What is sentiment analysis?
Sentiment analysis is an automated process of evaluating a text and interpreting emotional coloring. It provides an accurate read of the attitudes of those who wrote the text. This is particularly useful for interpreting user-generated content such as social media updates and reviews.
Machine learning and AI give automated tools that can analyze a text and assign a rating to it based on the perceived attitude of the person who wrote it. The words are evaluated, and ratings range from a very negative to a very positive reading with many gradations in between. Advanced tools can provide a nuanced interpretation of the text and can spot colloquialisms.
The raw material for sentiment analysis includes social media posts, reviews and other user-generated content. These give a candid reflection on how consumers feel about specific brands and products. People are often eager to immediately tweet about a new ad campaign or a burger they ate at an eatery in town that opened the week before. These casual remarks can be valuable tools to improve CX.
The user-generated data has a significant advantage over regular media. An article in the financial press about market trends is looking at consumer sentiment in a rearview mirror. Sentiment analysis provides feedback that’s up to date and scalable AI tools ensure this information is updated continuously.
Collecting large amounts of data on an ongoing basis provides a representative sample. A few reviews may or may not influence business strategy, but if there’s an overwhelming opinion on a recent promotion, it can be relied on. That’s why scalability for sentiment analysis is essential.
Sentiment analysis contributes to CX strategy in the following ways:
1. Improve products
Great business ideas rarely happen in isolation. They’re communicated to a team whose members give their viewpoint. The concept may be funneled through various departments, but the proof in the pudding is in consumer sentiment. Until people buy and use the product, it may not be so clear what to improve or how to improve it.
Dominos Pizza learned the valuable lesson not to dismiss customer feedback but to incorporate it directly into product development. Dominos took the counterintuitive move and acknowledged that its “crust tastes like cardboard,” actually quoting negative feedback from focus groups. Its ads poked fun at this situation and resolved to change its menu. As a result, customers were impressed by the company’s refreshing honesty, fresh pizza and improvement in CX.
2. Customer relationship monitoring
Companies don’t wait for customers to come to them for feedback but know to reach their customers online. Interactions with customers are valuable for creating a connection, and because the texts of these interactions can be leveraged for sentiment analysis. Evaluating customer service chats, records of phone calls and conversations on Facebook messenger provides essential data.
Sentiment analysis demonstrates what approaches are working. Does the customer feel comfortable asking for what they need? Do they respond better to a formal tone or casual conversation? Do they tend to prefer talking or listening? Information mined from sentiment analysis can help revise a system for training customer service personnel.
3. New product launches
A certain amount of uncertainty accompanies new product launches. Since it’s a new product and new time and new circumstances, it may not be useful to extrapolate from past promotions to the latest one. This means getting an idea early on what’s working and making quick tweaks to strengthen the promotion.
It’s a good practice to test the launch on a few customers before the general launch. Using sentiment analysis tools to sense early on how people react to the launch gives clues on how to make needed changes.
Don’t just ask for direct feedback - pay attention to what customers say on social media. Does someone on Twitter dislike the color? Look for similar comments to determine whether one-off opinions or indications of a general attitude. Is the price right? There’s a good chance customers will comment on that. Pricing tools can change prices quickly to make a promotion more competitive.
4. Employee sentiment monitoring
Businesses often stay laser-focused on the customer, but employees are also important. After all, they’re essential for implementing business strategies and reaching out to customers. Employee morale is essential for productivity and efficiency. This is particularly true for customer service, where it may be as useful to determine employees’ moods as customers.
Major corporations have gotten the memo on employee sentiment monitoring. Intel, Twitter and IBM are using sentiment analysis tools to evaluate their employees’ feelings about their jobs. The purpose is to improve the working environment, boost morale and keep their best employees. Analyzing posts on internal business networking sites, emails, responses to memos and customer service chat interactions provide in-depth information on how employees feel on the job.
Refresh CX with sentiment analysis
Sentiment analysis provides businesses with the most current information on customer preferences and opinions about brands and products. Automated tools make this process scalable and efficient, and the data gathered improves product development. Customer relationship monitoring identifies quick fixes for product launches and employee sentiment.
Sentiment analysis is a fast, scalable way to get an up-close glimpse of brand reputation and creates a roadmap for revolutionizing CX.
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