What is sentiment analysis?
We’ve blogged about social listening before – about paying attention to ‘always on’ customer conversations across multiple social media channels. Sentiment analysis is a step further along the chain – it’s about organising and analysing those conversations to get a clear and comparable picture of customers’ feelings and trends over time.
Sentiment is subjective, you might respond. Absolutely – that’s why a sophisticated analysis tool such as Microsoft Social Engagement is essential to sort through statements, pick out key emotions and provide a crystal clear, real-time overview of exactly what’s in your customers’ heads.
Sentiment analysis is about having dashboard access and constant headline overviews of customer sentiment across Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels – as well as the ability to carry out ‘deep dive’ analyses of particular subjects, geographical locations or other filters anytime, anywhere. It’s about having the multi-lingual capabilities to examine customer sentiment in native languages in key international markets, and the real-time responsiveness to identify urgent issues as they occur – not an hour later.
Why online reputation management matters: how businesses can use sentiment analysis to improve customer acquisition and retention.
Marketing, sales and customer care
There are three main business departments for whom sentiment analysis should form a central part of strategy and planning: sales, marketing and customer care or support. Of course, the results of sentiment analysis should also be of interest to everyone at board level, and feed into product development where necessary.
But, focusing in on these three business strands…
Marketing needs sentiment analysis for campaign monitoring – to understand, in Microsoft’s own words, ‘what people think of your marketing messages on social media in real-time’. Brand and product sentiment is essential for marketers to understand which messages are popular and which are not – for shaping future messaging and campaigns and even tweaking ongoing ones. Sentiment analysis also allows for the identification and comparison of key influencers and sources, so that PR, blogger outreach and the like can be planned accordingly.
Sales can use sentiment analysis to actively monitor changes at target accounts – when their current contract ends, when demand for a new product or service starts to gain momentum or even when something goes wrong that can be capitalised on (tactfully!) Sentiment analysis allows for lightning-fast identification of buying signals, and these can be fed into future sales strategy. And sentiment analysis isn’t just for current customers or even potential customers – it’s a fantastic competitor insight tool too, helping sales keep an eye on competitors’ behaviour, marketing activities and selling patterns.
Customer care or support can ensure that potentially damaging issues are spotted quickly and rectified before they snowball. Rather than allowing problems to simmer and minor gripes turn into major complaints, the customer care or support team can directly engage with customers across social media, turning glitches into opportunities for the brand to shine. And where necessary, conversations can be taken offline quickly and quietly.
Why Microsoft Social Engagement to measure sentiment analysis?
This CRM Software Blog outlines three reasons why Microsoft’s sentiment analysis capabilities are competitive: its native language functionality (six separate languages currently), which means sentiment isn’t ‘lost in translation’; its availability across the entire business, for marketers, salespeople and the customer care team; and its inclusion within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Prodware is a Microsoft Gold Partner, specialising in Microsoft Dynamics, and can provide expert consultancy on all aspects of sentiment analysis. If you’d like to learn more about the difference Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Dynamics Marketing could make to your business, contact us today.