The sentiment is defined as an attitude or opinion prompted by emotions or feelings. To understand this better ask this question: How do consumers get these feelings when they base their opinions on your company? I believe they come in two ways:
- After interacting with the staff. Customer service plays a huge role here in how they will feel about your company. For instance, when a customer is served well, they feel satisfied and happy with the company and thus have a positive opinion about it. A happy customer is a return customer. On the other hand, if a customer is not served well, they will feel disappointed and not valued, thus will have a negative opinion about the company.
- After consuming the product or service. For instance, a customer buys a product hoping that it will do what the company claims it will. When it doesn’t meet his expectations, he feels disappointed and thus forms a negative opinion about the entire company. But if he is happy with the results, he views the company positively and raves about it.
In this digital era, you can quickly analyze your consumer’s sentiments by opinion mining. This is simply tracking their moods toward your products/services through their posts, tweets, reviews, and comments. It can either be negative or positive or a combination of the two, they are all good depending on what you do after receiving the analysis.
If you have never thought about reading between the lines of your customer’s feedback, the time to start is NOW. Here are 3 little known ways that these findings affect your business:-
1. New/modification of your product
When you are planning to introduce a new product into the market, you always undertake market research through surveys and focus groups. The feedback you receive helps in the product design, but the most important information that will help you is from customer reviews after the launch. What sentiments do they have towards the products and your company? It helps you go back to the drawing board and develop an entirely new product or modify it. You know this is of utmost importance because consumers and growth are the lifeblood of your business and there is no better way to grow than in the direction the consumers want. Let us see how you can use consumer positive or negative sentiment to drive product/service development.
Positive sentiment :
Case in point, Etech Global Services. It started off with one service: a telecommunication consumer call center. The clients and consumers were happy with the services and their positive sentiments facilitated the introduction of other services like chat, email, social, and software development. It is now an omnichannel contact center able to meet the needs of a larger clientele from different industries across all communication channels.
Negative sentiment :
For example, if you launch an app and some customers respond by saying it “crashes too often” or “it takes too long to start” then you can turn this negative review to your advantage. You use it to modify the app by eliminating the shortcomings and, viola, you have a great product that consumers love.
2. Damage/build your business reputation
Consumers always share their sentiments with their friends, family, and other consumers. Positive comments and reviews about your products will definitely build your business by attracting new customers. I consider this word-of-mouth advertising which is the most effective method of advertising, and to add icing to the cake, it is absolutely free. On the other hand, negative comments and reviews (word of mouth) can severely damage your reputation in a matter of seconds.
For example, a customer can post about a bad experience they had with an agent and the thread starts, within a short time it becomes the trending thread, and some customers who were initially satisfied with the company, all of sudden become extremely unhappy. What do you think these negative sentiments will do to your business reputation? It will definitely damage it. I recently published an article on managing your reputation, read it here. Please remember the old saying, “a happy customer tells one friend, and an unhappy customer tells the world”
3. Turn potential customers into loyal customers
Before a customer makes the final buying decision, they ask around to know the experiences of others. When they actually go out and buy it, the aim is to validate what they heard about the product. If it turns out to be right, they become loyal customers. For example, if I recently traveled and wanted to eat somewhere different, I went online and looked at the available options. To narrow them down, I read the online customer reviews and settled on the one that had the highest rating. I was not disappointed and anytime I visit that town, I will always go there.
All around us are potential customers who would benefit from our products or services. What they have heard about you, can make the difference in whether or not they use our products or services. When they come to you, how they will feel will determine if they will return or not. What every manager wants is to turn potential customers into not just one-time consumers but loyal customers. Positive online customer sentiments work in your favor by bringing potential customers to you. It is now up to you to either meet their high expectations and convert them or disappoint them and lose them forever.
There you go, these are the ways that consumer sentiments affect your business: new development or modification of products, building or damaging your reputation, and turning potential customers into loyal customers. You have the power to direct the feelings of your customers and thus their sentiments. How have consumer sentiments affected your business?
This blog was first published on LinkedIN