Customer feedback analysis: how to analyze reviews?
If you just started managing a business or if you are going to start your own, there are a lot of nuances for you as you start dealing with a big number of different customers. Each of your present and potential customers have unique needs and will require an individual approach in fact. This means that it is essential to get and collect customer feedback.
What is customer feedback analysis?
Proper communication with your audience will lead to real and useful customer feedback that will help you improve your business and make relevant decisions in your company. Even if you work on your services and improve your products every day, you must know that your customers have changing requirements. Day by day you will struggle to meet your customers’ expectations and needs. And all this will become possible not only because you improve your business every day. This is a long process and you will need to get customer feedback, collect and analyze customer reviews in a proper way, use some automated tools as needed, or do a lot of work manually. As a result, you will get a real customer data-driven strategy of business development.
In this detailed and informative article, we will try to explain why customer feedback analysis is important and how to analyze reviews. Moreover, we will try to provide you with as many ideas and techniques for customer feedback analysis as possible. So, continue reading the whole article to have a good understanding of the customer feedback analysis process.
To start with, we are almost sure most of you will think that customer feedback analysis is a simple task: calculating an average rating from all ratings, or reading and describing the overall impression from the feedback. It’s not that simple at all. In fact, when you just start collecting customer feedback, it is important to create a space not only for the “five-star rating”. It is easy to understand your customers’ satisfaction score from the ratings, but your customers definitely need a space to write in a more detailed way what they liked or disliked in your business.
Especially if you manage a company that provides services to customers or sells products, you cannot ignore the importance of proper communication with your audience. The more you stay in touch with your customers and give them a space to speak about your business the faster you will succeed. That is to say, the rating tells you about customer satisfaction, but the comments tell you about the real reasons for the rating.
In fact, adopting a good communication strategy shows that your business cares about your clients’ opinions. You show that you value each client and you are ready to work on your problems so your clients get the best experience possible when using your products or services. Collecting and analyzing customer reviews is indeed a good practice for any company.
So, when you already understand how and why to get customer feedback, it is more important to understand what is customer feedback analysis. It is not, of course, only gathering the feedback in one document or resending each feedback separately to relevant people from your team. There are indeed a lot of different ways of customer review analysis. In general, customer feedback analysis includes analyzing each piece of customer reviews separately, tagging them, and categorizing them based on topic, direction, product, service, etc. This point is variable and relative, as it is based on your main goal of customer review analysis. What do you want to improve? What kind of customer experience do you want to provide to your customers? What impression do you eager to make on your audience as a brand? All these matters and you will need to take this into account when analyzing customer feedback.
When you just start analyzing customer feedback, it will surely feel like you work with huge data even if there are only 50-100 comments/feedback/reviews in your database. Don’t get confused and start working one by one, separately reviewing each feedback and tagging each comment so you can categorize them later in a sheet. Correcting tags will make your future work a lot easier, and you will have clear categories in your sheet ready to work on.
So, you know what customer feedback analysis is. Now when you have already collected big data of customer feedback, you have to analyze customer reviews in a proper way. You can get customer feedback in different ways - via email, messages, social media pages, review pages, websites that are specialized in businesses of your field, or NPS - Net Promoter Score. For instance, if you manage a business or a company that provides many services to your customers, you may need to create short and effective questionnaires for your clients who have already used your products or services and you may send them in a convenient way.
You may share questions or polls on your social media pages as well (of course if you manage any pages), and ask your customers/audience to answer and help you become better. The customers will spend a minute or two on the answers but they will definitely give you a bunch of essential comments and reviews so you can start working on them to make your business a more successful one.
As mentioned above, NPS - Net Promoter score is a good way to get customer feedback and collect them in a very convenient way. This method is based on simple questions that uncover how possible it is that a client will suggest a business or a company to his friends and/or relatives. The options are based on a 10-point scale, where 0 will mean that your customer will not definitely recommend your business and 10 means that he/she will recommend it.
The NPS method of gathering customer feedback is simple, so every business can use it in consumer happiness management. As said, these answers are a lot easier to categorize into topics, and you will directly start working with the feedback and analyzing it. By this, a part of your tasks will be automated. For example, you will not have to calculate ratings or separate them into categories, but you will only need to work with written comments or reviews.
Customer feedback analysis can be indeed called one of the most important parts of your strategy of communication with your clients. A lot of companies underestimate the importance of customer feedback analysis and they can just gather data while not doing anything with it. Meanwhile, only customer feedback analysis can give you the real and unbiased impression of your customers from your business. Only by analyzing customer reviews you can know for sure what your customers think and how they feel about the quality of your products or services.
When you start doing regular analysis of customer feedback, you will start noticing what do your clients like and what do they dislike in your services, what would they change if they had a chance, how to improve their client experience and how to meet or even exceed their expectations from your business.
Customer feedback analysis, if implemented right, will help you understand your clients better, start solving their problems and create a better experience for them. By listening to your customers, you will make better decisions and your business will grow.
But in fact, there is another nuance here: not every feedback you get from your customer is actually relevant and useful for your business and strategy. In fact, there are types of customer feedback that will not give you any insights, so you cannot and don’t need to take any action as a result. In short, there are three types of customer feedback that will lead you to critical thinking and taking actions, feedback that doesn’t require any action and lead to validation, as well as feedback that will make you rethink your business strategy and rebuild some of the internal processes.
