call centers are functioning or to gauge customer interest in a specific product or promotional offer.
You can avail our automatic transcribing services to delve deeper into your contact center conversations.
View all these metrics in real time as a call is in progress. If required supervisors can barge into critical calls and prevent escalations in real time.
Customer sentiment analysis is a powerful practice that can help organizations track overall customer satisfaction trends over time. By leveraging the insights gleaned from analyzing customer feedback, companies can be proactive in anticipating and responding to customer needs – ultimately improving their bottom line.
Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of conducting customer sentiment analysis? Ozonetel can help. Our powerful AI solutions are designed to take the complexity out of sentiment analysis, giving you the actionable insights that you need to make informed decisions and stay ahead of customer trends. Start your free trial today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Customer sentiment analysis is a crucial tool for businesses which help them understand what customers are thinking about their product and services. When we understand their sentiments, we can make the right moves – whether it’s improving call handling, adjusting support processes, or refining our customer interactions. It’s all about keeping our customers satisfied and delivering the best service possible.
To create actionable insights with your customer sentiment data, you can gather customer feedback through live chat, use social media for customer sentiment analysis, understand customer sentiments by using online surveys, monitor product reviews and ratings, deploy chatbot to collect customer data, conduct in-depth market research, and connect personally with customers.
Some of the best tools to perform sentiment analysis include Ozonetel’s Speech Analytcs Software, Empower (RingCentral), Talkdesk,Calabrio, and Lexalytics, among others.