Customer Sentiment: A Definition, Ways to Measure, & Best Practices

Enhance Customer Experiences with a Comprehensive Approach to Sentiment Analysis

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Customer Sentiment A Definition, Ways to Measure, & Best Practices 
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Published: July 3, 2024

Rebekah Carter

Every company today knows that delivering exceptional customer experiences is the key to sustainable growth. Unfortunately, delighting customers on multiple channels isn’t easy. Business leaders need an in-depth understanding of their target audience, which means going beyond simply listening to what they say in a conversation.  

To truly impress, and retain customers, organizations need an insight into what each of their buyers are thinking and feeling. In other words, they need to measure customer sentiment.  

Here’s your guide to customer sentiment, how you can measure it, and the steps you can take to improve the sentiment of your target audience. 

What is Customer Sentiment and Why is it Important? 

Customer sentiment is essentially a metric that measures how customers feel and think about a company, its products, services, and approach to customer support. In the contact center, measuring customer sentiment consistently allows companies to identify how consumers perceive their brand, and pinpoint opportunities to improve customer experience.  

Ultimately, what customers are feeling during any interaction isn’t always clear in the words they say. Their true feelings are hidden among various nuances, such as their tone of voice. Measuring customer sentiment ensures companies can make informed decisions about which factors negatively or positively influence a customer’s loyalty towards their brand.  

Used correctly, customer sentiment can increase customer retention and satisfaction rights, provide valuable insights for product enhancement and development, and provide companies with the tools they need to maintain competitive advantage.  

How to Measure Customer Sentiment 

Over the years, companies have used a variety of tools and strategies to measure customer sentiment. One of the most common strategies include using social listening strategies to track what customers say about the business online, and across review websites. Many organizations also regularly send out surveys to measure things like Net Promoter Score, or access insights into how they can improve. 

However, while these strategies are useful, they often provide a very limited view of true customer sentiment. These methods rely on customers to share clearly how they feel, rather than allowing businesses to look for meaning behind the words.  

Alternatively, AI sentiment analysis solutions use advanced algorithms to provide a complete insight into what customers really think. They leverage natural language processing and machine learning to draw insights from call recordings, and even provide instant feedback during conversations. 

For instance, XCally’s artificial intelligence solutions enhance quality of service and customer experience by analyzing sentiment in every conversation, regardless of the customer’s chosen service channel. They can even provide guidance to employees in real-time, continuously monitoring conversations, and suggesting personalized responses based on a customer’s sentiment. 

Best Practices for Strategic Sentiment Analysis 

Measuring sentiment analysis gives businesses an excellent opportunity to intelligently enhance customer experience based on valuable insights. It empowers businesses to better identify their customers needs and wants, and even minimize churn, by ensuring teams can quickly detect dissatisfaction and frustration.  

Here are some of the key best practices you should follow when implementing sentiment analysis into your customer experience strategy.  

“AI solutions that can be used with XCALLY enhance service quality and customer experience by analyzing sentiment during each conversation, monitoring conversations, and suggesting personalized responses to the agent based on the results of the conversation analysis, also relying on matches contained in “custom dictionaries.” This ability to detect these matches and any variations in sentiment during the interaction helps ensure quality assurance and compliance, preventing potential issues” , says Felice Briscese – Customer Success  & After Sales at XCALLY

1. Leverage Artificial Intelligence  

First, as mentioned above, while there are various ways to gather insights from customers, few solutions provide the clear and honest data companies need to make intelligent decisions for growth. Artificial Intelligence solutions give companies a more holistic view of their customer’s thoughts and feelings throughout their journey with an organization.  

For instance, the AI sentiment analysis tools offered by XCally leverage machine learning, natural language processing, and advanced algorithms to constantly analyze customer feelings throughout various touchpoints. They allow companies to constantly monitor every interaction, gaining a panoramic view of customer emotions and opinions.  

What’s more, these AI tools can help businesses to rapidly respond to changes in sentiment, by sending suggested responses to agents, notifying supervisors when customer satisfaction drops, and identifying trends that influence customer loyalty.  

2. Analyze Both Recorded Calls and Real-Time Conversations  

One of the reasons many companies struggle to unlock the benefits of sentiment analysis, is that they only have a limited amount of data to work with. The more insights you can gain from every conversation, the more you’ll learn about your customer personas, the journeys they take with your organization, and what they want and need from your business.  

Using sentiment analysis tools to evaluate call recordings can be an excellent way to identify benchmarks, opportunities, and trends or patterns in sentiment changes. Historical reports make it easier to determine seasonal and daily variations in sentiment, and provide insights into the topics and subjects surfaced by customers. This helps businesses design self-help resources tailored to customer needs, address ongoing problems, and improve products and services over time. 

Alternatively, analyzing sentiment analysis in real-time, using AI technologies, allows companies to improve customer interactions in the moment. It can help to reduce call abandonment rates and customer churn, and even help agents identify the ideal moment to suggest products or upselling options to their customers.   

3. Act on the Insights You Gather 

Finally, while gathering the right data on customer sentiment is important, it’s crucial to also ensure that you’re acting based on what you learn. The insights you gather from your sentiment analysis strategy should inform how you: 

  • Transform customer service: Based on what you learn about common customer queries, concerns, and issues, look for ways to remove friction from the customer experience. Upgrade your self-service resources, and find ways to personalize every interaction.  
  • Train employees: Customer sentiment analysis can give you valuable insights into the skills you need to nurture in your employees to improve retention rates. Using the information you’ve gathered, update your training strategy with methods that focus on improving empathy, and accelerating issue resolution rates. 
  • Innovate and evolve: The data you gather from customer sentiment analysis can help drive your business towards sustainable growth. Use what you learn to inform how you enhance and develop new products and services. Leverage your insights when deciding which new technologies and customer service strategies to implement. 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Customer Sentiment 

Companies need a deep understanding of their customers, their thoughts, feelings, pain points, and goals to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Analyzing customer sentiment gives organizations a way to dive deeper into customer relationships, and discover new ways to boost loyalty, conversions, and retention rates.  

With the right customer sentiment analysis software, you can empower your employees to deliver better service, delight your target audience, and retain an edge over the competition.  

“Understanding and measuring customer sentiment is essential for delivering exceptional customer experiences. By leveraging AI-driven sentiment analysis, businesses can gain deep insights into customer feelings, allowing them to make informed decisions, enhance service quality, and retain customer loyalty. With tools like this, companies can monitor and respond to sentiment in real-time, ensuring a seamless and satisfying customer journey” says Serena Durante  – Marketing Manager at XCALLY 

 

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