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Want to measure CX correctly? You'll need Net Sentiment

By Nic Ray, DataEQ CEO

Customer experience (CX) is the new frontier in the battle for customer satisfaction and loyalty. From telcos to banking, organisations are investing huge amounts in strategies and tools to deliver superior customer journeys. According to Deloitte, two-thirds of a company’s competitive advantage comes from its customer experience.

To deliver customer-centric experiences and iterate on existing plans, businesses are reliant on feedback from their customers. But many so-called customer-centric businesses are still using solicited surveys like Net Promoter Score (NPS). And while traditional tools are still valuable, leading CX teams are tapping into unsolicited customer feedback on social media and using the Net Sentiment metric to accurately bolster CX insights and reporting.

You can no longer afford to rely solely on backwards-looking metrics

Traditional customer and market research methods and tools, such as NPS and focus groups, provide useful review data but are backward looking indicators that date quickly. They cannot provide an immediate understanding of consumer opinion or experience. For example, by the time you receive critical feedback on a particular product or app feature from survey results, it may be weeks or even months too late to take quick corrective action.

Don’t underestimate the value of unsolicited customer feedback

Survey firms say it is becoming difficult to solicit customer NPS surveys as they are sent to customers through emails, web pop-ups and phone calls, with emails yielding a response rate lower than 5%. While prompting customers for feedback on specific services or products can be useful, it’s not the only way to surface their most pressing concerns.

Understand what’s actually driving customer feedback for root cause analysis

Tools like NPS provide users with scores, either positive or negative. They don’t explain why customers scored an organisation poorly, was it long queues at a specific branch or rude call centre staff. Without these critical details, you’re left with a score that can’t be used to make actionable improvements.

Making sentiment data actionable requires overlaying conversation themes and linking sentiment to operational touchpoints. DataEQ labels topics within online conversation data, both high-level (“customer service”) and granular (“staff competency”). This allows teams to quickly identify problem areas, and then use Net Sentiment as a barometer to measure whether interventions are having an impact.

Social media offers actionable real-time feedback

Online conversation’s volunteered and real-time nature makes it a valuable and leading indicator of the factors which influence customer success. By linking Net Sentiment to the underlying drivers of customer opinion, organisations are able to conduct root cause analysis and use this feedback to inform strategic and operational decision-making.

DataEQ’s clients have used this feedback to quickly gauge new products. One of our restaurant chain clients removed a new product from their menu by monitoring real-time online customer feedback on social media. While sales of the new product appeared promising, social media feedback was overwhelmingly negative and the chain was able to quickly remove the item from their menu, avoiding costly rollouts.

Learn more about Net Sentiment

Net Sentiment is an aggregated customer satisfaction index, used to measure public opinion towards a brand, product, person or concept. Net Sentiment is measured by collecting unstructured text from publicly available online conversations about a particular brand or entity and annotating this with sentiment. Each data point is scored as positive (1), neutral (0) or negative (-1). A score is then calculated by subtracting total negative conversation from total positive conversation (Net Sentiment = positive conversation – negative conversation).