Don’t Follow Trends—Spot Them (With Data Analysis)

By: Lisa Sigler

September 16, 2015

Sentiment Analysis
Speech Analytics
text analytics

Have you been following Fashion Week? I must admit that I have not—I’m much more likely to buy this season’s styles on clearance in a few months than to watch the designers’ runway shows. I simply don’t care enough to try to figure out which new trends are going to get hot in the coming year.

But brands can’t afford to fall behind like I do. Being a season or two behind a new trend in your customer data is far worse than a fashion faux pas. To be able to anticipate customer needs, fix emerging problems, and protect against major liabilities, you need to spot trends in your customer feedback as soon as they start to emerge.

Monitoring data over time to identify and monitor trends is one of the most valuable methods of analysis in a healthy customer experience management program. You can see how the conversation about a particular topic changes in volume by hour, day, week, or year. You can see if there’s a steady increase or decrease or if there is a sudden spike that you must address (with Clarabridge’s text analytics and sentiment analysis, you’ll be able to figure out why you are seeing those patterns).

And the more sources of data you are able to look at, the more quickly you can spot new trends, even if the earliest mentions are coming from different channels. Think of it this way: a single tweet complaining to or about your company might be an isolated incident. That same tweet, when paired with a couple of emails and a few calls to your customer service line, all mentioning the same topic, could be the start of an avalanche. If you are keeping an eye on your data trends, you will have a better chance to react in time to deal with a new situation appropriately.

For example, say that you’re a marketing executive launching a new campaign. Digging into your omni-source feedback can help you gauge reactions to your ads and help you take smart actions about the duration of your campaign. Ideally, your campaign will go live and you will see a lot of feedback, with high sentiment, across all of your feedback channels. A corresponding increase in sales may also follow, if you are lucky. If sentiment about your ads starts steadily declining across all sources, eventually you will reach the point where you decide to launch a different campaign. On the other hand, mentions of your campaign may spike early but be tied to negative sentiment. Instead of waiting for the campaign to play out, you may decide to pull your ads immediately or retool them to try to counteract the negative reaction.

Monitor customer feedback trends over time for the insights you need to be proactive and make good decisions. After all, that’s much more important than knowing if you should be buying skinny jeans or ankle boots this season.

Monitoring trends and spikes is just one of the ways you should be analyzing your customer feedback data. For more tips, check out 9 Ways to Analyze, a new Clarabridge cheat sheet.


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.