Imagine how easy marketing would be if you could simply read the minds of your customer base. You would discover their exact wants and needs without any further investigation and be able to craft the perfect products and services. This can be done using opinion mining.

While work has to be done to find out more about your audience, the task is not quite as tricky as you may think – as long as you know which steps to take. One of the most important – and valuable – is opinion mining. But what is opinion mining, exactly?

The following guide will detail what opinion mining entails, the benefits of this process, and how it can improve your business’s products, services, and, thus, sales.

What is opinion mining?

Joe's gold mine symbolizing opinion mining.

So, what is opinion mining? It is a technique that, through a combination of natural language processing and computational linguistics, allows you to analyze text content.

This process is undertaken automatically, detecting and extracting the opinions that are found within the content – whether positive, negative, middling and so on. In simple terms, opinion mining allows you to evaluate reviews and see what customers have to say – but on a larger scale.

By paying close attention to what your customers post in reviews, you gain valuable insight into their likes and dislikes, why they feel the way they do, constructive criticisms, what they think of your and your competitors’ products/services, emerging opportunities, and more. Formally, this is called customer sentiment.

With this information, you have the foundation to create or modify your products and services, ensuring they align with your customers’ needs and expectations.

You can undertake opinion mining on current reviews of your products and services. It is also possible to do this process on reviews for similar products found within your industry.

Whether you wish to uncover more profound insights into your offerings or look at the competition, there is much you can learn from your target market.

Of course, to optimize your opinion mining efforts, you need the right tool to get the most from this technique. Try and analyze hundreds or even thousands of reviews manually, and you will quickly become lost in a sea of words and opinions!

Plus, it will take way too much time and energy – it is a colossal task, after all. To make easy work of it, you want a tool that will do all your opinion mining automatically. This is where GapScout fits the bill.

GapScout uses specialist AI technology that can sift through a collection of reviews at a rapid pace, pluck out the common themes and subjects, and present these findings in an easy-to-consume manner.

A job that could take days or even weeks manually is achieved within a fraction of the time – and it is done with greater accuracy than human analysis.

There are many benefits to opinion mining, here are five of them.

Ideas scribbled on paper after opinion mining on tablet device.

Now, it is time to get to the meat of the topic.

What are the benefits of opinion mining? While you will likely have an idea after reading the above section, we have put together the following five benefits to convince you why your business should use this technique.

1. Improve the perception of your brand.

You know the importance of brand perception. Since more people than ever will research a business before they hand over any of their hard-earned money, you cannot have a negative or even mediocre reputation. If you do, a potential customer will often skip your company and go to the next one available with better reviews.

With opinion mining, you can learn precisely how your customer base perceives your brand through relevant customer insight collection. Do reviews reveal that people share negative opinions about your company?

In this situation, you can attempt to find out more and why this is the case. You can then decide on how to counteract the negative feedback, whether this is a shift in approach or altering your product line-up. After you have incorporated this fresh strategy, you can check your latest reviews to see if the mood has shifted upward.

What if customers are thrilled with your brand?

First of all, congratulations! Secondly, it is still wise to investigate why people are so positive about your business.

Why?

Because when you find out why people love your brand, you can take this, emphasize it, and continue to strengthen this positive part of your business.

Aside from your reputation, you can also find out how people perceive your rivals, which is valuable information you can use to improve your brand and its offerings further.

Related: 7 Tips When Branding for a Small Business

2. Nullify any advantages held by the competition.

Extending on from the last sentence under benefit number one, opinion mining is an excellent method for learning more about the competition. Knowing what advantages your rivals currently hold over your business is beneficial.

This higher ground could be a more positive brand reputation compared to your own, or it might be superior product quality, enhanced customer service, or any other advantages they have at present.

If you discover these advantages, you know what the next step is: close the gap. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure none of your rivals have any notable positives over your business.

Once you have discovered what they currently have over your brand, you need to use this information to improve your current offerings. By doing this, it improves your competitive advantage – and lowers the competition’s at the same time.

Related: How to Create a Competitive Business Plan

3. Improve the quality of your products and services.

Person holding a huge trophy.

If you have been operating your business for a while, it is likely you are happy with the products and services you provide. However, is this opinion shared by your customers? With opinion mining, you can monitor what people say about your products and services – both positive and negative.

A general positive opinion means you can keep going as you are with your products and services. If it is negative, however, this is a sign you need to make some significant changes to how your business currently operates.

Aside from enhancing the quality of current products and services, opinion mining is also beneficial during the development stage of new product creation.

By examining the reviews of your existing products, you can uncover pain points that customers are experiencing. Your new product can then be designed in response to these pain points, whether it is a refined version of an existing item or an entirely new creation.

Again, it is also recommended to take a peek at the reviews left for your rivals; locating the negative aspects of their products and services opens the door to opportunity. If you can react faster than your competitors to solve these negatives, you could leapfrog the competition.

