Everyone remembers the infamous United Airlines incident. One of their passengers, an elderly doctor, was forcibly removed from the aircraft after refusing to give up his seat for the cabin crew. Other passengers filmed the entire episode and the footage went viral.
Passengers, competitors, and customer service advocates mocked the airline on social media platforms like Twitter.
These posts in the heat of the moment tap into the sentiments of the general public in real-time. And they offer a priceless opportunity to take a point-in-time snapshot of the relationship of the brand with its audience in real-time.
This is where Sentiment Analysis enters the scene.
In simple words, Sentiment Analysis is a metric that helps brands and businesses find out what opinions their target audience or potential customers, influencers or experts have of them. The online conversation about their products or services could be good or bad and could include opinions, feedback, suggestions, complaints, and conversations. It includes every mention, share, comment or direct message on social platforms. Aggregating and analyzing this helps derive meaningful insight into the attitude towards your brand.
These insights help the brand improve the customer experience and strike a chord with their customers. By understanding and caring about what the whispers are all about, brands can solidify their customer relationships. This is why sentiment analysis is considered a crucial tool.
A poor review or a vile comment can’t break a brand’s hard-earned. But a poor response to such a comment can do that! In the United Airlines case, the brand’s stocks plummeted with the firm losing a whopping 250 million dollars in a single day! Not because of the video but because the Airline and the management doubled down and refused to acknowledge any mistake on their part.
As a matter of fact, sentiment analysis isn’t driven by individual mentions. Like much of analytics, this is driven by data collated across large volumes of mentions. This is an aggregation of information across the dozens of social media channels and reviewed periodically.
On the bright side, acting on the insights gleaned from sentiment analysis can do wonders for a brand. Take for instance the Obama administration, which measured public attitude and opinion before the 2012 presidential election. As we all know, it helped create history!
It is all about listening to the customers, who voluntarily offer their valuable feedback in a forum where they feel in control. Brands can keep track of customer opinions, harvest data, and use it to improve the customer experience further. It goes without saying that the technique involves a number of advanced tools, technologies, and methods to guarantee success.
Let’s look at how sentiment analysis can create a stellar customer experience.
- Offer Tailored Marketing Messages – First up, firms can use sentiment analysis to capture the mood of their target audience in real-time. Based on that, they can come up with a strategic plan to deal with the feedback on various platforms. This includes crafting tailored marketing messages. Take Quora for instance, which has people turning to the community solutions to address their pressing problems. Many businesses use this opportunity to offer them and solutions.
- Engage with The Customers –Customer engagement is extremely crucial and what better way to engage with them but to interact with them on the platforms they’re comfortable on. By actively engaging in conversations happening about their brand, firms can create a consistent online customer experience. This also helps ascertain customer loyalty and advocacy.
- Give Them Instant Solutions – It is not uncommon for the audience to leave a negative review in a public forum. The brand must reply to the negative comment or message within a reasonable time frame. The bad news is, customer expectations about what is “reasonable” are growing higher by the day. Brands can turn to social listening to keep an ear on the ground for such comments or reviews and respond. They can show intent and try to solve the problem for their customers in that public forum. Brands like Fitbit and Buffer are legendary for their online customer service.
- Offer Personalized Experiences – The next step businesses can take is to provide customers a high level of personalized service. According to Google, 59% of people expect brands to personalize experiences based on their history. And how exactly do they get there? With sentiment analytics. Aggregating the social media information with customer information, especially in the case of influencers, can help brands make some very clever personalized gestures that could resonate far beyond the target individual. In a case in point, a prominent Indian actress tweeted that an airline had broken her luggage. Everyone from that luggage brand to a superglue brand responded with personalized offers of help. The entire interaction showed all those brands in a favorable light.
- Rise to the Occasion – Sentiment analysis also takes into account researching and monitoring where do the competitors stand. Businesses can measure their competitors’ mentions and understand what’s working for them and what isn’t. A concentration of negative sentiment is a marketing opportunity for a competitor. This is also a great guide for the next set of features, product improvements, and service tweaks.
As Peter Drucker rightly said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” If you need to know and understand customers, you have to listen to what they are saying. And that pretty much sums up the value proposition for sentiment analysis.