November 16, 2018
Customers act on their emotions. When a customer feels loyal to your business, they should want to visit more. When a customer feels dissatisfied with your product or services, you could potentially lose them and lose others if they express their feelings online.
Having a data-based customer engagement platform can help you measure customer sentiment and get ahead of the curve. In this post, we’ll review three things customer sentiment can teach you, and what actions you can take to increase satisfaction, retention and customer loyalty.
What is customer sentiment?
First, let’s talk about what customer sentiment is and why it’s important. Customer sentiment is based on the emotions your customers feel when they engage with you. When a customer makes a purchase, refers you to a friend or writes a review about your business, they are taking actions based on their emotions, or sentiment. Customer sentiment includes a range of emotions like happiness, excitement, loyalty, satisfaction, indifference, sadness, dissatisfaction, anger, and more.
Measuring customer sentiment is crucial to engaging your customers and increasing their loyalty to your business. When you have a greater understanding of your customers and what makes them feel satisfied or dissatisfied, you can make smarter business decisions.
Customer sentiment can provide you insights into how your customers feel about your product and service and any changes that may be taking place. Using an automated customer engagement and retention tool like Thanx, you’ll get a granular view of customer feedback including sentiment.
Now let’s walk through each of the three lessons and how you can use what you learn from customer sentiment, to grow your business.
Customer sentiment and customer satisfaction
Capturing and measuring how your customers feel when they engage with your business can reveal what provides them the most satisfaction and what might make them feel not too thrilled. When you understand how your customers feel, you’ll be able to use that data to help foster more loyalty or proactively correct any unfavorable situations they may have experienced.
For example, Poppy visits your restaurant every month and always gives positive feedback. One day, Poppy leaves a negative review because a new server didn’t provide her with the service she’s used to. Thanx automatically captures Poppy’s customer feedback and alerts you to her negative feedback so you can respond. You also get customer insights about Poppy so you can understand her value to your business. In your dashboard, you can see that Poppy visits multiple times a month, has a higher spend than most of your customers and has a high lifetime value.
Because you have these insights and understand that Poppy is a valuable customer you can send her a personalized message apologizing for her negative experience, and send her an offer to win her back. Poppy went from being an unhappy customer, back to feeling loyal to your business because you made her feel appreciated and listened to.
Thanx enables you to use customer feedback and NPS (Net Promoter Score) to engage with your customers and understand customer sentiment. When you can do this at scale and still remain personal, you win at customer satisfaction.
Customer sentiment and customer loyalty trends
Analyzing customer sentiment using enriched data will help reveal loyalty trends amongst your best customers. As we mentioned earlier, customer actions are based on their emotions. If you capture a customer’s visit frequency and average spend, you will not only be able to identify who your best customers are, you will also be able to measure customer loyalty and how your customers feel.
Traditional loyalty reward programs use punch cards and only focus on visit frequency or spend. However, these old-school programs don’t provide you with data or insights and tend to attract promiscuous, discount-driven customers that can erode your bottom line instead of adding to it. By using an automated customer engagement and retention platform you’ll be able to measure the behavior of each customer and identify your most loyal customers while understanding which emotions drive their actions.
For example, let’s say Jack visits your coffee shop every day and referred a lot of his friends. One day, you see on your dashboard that Jack hasn’t visited your business in a month. This gap can indicate a few things – some may not be in your control, like for example, if Jack moved to another city. If however, Jack stopped visiting because he had a negative experience, or he liked your competitor better, or he was unhappy with a recent price change, you can capture these details and take action to win him back as a customer.
This is how Thanx lets you know that it’s time to win back a customer before it’s too late.
You can do this at scale and see how customer loyalty trends vary among customers. Getting to the bottom of customer sentiment and understanding why a customer’s loyalty may have changed, will help you personalize and target your messaging to either win back customers or increase customer loyalty.
Customer sentiment and customer behavior
Visit frequency, average spend and customer feedback are strong indicators of how your customers behave and feel. If a customer is happy, you’ll largely see this reflected in their behavior, and if they’re dissatisfied, you may notice behavioral gaps.
As a business, it’s important to capture, measure and analyze customer behavior in order to influence your customers to interact with your business the way you want them to. For example, if a happy customer visits your business once a week, and you want to encourage them to visit more, you can send them a targeted offer.
You can even take it a step further and identify which common behavioral trends exist within your happiest and most loyal customers. Once you identify what works and what doesn’t, you can take certain actions to influence customer behavior. For example, if you notice that the majority of your happiest customers visit in the mornings and the majority of your dissatisfied customers visit in the afternoons, you may want to take a look at the average wait-time and staff that work during those afternoon business hours. Data is powerful and can help you understand how your customers feel and enable you to influence their behavior.
Customer sentiment can teach you about satisfaction, loyalty, and behavior. Using a customer engagement platform like Thanx will help you understand who your best customers are, how they feel and behave, and you can use this data to improve your customer experience while driving results to your bottom line and positive ROI.
Grab our free Race for Customer Loyalty guide to learn more.