While we all say we put our customers first, sometimes we fall short—things slip through the cracks, a representative has a bad day, there’s a glitch in the system, the list goes on. There are many reasons why client relationships go awry. Sure, we all make mistakes, but there’s no excuse for idling and not making it right. The good news is technology empowers us to track and respond to customer slip-ups like never before.
AMEYO recently published an article on how sentiment analysis is the secret to stellar customer service. Unified communications and other integrative platforms help us put all our departments behind one pane of glass, aggregating data and providing the visibility to chart customer paths from the beginning of the pipeline all the way to contract renewals. Sentiment analysis can help ensure customers stay on the right path throughout their journey. But before I unpack how, let’s answer the questions of what sentiment analysis is and how it works.
What Is Sentiment Analysis?
According to AMEYO, “Sentiment analysis is a branch of speech analytics which pivots around evaluating the emotional states exhibited in a conversation.”
How Does it Work?
Basic sentiment analysis of text documents follows a straightforward process:
- Break each text document down into its component parts (sentences, phrases, tokens and parts of speech)
- Identify each sentiment-bearing phrase and component
- Assign a sentiment score to each phrase and component (-1 to +1)
- Optional: Combine scores for multi-layered sentiment analysis
Applications of sentiment analysis help business leaders identify the emotional states of customers. This information then equips organizations to correct negative experiences and use predictive measures to plan for the future.
If you’re not currently utilizing a sentiment analysis, here are three signs that you should.
Three Signs You Need Sentiment Analysis
1. It’s Unclear Which Customers Will Continue Doing Business With You
Customer retention is something we all want, but it doesn’t happen automatically. As business leaders, many of us have lost clients in ways that seem sudden and unjust. When this happens, we try to retrace our steps and understand what went wrong. Sentiment analysis will tell you, every time, what went wrong.
For example, say a customer submitted a support ticket three times last month, and their renewal date is near—that’s an indication it’s time to reach out and take proactive measures to strengthen the relationship.
2. You Have Little to No Monitoring to Assess Sentiment
If you don’t have a customer sentiment platform, then your support staff experiences negative customer interactions the old-fashioned way—by getting berated over the phone. The downfall with the old method is there’s no way to track or measure the engagement for future reference. Once your representative hangs up the phone, the question sentiment analysis helps answer is, “Now what?”
Sentiment analysis tools can determine voice stress and, based on their demeanor, can automatically escalate aggravated calls. Then management can reach out and resolve the tension (which we unpack in section 3.).
Sentiment analysis also stores all your data in one platform, providing an omniscient view of all interactive channels, including customer support and social media. While negative interactions used to be somewhat subjective, they aren’t anymore. Sentiment analysis better positions companies to deescalate unsavory scenarios faster.
3. You Have No Follow-Up Protocol to Correct Negative Experiences
Building a great customer service team is about more than hiring the right people—it’s about providing the right people with the right information. While sentiment analysis won’t solve all your problems, it certainly provides useful insights that can be used to reduce churn.
I recommend reaching out to clients whenever they:
- Spend more than a half hour on the phone
- Submit more than one support ticket
- Comment something negative on social media
When these incidents happen, offer some kind of consolation—perhaps a $10 gift card or a free trial. These steps will help ensure the business-customer relationship remains positive.
How to Start Leveraging Sentiment Analysis
There are a number of customer sentiment platforms available at varied price points. If you’re ready to start a conversation about sentiment analysis, I encourage you to reach out to our knowledgeable sales team.