If you ask any banker what makes their bank better in the eyes of customers than the competition, the response will be better service. But, what does better mean? Does better mean faster? How about customer delight? Research has shown that these assumptions no longer hold. Staying on top, especially in banking, requires a concentration on the “emotional side of interactions”. There are a multitude of banks that spend a lot of money and time trying to serve customers better than the competition. Most of the investment focuses on the old paradigm, and does not address the emotional side of customer experience. Before you agree to spend more time and money, you should think about Sentiment Analysis.
- Emotional comparisons are possible: Leveraging Sentiment Analysis and social media, a bank can compare itself to its competition when it comes to positive and negative feelings. Banks large and small have flocked to social media. A recent study found that over 5,300 banks have Facebook sites. Sentiment analysis transforms emotions into hard numbers using statistical and text mining techniques. This type of analysis has been used to predict anything from stock market movements to presidential elections.
- Listen to customers: Most banks rely on third parties to compare customer feedback between banks. Sentiment analysis captures the voice of the customer directly. “One in three customers now use social media to complain.” Since most companies do a poor job of monitoring customer activity on social media, you will know more about your competitors than they do. Comparisons of products, channels and services are possible using these techniques. This output can also be used to predict the success of product and technology launches.
- Let the other guy take the punches: If you are on the fence about change, you can learn from your competition. Sentiment analysis can monitor how other banks are doing with new products, technology and branches. In addition to looking at social media, regulatory documents, investor conference calls, local publications and industry periodical can signal competitor activity. The results of these initiatives can be monitored by direct customer feedback. For example, a recent review of community banks web sites, show direct feedback from customers on mobile applications. It is like getting lessons learned from a project that you have not done yet. This gives you a competitive advantage because your roll-out will not have the bumps that your competitors did.
In short, Sentiment Analysis can provide important customer insights into both themselves as well as their competition that can give banks a tremendous competitive advantage.
The next installment will explain how sentiment analysis works.