Watson Analytics - give your business a competitive edge

Published 21st August 2017

IBM Watson Analytics

IBM Watson Analytics

How guided exploration and data discovery can improve customer retention

Bronyck Stokes Horrigan - Practice Lead - Advanced Analytics

Bronyck looks at how using Watson Analytics and Watson Analytics for Social Media can radically improve customer service and help your business thrive.

Great customer service is an essential ingredient in retail. A company with great customer service is more likely to increase their customer base, retain existing customers, and as a result increase sales. In today’s commercial environment, customers are a driving force when it comes to shaping the perception of your brand, especially online. There are numerous ways a customer can share their experience online, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums such as Trustpilot and Tripadvisor, and even comments on YouTube videos. In the UK, the internet is used daily or almost daily by 65% of people.

By using Watson Analytics for Social Media, I carried out an analysis of furniture retail brands across 25,000 documents. From the analysis, I found which competitors customers are most likely to defect to from other brands, as well as some of the reasons why this happens. I was also able to find out which stores had good and bad customer service, then use mentions to illustrate why this was happening. Furthermore, I could find out more about the customer, including demographics such as gender and location, but also author interests and marital or parental status.

This information was collected, analysed, and displayed within 4 hours, so you can quickly collect information from social media, automatically find patterns, and visualise the data so that you can spend more time analysing the results.




The sentiment visualization shows us the sentiment of each brand. Using mentions, we can see exactly what people are saying by illustrating the visualization with mentions. The mentions below relate to DFS, and their customer service, delivery and price. These are the reviews that other potential customers are reading – and, as 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, they could be making decisions based on these reviews without any intervention from DFS.

We can also have a look at the demographics of people talking about each brand – we can see that Multiyork have predominantly males talking about them online – does this mean they don’t reach females on the right websites? Or that their messaging is more appealing to males? The other brands have an equal share of voice for each gender, and could be attracting those customers that could otherwise go to Multiyork.

We can also look at the behaviour of social media users – how do they talk about the brands? Watson Analytics for Social Media can identify those who are users, those who are prospective users, and those who churn, as well the reasons for this.

From this visualisation, I selected ‘service’ from the ‘Themes Mentioned by Churners’ column. These mentions are available in all sections of the analysis. From the mentions, we can see that several customers are in danger of defecting to another competitor, or are finding a better service elsewhere.

From looking at the analysis, I found that there was a consistent theme of people defecting based on good or bad customer service, with SCS being the one most people left another brand in favour for. What are SCS doing that other brands are not? Are their staff receiving training that makes them easier to deal with? This information gives a real insight into why people defect, as well ideas to stop this happening, such as offering training, or reviewing existing training.

As well as these insights, you can also see your company share of voice against competitors, geographical locations of where people are posting (which can be helpful for looking at a branch level), popular sites people are discussing your business and influential authors.

If you had this information, how could you use it? You may be aware what is being said about your company on Twitter or Facebook. However, Watson Analytics for Social Media gathers data from over 50,000,000 social sites, allowing you to discover what you didn’t know, and get a truly panoramic and contextual view of what is being said about your business.

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