It’s a simple fact that a business needs customers – and most brands put in a considerable amount of time to find, nurture and keep those customers. Sentiment analysis can play a significant role in this.
The world of commerce changes at lightning speed but, one thing remains the same – customers have opinions, and they’re only too happy to share them. In the ‘olden days’, a customer would talk to friends, family and colleagues about a product or service that they’d purchased and, venture their opinion – good or bad – about that purchase.
In this manner, brands would succeed or fail based on this quaint ‘word of mouth’ feedback.
It’s good to talk
In 2021, those customers are still talking – but they’re doing it electronically. In a world where people are surgically attached to their mobile phones, talk is cheap and, customers and non-customers are able to share their opinion of a brand, product or service at the click of a button via social media, forums and other digital methods. This can be great if these people are raving about your brand – but not so great if they’re digitally dissing you. Before digital, brands couldn’t follow customers around and eavesdrop on their conversations (well, they could, but that would be weird), but now, thanks to sentiment analysis, they’re able to do just that.
What is sentiment analysis?
The process of sentiment analysis uses software to crawl the internet looking for mentions of your brand, product or service. It then collates these mentions and analyses them before allocating the overall ‘sentiment’ behind the mentions into one of three categories: Negative, Neutral or Positive.
To begin with, this gives you a great ‘big picture’ view of how people see your brand – but it doesn’t stop there. Sentiment Analysis software is advancing in leaps and bounds and, with most, you can now actually drill down in order to identify and contact specific commenters.
As you can imagine, this is becoming a more integral part of social media marketing these days.
Lead and they will follow
So, we’ve explained, in a nutshell, what sentiment analysis is – but, how do you use it for your digital business?
There are a few ways you can do this but, your first step should be to monitor both your brand and your competitor’s – yep, you can also use your Sentiment Analysis tool to take a peek at what people are saying about your competition. This can be incredibly useful as it will allow you to compare comments for both brands in order to see what your competition is doing better than you are. Once you’ve done this, you’re able to tweak your offering – and your messaging – to make sure that you’re as competitive as possible.
Accentuate the positive
If your Sentiment Analysis has resulted in a big, fat thumbs up from the people that live in the internet, then it’s time to use that to your advantage. How?
You do this by opening a dialogue with people who have posted positive comments about your brand in a bid to turn them into brand ambassadors. This starts with a conversation, followed by proper engagement such as following them and sharing their content. This will help you to create proper relationships with your followers, which is absolutely what you need to do if you want them to become champions of your brand.
Eliminate the negative
OK, so your Sentiment Analysis result wasn’t exactly glowing. While this is always a little disappointing, you still have a chance to turn that frown upside down. To get onboard with this, you need to adopt the attitude that all feedback is good feedback – and treat it as such.
First, examine the feedback carefully to establish whether (a) the complaint is fair (b) the customer hasn’t understood how to use the product or service or (c ) there is no real basis for the complaint.
In the case of (a), you can contact the commenter, apologise and offer to remedy the situation. You can then update your messaging to encompass the fact that an issue has been identified and resolved.
Similarly, in the second instance, you can contact the person to explain how to use the product or service. The third instance is the trickiest and, it’s best to tread carefully here. First, ask the person for more information about the problem. Next, apologise for the fact that they’re not happy but explain clearly that a problem does not exist. Offer to remedy the situation if applicable.
Your brand is only ever as good as its customers and, in the digital age, these people can very quickly make or break you. For this reason, you should get into the habit of regularly checking your (and your competitors’) Sentiment Analysis score and then act quickly to resolve any issues before they turn into a reputation crisis.
In most cases, this will enable you to nip issues in the bud and turn unhappy customers into happy ones. Sentiment analysis and reputation management are vital for any brand.