Be a Good Listener and Better Understand Customer Sentiment

Be a Good Listener 
and Better Understand Customer Sentiment 

To be successful, businesses need to understand what their customers want and need. The best way to do this is by listening to them directly. Customer sentiment can be gleaned from various sources, such as direct discussions, online reviews, social media, and surveys. This feedback can provide insights into what customers like and don't like about a business, their pain points, and what the competition may be doing well. By listening to customers, businesses can make the necessary changes to improve their products and services and better meet the needs of their target market.

To this end, wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall as your customers, competitors, or prospects talk about your brand and do so at scale? In fact, if you had this listening superpower, wouldn't you quickly become an expert of sorts internally and with various cross-functional departments? Of course, you would. However, we know having lots and lots of frequent one-on-one conversations would be ideal, but it's simply not scalable. So instead, think about how powerful it would be to summarize sentiment across large areas of your target market and listen in on the thousands of social conversations happening daily and even hourly.

Every area of your business benefits from observing trends, uncovering patterns, and gauging emotional responses while building a collection of actionable insights that will help you be more targeted and precise with your marketing.

What are they talking about? 
How do they feel about the topic or brand?   
Where are they located? 
And who are they listening to?

Developing a listening plan must involve the ability to observe trends, uncover patterns, and gauge emotional responses around any topic across the key watering holes your customers or prospects frequent.    Finding a way to monitor trending topic insights (sentiment, impressions, engagement, word clouds, keywords, hashtags, demographics, etc.), and then being able to craft and test your messaging on different platforms to determine the share of voice, engagements, likes, comments, etc. is the winning formula. So remember, listening and monitoring isn't just a passive endeavor; it must also include actionable components. 

So, what should be your Top 5 Listening Goals to get started?

  1. Understand general sentiment, volume, impressions, and even…. most used emojis.
  2. Shed light onto your overall brand health within your industry and compare that to your competition.
  3. Find new opportunities by monitoring insights into emerging audiences and the trends they are communicating.
  4. Use sentiment & spikes in conversations to advise on your brand's messaging.
  5. Identify areas to improve your product or messaging based on indirect feedback or directional positive or negative sentiment and build a cross-functional action team to take these insights and action them immediately.

Identifying what drives your audience's decision-making process and being able to turn that into decisive and actionable business insights is the holy grail of marketing. And if you are not paying attention to the conversations about your business, your competitors, the current pain points of your prospects, or the general industry buzz, you will simply lose touch with the pulse of the marketplace.

In today's competitive landscape, listening to customers is more important than ever. Businesses can gain a crucial edge over their rivals by taking the time to understand what they're saying.

As you observe, you become empowered to respond to conversations about your brand or a particular topic and take a proactive approach in building a strategy to address various discussions about your brand. By listening more, you're better enabled to find, monitor, and react to reviews, product questions, customer support issues, brand champions, and more. In the end, by understanding how your customers feel, you can create a strategy that resonates with them and, most importantly, drives more sales engagement.