A common saying states that perception is reality. Regardless of the validity, that perception is widely accepted, and it can have significant consequences on either an individual or an organization’s reputation and credibility.
Organizations face this every day: how to deliver the best possible product while also winning trust through superb service. Even a superior product can fall victim to poor sentiment, as 47% of consumers report they won’t even engage with a brand after being disappointed. Today’s complex, omnichannel environment makes these stakes even higher.
The steps consumers take to ask questions, resolve issues, and share both positive and negative experiences have changed drastically in the last two decades. What was once handled by either a letter or phone call to a company has now evolved into a multi-layered approach that can feel dizzying for an organization seeking to keep pace.
In fact, consumers reach out to brands across an average of seven social media channels alone, which doesn’t take into account the calls and emails to your support team, live chat on your site, and visits to a knowledge base. The ways consumers speak to and about you have the power to change how you interact with, communicate with, and care for them. Their interactions also have the power to influence retention, loyalty, and even new customer acquisition.
To deliver the most personalized customer service experience, an organization must understand customer sentiment across all channels, from online to offline, and owned to earned.
How sentiment analysis helps drive personalized modern customer service
Sentiment analysis, or opinion mining, gives you an increasingly accurate temperature check on how your customers feel about your brand, your products, and the service you provide. This automated process is a crucial piece in achieving the most modern customer service approach possible, as it gives real-time insights customer service agents and managers can act on for both in-the-moment needs and potential future issues. But in order for this to work optimally, agents must have access to this kind of customer data.
Let’s dive into the ways customer sentiment analysis can help you drive customer loyalty.
It turns your agents into advocates
Every time a customer reaches an agent, that agent should, at a minimum, be empowered with all the information needed to provide a seamless experience, including purchase and shipping information, return requests, and all communications that have occurred. When armed with sentiment analysis, however, the agent is properly prepared to connect and empathize with the customer on the aspects of either the service or the product that felt frustrating. This type of communication serves to both personalize the experience while also helping to neutralize potentially difficult conversations.
To provide this more modern experience customers expect, organizations can’t afford for their agents to have any information gaps around the customer. According to Calabrio, 60% of customer service agents state they don’t have the tools or technology needed to handle customer issues, and 34% cite lack of pertinent customer data as their biggest problem. While 54% of customers report using email for customer service, that leaves 46% of other customers using multiple other channels with information and data needing to be tracked.
Because 90% of consumers rate an immediate response as either important or very important when needing an answer to a customer service question, your support team simply doesn’t have the luxury of searching through the myriad of channels and systems while also trying to immediately solve an issue. Automating the analysis of what your customers are saying to identify clearly if it’s positive or negative is critical to providing the customer experience today’s customers need.
When you have the customer experience from top to bottom available in a customizable dashboard or report that is both easily accessible and actionable you can better educate, train, and prepare your agents on how to handle common concerns. This technology can also provide trend level analysis that completely shifts the agent role into a proactive one, advocating on behalf of your brand while also serving the customer where they’re most comfortable, in the quick manner they expect.
For example, a company aiming to promote frequency from their most valuable shoppers can set the system to reach out to these VIPs with offers or invitations to come back and shop — all through the customer’s preferred form of communication. And with Sentiment Analysis, if there’s ever any indication that the customer has actually become an unhappy one, this automated system could provide some form of greater incentive to help mend the relationship and bring the VIP back.
Analyzing sentiment and empowering agents with the data allows them to go above and beyond solving problems after the fact. Instead, agents are able to provide customers with an experience that promotes not only satisfaction, but also encourages loyalty.
It influences the future
When it comes to both acquiring and retaining customers, brands must engage in the new rules of engagement. Today 45% of consumers turn to social media for customer service help. This same survey cites the most common reason (57% of respondents) a consumer reaches out to a brand or organization is to find an answer, and the second reason is seeking resolution for a product or service (45% of respondents). However, 34% of consumers also reach out to sing a brand’s praises or provide positive feedback regarding their experiences.
Each of these touchpoints is data that can be used to get ahead of issues, inform internal product teams of concerns or problems, and influence both new customers and loyal ones. These insights can be analyzed for attitudes, opinions, and feelings to calculate various types of sentiment that numerous internal teams can use, including agents who must be prepared to provide the highest level of service required.
When measured holistically, it eliminates customer experience gaps
In order to deliver on the service today’s savviest customers expect, it isn’t enough to simply analyze sentiment. Unfortunately many organizations look at sentiment based on channel: email, phone, chatbot/live chat, social, etc. And that means all the data collected is siloed. The result of siloed data needing to be measured and analyzed together is an analyst somewhere banging their heads against a wall trying to fit a square peg through a round hole.
Simply put: siloed data can be analyzed together, but it will always be inconsistent and incomplete, with gaps that don’t cover the holistic customer experience. When attempting to make sense of the entire customer journey from initial awareness, through repeat purchases, organizations must consider a holistic way of collecting the data to be analyzed more accurately.
How Kustomer leads the way in Sentiment Analysis
Just as anyone running for office knows, understanding how your audience feels about you can speak at a volume often more predictive than sales themselves. The organization who achieves this most comprehensive, holistic view of their customer and automates the customer experience using this logic empowers a customer experience that boosts loyalty, retention, and repeat sales.
Kustomer’s Sentiment Engine specifically achieves this. It’s driven by AWS Amazon Comprehend, and through natural language processing APIs, the Kustomer platform can analyze all incoming text from the customer via Chat, Email, SMS, and Social. It understands negation and modifiers, and calculates numerous types of sentiment ratings from social media monitoring to trend analysis.
While most traditional support platforms have out-of-date architectures with rigid models that limit configurations and silo data, Kustomer’s Sentiment Engine provides a truly holistic view of customer sentiment data that can be acted on in real-time.
If you’re ready to transform your organization’s customer service into one that drives loyalty in the modern age, click here for three ways to get started.