4. Strengthen customer relationships.

Healthy customer relationships are essential for any company. Yes, bringing in a steady stream of new clients is vital, but there is a distinct value gained from customer retention.

Aside from spending more than a first-time buyer (typically speaking), retained customers are loyal customers – and they will generally go out of their way to talk positively about your brand and share word-of-mouth recommendations.

For stronger customer connections, you have to understand their current feelings. Are they happy? Angry? Excited? Indifferent? The problem is that, without the proper analysis, you will simply be guessing their emotions. With opinion mining, however, you can learn your customers’ exact, current attitudes.

As an example, say you did something wrong with your latest product release. You can analyze current reviews, see precisely how customers have reacted to this mistake, and respond accordingly.

Your response to the good and the bad can go some way to improving those all-important customer relationships. You can relate to your customers on an entirely different level.

You can celebrate with them on positive results, console and empathize with them if a product fails to meet their expectations, and ensure they feel better about your business overall – while taking steps to improve any underperforming products and services that led to complaints, of course.

Related: How To Improve Your Conversion Rate in Sales

5. Avoid a PR disaster.

You might not want to think about it. However, no matter how big or small, every business can be susceptible to a PR storm. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from such a disaster, you must act the right way. Make one wrong move, and it could permanently sink the brand reputation you have worked so hard to build.

PR disasters come in many different forms and scenarios. For example, one could be a dangerous fault that has been discovered in a product release.

Another situation, which is seemingly more innocuous, could be a misjudged social media post. For instance, you may make a culturally insensitive Tweet – a mistake wherein your message is accidentally offensive instead of achieving the original intention of driving positive engagement.

If you do misjudge an aspect of your business, every hour that passes without a reaction can damage your brand even more – this is especially the case with the uncontrollable, unforgiving nature of the internet. A negative story can spread like wildfire, becoming an unwanted viral sensation overnight.

With that in mind, you can quickly detect negative customer feedback with opinion mining. You can then react swiftly, minimizing the adverse effects of the comments and opinions bombarding your business. The quicker you put out the fire, the less likely it will spread.

While speed is imperative, you also do not want to react too quickly. You must gain a complete picture of the situation first. That is why opinion mining, where you can uncover all the information quickly and accurately, can be vital.

This information can make your counter-campaign, apology, etc., a successful one that prevents a PR disaster from worsening.

How to keep receiving feedback.

Paper with "feedback" written on it.

Opinion mining supplies numerous benefits. That much is clear. However, these benefits are quickly lost if you fail to gather a steady stream of customer reviews. If these dry up, you fail to learn your audience’s latest thoughts and opinions and use them to your advantage – and that is not ideal.

Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can request feedback from customers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Ask directly.

It might sound obvious, but the main starting point is to simply ask your customers to write a review. It is around 50/50 that customer leaves a review without being prompted, yet this number can jump significantly by giving them a little push in the right direction.

You can ask for feedback in various ways – it could be a small ‘Thank you’ card that accompanies their order, a message along with the confirmation page, or a follow-up email after they have had some time to use the product.

Offer an incentive.

If a grateful message fails to entice customers to leave a review, you can take a step further with an incentive.

An incentive can be provided in return for their honest feedback. Incentives can be an exclusive discount code, for example, or maybe even a free small gift with their next purchase.

Make it easy.

Customers should never have to jump through hoops to leave a review. The process needs to be made as easy as possible.

Customers should be able to leave feedback on your website without needing to complete an abundance of input fields.

Furthermore, give them numerous review platforms to choose from – such as Yelp, TrustPilot, etc. If they have a favorite platform and you enable them to post their opinions on it, there is a greater chance they will take the time to do so.

Respond to reviews.

Take the time to respond to each review you receive. This is a typical approach when it comes to negative comments. After all, you want to resolve any issues while also painting your business in a positive light to others reading the negativity.

However, do not forget about positive reviews. Even a quick yet personal ‘Thank you’ message can go a long way. The more you show you care, the more this will improve the perception of your business. It will also encourage others to leave reviews as they know a response from you will come their way.

Related: How To Write Effective Market Research Questions

There is tremendous value in opinion mining.

Opinion mining is a valuable technique that allows businesses to analyze text content and extract the opinions found within, providing insight into customer likes and dislikes, constructive criticisms, and emerging opportunities.

By using brand sentiment tools such as GapScout, businesses can efficiently sift through large volumes of reviews and accurately identify common themes and subjects.

The benefits of opinion mining include the ability to improve brand perception, tailor products and services to customer needs, identify and address issues, monitor competitors, and increase sales.

By taking the time to understand what customers are saying through opinion mining, businesses can make informed decisions that lead to improved products, services, and overall success.

Ready to Automate Your Market Research?
Get exclusive access to GapScout prior to release!

Similar Posts