Posts Tagged ‘SAS’

Social Sentiment

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

How will businesses deal with this unstructured data?

Recent news from SAS announcing their release the SAS Conversation Center in 2011 is another clear sign how social media continues to change business in the digital world.

The new product is designed to help companies capture tweets in real-time that are important to a company’s brand or product. The tweets are analyzed for their sentiment and influence of the tweeter and then can be routed to customer service to handle. It is no wonder the unstructured data flowing from social media sites are driving companies to invest in the technology to link them to their customer service operations.

According to Nielsen Online’s research report from last year “Global Faces and Networked Places”, social media sites are now being visited once every 11 minutes and the 35 – 49 year old category of social networking site usage is growing at the same extent as the 18 – 34 year olds. As for the younger generation, in 2010, kids are spending 27 minutes more time online than in 2009 with most of this time dedicated to social media activities. Not to mention the growth in smart phone devices is helping to accelerate the process and access to social media.

So what are the challenges of dealing with customer sentiment?

Linking customer sentiment to a customer service strategy extends beyond tracking tweets. It means capturing information from other sources such as Facebook and customer reviews. A company such as Expedia gets about 80,000 customer reviews per month. All this data must be captured and analyzed. Part of the analysis is separating out the real issues from a flip comment before investing time and money into a response. Social media is another source of feedback and analytics.

A recent survey of 2,100 companies sponsored by the SAS Institute found that 75% of the companies did not know what their customers were saying about them. Only about 23% were using some sort of social media analytic tools. With the impact of a bad customer experience being made many times worse by social media channels, there is no doubt this will change over time.

So how are you making use of social sentiment in managing your business in the digital world?