Measuring the Unmeasurable: These CX Pros Uncover Customer Emotion

By: Kate Zimmerman

May 29, 2015

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Clarabridge’s CEO, Sid Banerjee, once said in jest, “we created a software product that measures and analyzes emotion and sentiment, but my wife is still wary.” Thankfully spouses are not yet driving business decisions, but your customers are, and whether you like it or not, their emotions are a factor in those decisions.

Emotion is the primary driver of consumer behavior, but it is not easily measured or understood. Failing to measure and understand emotion can have very negative side effects. Text analytics allows you to quantify the seemingly qualitative nature of emotion. Done properly, it can categorize spoken statement into varying degrees of emotion and track it over time and against other data in order to take action.

At Clarabridge’s C3 conference next month, we will be hosting a panel of industry experts who will expand on this hot topic in customer experience and help you better understand how to measure emotion.

The panel, “Where’s the Love? Understanding Emotion in the Customer Experiences,” will be moderated by a top Forbes contributor, Christine Crandell. Christine has worked in B2B tech for her entire career and has served as CMO for a number of private and public companies. She believes that understanding emotion is not just another attribute of a satisfied or dissatisfied customer. Understanding emotion in real time provides a means to guiding your customer in a mutually beneficial way.

Speaking on the panel will be Pam Hess, Manager Client Experiences with Country Financial; Kristen Korhonen, Director Enterprise Customer experience with Bank of Montreal; Thom Rooney, Manager Customer Insights, Analytics & Loyalty Measurement with Bank of Montreal, and Joyce Pang, Senior Analyst, Guest Insights & Analytics with Carnival Corporation.

Each of these panelists uses Clarabridge to help their company measure and understand emotion among their customers. They note that is just as important to monitor positive emotions as it is negative. Knowing what your customers like allows you to expand on those services or products the same way that knowing what they dislike pinpoints reduction areas.

Understanding emotion can also open a window into small nuances that could have a huge impact. For example, many financial customers need assistance during major life events. Drilling down into sentiment and emotion during these transactions could reveal that your customers are more likely to churn at this time, signaling a need to put extra emphasis on customer satisfaction surrounding a life event.

In another example of how emotion can play a major role in customer experience, a major American big box store had a big call to make: a celebrity with popular product lines was overheard saying racist comments. The company needed to decide whether or not to drop the celebrity’s products in response. After examining customer sentiment, comments showed that very few customers were supportive of the celebrity and the overall sentiment was negative. With this evidence, the retailer dropped the celebrity’s products from their shelves. Afterward, sentiment increased around the brand as many voiced approval about their decisive action.

Understanding your customer’s emotions can help improve your brand perception and your bottom line. Learn more about the role that emotion plays in customer experience as well as actionable insights to take home with you by attending C3 and listening to this all-star panel on June 24 in Miami.

Kate Zimmerman is a Product Marketing Associate at Clarabridge. Kate focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.