So now that you know why is customer review analysis important and you understand that there are different kinds of customer feedback, it is necessary to start distinguishing the good and useful feedback and try to get as many actionable insights from your analysis as possible.
First of all, to get actionable insights from your customer feedback, you need to collect clear data. As we have already mentioned above, you may need different channels for data collecting, and some of them may be more effective for your company while others may not give any useful insights for the business.
Here are some ideas on how to gather customer feedback to get as useful insights from it as possible:
- Try to call your customers frequently
- Start a live chat customer support system to communicate faster with your consumers and unravel their issues fast and gather reviews from all chats
- Make questionnaires or other form formats that you can share with customers to get thorough feedback and use it
- Form surveys via email
- Create a comfortable space on your website page for the clients to write their reviews
- Ask for reviews at the point where you provide your services or sell your products
- Make a text box space for reviews right on the order checkout page, etc.
In fact, as you get your replies, email answers, comments, reviews on your website or social media pages, etc., you must start checking and analyzing each review you can find in your inbox or on your website. You can also do a regular search to find if people write about you on different forums, specialized websites, etc. Use keywords as necessary and you will always be informed about your brand’s public name.
After you get the results, you need to categorize them into topics and themes. You must tag each review and only when you have a clear vision of feedback topics and themes, you may share your database with your team members that are responsible for working on development and strategy.
Categorizing may be scary at first, we know that feeling. You have just started collecting feedback but it feels like you are working with a huge amount of information. You start doubting each detail in your work whether you are doing right or if you misunderstood something. Of course, it’s not an easy task to do. But when you get used to collecting customer feedback regularly, you become more professional at that task and what is important, you don’t have to do it in bulk quantities as you can divide the work into smaller tasks and regularly check the feedback, categorize it and start working on it. In fact, you will notice very soon that it helps solve a lot of problems in just a few hours, and not waiting for them to become big issues for your company. Stay aware of what they speak about your brand!
To categorize your feedback in a clever way and to get the most out of it, divide them into topics: for example, there could be different problems that your customer faced: service quality, product quality, pricing, reliability, etc. To structure a more detailed database and to have a better understanding of your client's problems, make sub-categories as well.
To find out the sub-category, just analyze why did your customer leave that review, which part of your business gave him/her such experience. Remember that different feedback categories may have more than one tag or sub-tag and that is totally normal as problems may be complex and not relate to one thing only.
By the way, besides the main reasons and good sides of categorization of customer feedback, it is good for one more reason: if you have different problems to solve in your company, based on the number of feedback in each category and subcategory you may decide which issue is the most urgent and which is a secondary problem to solve. This way you will surely have better time management and you will be able to prioritize the tasks of the whole team. Concentrating on the most important tasks will save you a lot of time and money!
In fact, some companies analyze customer reviews manually. Some implement the analysis of customer feedback using different tools, including AI-driven. And other companies combine both methods and get the best results. In fact, automated tools can help you accomplish a lot of tasks only by uploading your data. For example, you can use the MonkeyLearn NPS Survey template, upload the customer feedback of your company and get your customer feedback analysis after a few minutes.
Then, tools like Lexalytics will give you an opportunity to get ready-to-go text analytics. With its help, you will not need to sit for hours and extract keywords from your customers’ feedback and reviews to highlight the main topics or services, or products they are satisfied or unhappy with.
Other tools like NVivo or Dovetail can help you solve qualitative analysis tasks as they are another automated solution for a better customer feedback analysis. NPS forms like SurveyMonkey are a great way to automate questionnaires and the answers of your customers, on behalf of making a form manually and sending via email.
Next, tools like Thematic will help you solve feedback analysis issues. Produced mainly for client review analysis it’s built for those working at customer data-driven businesses/companies. Thematic discovers the main theme of customer feedback topic and saves a lot of time that you could spend on reading feedback one by one.
Many automated or AI-driven tools make graphs and tables to give you a more clear visual result. This is a good way to present the whole process to your other team members. So, if you were going to share the whole information with your colleagues remember that visually clear and simple information is digested a lot more easily than dull texts or speeches. You may spend an hour more but your whole team will have a good understanding of all processes and results.
Customer feedback analysis is indeed the most important part of your communications and your business strategy. Remember that you are doing your business to provide services or to sell products to your customers. And the best experience possible for your customers is and must be your number one priority. If you don’t communicate with your customers and if you don’t listen to them, others will. Your customers will not stay loyal if you don’t work with them, don’t take into account their needs and changing requirements. And if you don’t try to meet their expectations, you will soon stay without customers.
There are a lot of bad examples of businesses or big corporations that were once rising stars
but later just stopped their business. This mainly happens when a company does not have a responsible specialist who will be in charge of customer data analysis. Or maybe they have specialists but they do not know how to collect, analyze and share the whole data from customer feedback and reviews that they get. That’s why it is not enough to have specialists in your team. It is more important to have a strategy of working with customer feedback and a strategy of communication with customers and the whole audience of the company.
That’s why you need to start collecting and categorizing your customers’ feedback right now, review them, work on them, analyze the final results, announce them to your wider team, and start improving your company’s services. Otherwise, all this will be meaningless if you don’t take insights from your customer feedback analysis and don’t take any action.
Remember that getting and analyzing real customer feedback is the main way to implement necessary changes and improve your business. When you start the whole proper process of customer feedback analysis, you will notice what a positive influence it has on your business decisions, your strategy, and planning, your internal and external communications.