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What is sentiment analysis (and is it worth the investment)?

How do your customers feel about your brand, products and services? All businesses want to find this out – and sentiment analysis technology could have the answer.

If you have a good idea about how your customers are feeling, you’ll be better placed to personalise products and services that appeal to them.

One way to find out how customers are feeling is, simply, to ask them.

Quick feedback surveys, which involve asking customers about their experience, have been popular for a while; but people may not opt to spend time filling them out.

Often, only customers who are very happy or unhappy with the service respond when asked for feedback in this way, making it difficult for businesses to get an accurate picture of the average customer experience (CX).

Sentiment analysis technology aims to plug this gap by looking at what customers do, as well as what they say.

Most big businesses use systems to track when customers abandon their cart online or give up waiting for a response from the call centre. In fact, three quarters of businesses plan to invest in customer journey analytics to track their customer contacts. Fewer (42%) plan to invest in sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis is based on machine learning technology trained to pick up on emotional indicators in communication to predict how the customer is feeling.

Intelligent sentiment analysis is increasingly available in real time. This is a game changer when it comes to responding to customers in a timely way.

Improving contact centres and customer services

With so many communications channels to check, it’s impossible for your teams to be everywhere and see everything – sentiment analysis can support these teams.

The intelligent software can flag negative emotion to an agent as they are communicating with the customer and suggest actions to remedy the situation and secure the sale or retain the customer.

It helps judge the best moment to upsell a new product or persuade the customer to renew a policy. Sentiment analysis can also identify which issues are urgent, and then put the customer through to the right person first time.

Supporting social media communications

Consumers often take to social media to vent about their experiences or praise businesses.

Social media ‘buzz volume’ metrics, from comments, likes, reviews and shares, give a good idea of consumer emotion and interest in a brand. Intelligent software tools can now capture indicators such as buzz volume and user sentiment in real time with up to 90 percent accuracy.

This can help identify customers that need further assistance and automate an initial response, before a customer service agent can follow up with them.

Sentiment analysis is just part of a portfolio of customer data analytics technologies that can support businesses with understanding and communicating effectively with their customers.

The more it learns about your customers, the better it gets and the more return on investment you will see from your CX investments.

Discover how technology can enhance your customer experience .

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