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Everything to know about customer feedback analysis

What is customer feedback analysis?

Customer feedback is input from users and consumers regarding a range of relevant topics including product, customer service, brand, experience and more. Customer feedback analysis tools uncover trends and consistent themes within the data in regards to strengths and weaknesses specific to your brand.

Challenges

Customer feedback can be a treasure trove of qualitative data and actionable insights – but in the wrong hands, won’t reach its full potential. Large amounts of data are cumbersome, taking too long and too much effort to analyze.

Manual coding leaves your analysis subject to human bias and error. You’re much more likely to allow preconceived hypotheses to shape the way you view the data, in turn overlooking important insights with the power to transform internal perceptions. 

Data sources

Reviews

Globally, 52% of consumers aged 25-34 post reviews online, and 36% use reviews for brand and product research. That’s a huge portion of consumers relying on information you have no influence over.

Online reviews are typically unprompted, which leaves you with little control over what they say. This can be damaging if prospective customers see consistent negative reviews, but it also helps to ensure objectivity during the analysis process. By analyzing review data, your brand can uncover persistent red flags that discourage potential customers from buying. 

Social media

4.62 billion people (58.4% of the world’s population) use some form of social media. This gigantic mass of organic conversation is at your fingertips, just waiting to be analyzed.

Customers not only use social media platforms to communicate issues directly to brands, they also discuss general brand perception within their own network. Consumers are less likely to use social media to formally review a product or experience, but the organic nature of social conversations can lead to an authentic understanding of brand perception.

Forums

Forums are a facet of social media that typically result in inquiry-prompted conversation and long form discussions. These detailed conversations are optimal for qualitative analysis. In-depth, lengthy responses offer more words for analysis and often uncover a deeper understanding of the why and how behind the what.

Forums typically consist of power users or people especially knowledgeable on a specific topic. It’s important to consider the type of consumer each feedback platform caters to and how that impacts analysis.

Surveys

Surveys are more likely to be prompted, which has the potential to skew feedback or result in minimal effort responses. Although it’s crucial to be aware of those potential biases, surveys are an efficient and targeted form of customer feedback.

By asking questions relating to specific areas of interest, surveys can be structured in a way that streamlines the analysis process. It’s also simple to record respondent demographics like age, location, race and more. These metadata points allow you to analyze target consumer demographics and understand how they differ from one another.

Chat interactions

Chat interactions can be used to gauge persistent issues with product or customer experience. These are concerns that customers come directly to your brand with, meaning they are likely important and require action or resolution. 

Post-chat surveys can also be used to evaluate individual customer service representatives and larger cx processes. By tracking which customer service interactions result in satisfied customers, brands can streamline communications and strategy. 

Benefits

Consumer feedback analysis creates actionable insights relevant to your all important customers. This insight informs product, marketing and customer services strategies and communications. 

Marketing

Effective marketing will resonate with its target audience. Without an understanding of the consumer at hand, you won’t have the insight to create messaging that resonates with that type of individual.

Qualitative text analysis can help brands understand how a target consumer speaks about their product, brand or in general. This allows marketers to create advertising that features product details and language that a consumer is likely to find appealing. 

Product

Consumer feedback has the power to shape product improvement and innovation. Consumers know your product better than anyone else. By analyzing feedback to uncover common issues or product-related dissatisfaction, brands can prioritize product strategy and uncover unknown weaknesses.

Customer experience

Customers are just as likely to discuss a product as they are their experience. Customer service representatives play a big part in ensuring customer satisfaction and elevating brand perception. Customer feedback analysis can be used to uncover customer service inadequacies that impact the likelihood of recommending the brand to a friend or leaving a good review.

Best practices

Unprompted

We mentioned prompted and unprompted feedback platforms earlier. Unprompted is preferred as it increases the reliability and objectivity of feedback. The consumer is reviewing a brand because they choose to, not because they have to. When brands solicit feedback, responses are more likely to skew incorrectly.

Incentivised feedback heightens this concern over objectivity. Although offering a perk to consumers will likely result in increased responses, incentives can alter opinion and end with consumers writing bare minimum responses.

Demographics 

Recording information on each respondent in addition to their opinion elevates your analysis and resulting insights. Whenever available, record attributes like age, location, gender, sexuality, race and purchase history. 

Effective marketing communications should appeal to the groups they target. Not all customers have the same backgrounds and opinions. By understanding what aspects of your brand appeal to each target consumer demographic, you can create messaging that is more likely to resonate with those people.

Trends

The key to effective analysis is trend recognition. Although one-off instances shouldn’t be ignored – especially if they are extreme examples of dissatisfaction – larger trends across multiple users offer the largest opportunity for improvement. Trends can be boiled down to one thing: repetition. It’s critical to use customer feedback tools that recognize repetition of opinion which speak to larger trends.

Volume

When it comes to customer feedback analysis, the more the merrier. Larger pools of respondents offer a more accurate representation of public opinion. Not only do more consumers mean a representative and diverse sample, it also means more words to analyze. Increased feedback provides us with more data and resulting actionable insights.

How to analyze customer feedback

Customer feedback can be analyzed manually, but you don’t have time for that. You need a streamlined solution to customer feedback analysis. Consumer feedback analysis tools enable Natural Language Processing to understand text and detect linguistic patterns within the data. 

Frequency analysis

Each customer feedback analysis tool employs a different methodology to the analysis process. Typically through frequency analysis, customer feedback tools track the frequency of word usage across a textual data set. This provides a top level understanding of consumer feedback, by working to understand commonalities across large groups. 

Comparative analysis

Relative Insight utilizes a different approach to qualitative text analysis. Instead of analyzing only frequency, we analyze differences. 

Comparative text analysis analyzes one written data set in comparison to another to uncover the linguistic attributes that make each data set unique. This works to bring out the differences between brands, target consumer demographics, data sources, over time and more. Comparison creates contextual understanding. Much of what people say is the same, what matters are the differences in what we say.

How it works

After you’ve collected your feedback, the next step is uploading the file to Relative Insight where you can divide and/or combine files to align with your analysis goals. Shape your approach to analysis by creating a comparative question (ie. I want to understand how US consumers speak compared to UK consumers). 

Relative Insight will analyze the desired files and uncover the differences and similarities in the words, phrases, grammar, topic and emotion each group used. This contextual outlook goes beyond the topical language you expect to see surrounding a conversation, and instead goes deeper to find meaningful textual insights.

Customers willingly and freely provide brands with all the information they need to succeed. It’s time to utilize it. Customer feedback analysis tools take unmanageable amounts of feedback data and uncover actionable insights with the power to shape marketing, product and customer experience strategies.