A Candid Discussion on How to Use Sentiment Analysis to Improve Customer Experience

Kimberly Yánez June 2, 2023
- 10 min read

The key to organizational success in the modern era: Experience Management. It's not just a buzzword; it's a make-or-break factor that can either propel your organization to greatness or sink it into obscurity. 

On the Live Session a special episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast hosted by Matt Beran, we have the pleasure of hearing from two industry experts, Jon Leighton from Nexthink and Emily Schlick from Vizient, as they share their practical advice on how to enhance employee experience and how to use sentiment analysis to improve customer experience.

Leighton, the Head of Customer Engagement and Advocacy at Nexthink, brings with him a wealth of experience. With a background that includes stints at BMC Software, where he honed his skills, and serving as the VP of Customer Success at 4me, he has a deep understanding of what it takes to create a remarkable experience management. Not to mention, his time as the Service Desk Leader at Southhampton City Council has given him enlightening viewpoints into the challenges faced by organizations of all sizes.

Schlick, the Sr. Director of Technology Strategic Business Operations at Vizient, Inc., is another esteemed guest on this episode. Her impressive career includes roles such as Director of Digital Employee Experience and Strategic Initiatives at Cigna and Sr. Manager of Employee Experience at Express Scripts. With her in-depth experience in optimizing EX, Schlick is well-equipped to offer practical strategies and insights.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to tune in to the entire session featuring Leighton, Schlick, and the audience! Hence, you can register for our monthly live recordings, where you'll have the chance to participate and ask questions directly during the session.


How to use sentiment analysis to improve customer experience

Sentiment analysis enables organizations to gather insights and enhance customer experience by analyzing the emotions expressed in various forms of data, such as customer feedback, reviews, social media posts, and even internal employee feedback. 

To better employee experience, organizations should recognize that sentiment exists in the workplace and analyze the sentiment expressed in employee feedback to gain a deeper understanding of how employees feel about their work environment, leadership, processes, and tools.

Now, improving service desk operations is an area where sentiment analysis can be particularly useful. Of course, that will increase the number of tickets, but sentiment analysis tied to Problem Management and automation can help reduce the overall Ticket Volume. Analyzing the sentiment behind customer inquiries and issues helps identify common pain points and address them proactively, leading to a more streamlined and efficient service desk.



"It's kind of what comes first, chicken or the egg, right? You could use your ticket data to figure out where you need to go, get sentiment like does this really matter, do they know, is this matter for everyone? Or you can take a completely different approach and start with your colleagues and then work backwards to the data to support what they're telling you. They're struggling with it every day."

Emily Schlick
 Sr. Director of Technology Strategic Business Operations at Vizient, Inc
 Live Session of Ticket Volume


However, sentiment analysis should not solely focus on emotions or feelings according to Leighton and Schlick. Their advice focused on gathering data on other aspects of customer experience, such as the ease of use of technology, how well it meets customer needs, reliability, and functionality, as it is equally crucial.

Hence, here are some their key points on how to use sentiment analysis to improve customer experience:

  • Identify the sources of customer feedback: Social media, customer surveys, online reviews, and other platforms where customers express their opinions.
  • Categorize customer feedback: Classify feedback into positive, negative, or neutral sentiment to identify trends and common themes.
  • Identify root causes of negative feedback: Use sentiment analysis to understand the underlying reasons behind negative sentiment and take proactive steps to address them.
  • Track changes in customer sentiment over time: Monitor shifts in sentiment to assess the impact of efforts to improve customer experience and make necessary adjustments.
  • Integrate sentiment analysis with other data sources: Combine sentiment analysis with customer demographics, purchase history, and other data to gain a comprehensive understanding of customer sentiment and behavior.
  • Improve service desk operations: Use sentiment analysis to identify common pain points and address them proactively, leading to a more efficient and streamlined service desk.
  • Consider a holistic view of sentiment: Analyze not only emotions but also other aspects of customer experience, such as ease of use, meeting customer needs, reliability, and functionality.
  • Make data-driven decisions: Use sentiment analysis insights to inform decision-making and prioritize initiatives that will enhance customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

Improving Digital Employee Experience through Employee Feedback

Leighton and Schlick already pointed out that gathering feedback from employees on their experience with digital tools and systems is key to make their job more enjoyable. This feedback can help identify pain points, usability issues, and areas for improvement.

They explained organizations can then use this feedback for targeted improvements, providing additional training or support, or streamlining processes. In their experience, when they see IT leaders regularly seeking employee feedback and acting upon it demonstrates a commitment to creating a positive and productive environment.



"I walk away from my MacBook to go and get a coffee, and when I come back, the VPN has dropped, and I don't realize it. My colleague pointed out that it's annoying and shouldn't happen. No IT system is going to tell you that was the experience, but an employee will tell you if you ask them. If you build trust and create an opportunity to ask, 'What bugs you today? What bugs you this week?' they'll share this stuff. Then we can take that design thinking into, 'This really shouldn't be happening. Let's go.' These folks very quickly found the root cause, fixed that, and suddenly, we've raised the bar incrementally for another 4,000 folks in the world who are getting a better digital experience."

Jon Leighton
Head of Customer Engagement and Advocacy at Nexthink
Live Session of Ticket Volume


The question now is what to do with feedback. Leighton and Schlick came up insightful guidance worth to mention:

Leveraging Ticket Data and Colleague Feedback

Organizations can analyze ticket data and gather feedback from colleagues to gain insights into common pain points and areas for improvement. To improve the digital employee experience, organizations should understand and address the issues faced by employees and customers. This can be achieved by taking targeted actions, such as optimizing digital tools, improving user interfaces, and streamlining processes based on feedback.

Normalizing the Feedback Process

This should be a normal practice. Improving the digital employee experience relies on gaining insights from employees who interact with digital tools and systems. Encouraging a feedback-driven culture through regular solicitation of feedback via surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations can identify pain points and areas for improvement. This leads to a more user-friendly and efficient digital employee experience.

Building Trust and Listening

Building trust with employees is essential. Actively listening to employee feedback and addressing their concerns demonstrates that their experiences and opinions are valued. Aligning employee goals with organizational objectives fosters a shared sense of purpose and commitment to enhancing the digital employee experience. Transparent communication, employee involvement in decision-making, and opportunities for professional growth and development are effective strategies to achieve this.

Communicating Clearly

When implementing changes or improvements to digital tools and systems, it is important to introduce yourself as a representative of the organization and clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of the changes to employees. This helps employees understand the rationale behind the changes and fosters a sense of inclusion and transparency. Clear communication ensures that employees are informed about the changes and can provide valuable feedback based on their experiences.

Maximizing Employee Productivity

Technology plays a significant role in improving employee productivity. Through the provision of user-friendly and efficient digital tools and systems, organizations streamline processes and empower employees to prioritize delivering exceptional customer experiences. Moreover, leveraging data-driven insights enables the identification of areas where technology should be optimized to enhance employee productivity. Analyzing data on system usage, performance, and user feedback provides valuable insights for making informed decisions and prioritizing improvements.

Measuring Success in Technology Changes

When implementing technology changes, it is important to prioritize solutions that have a direct impact on improving the digital employee experience. Organizations should establish clear metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of these technology changes. These metrics may include user satisfaction, productivity, efficiency, or system performance. Regularly evaluating these metrics allows organizations to make data-driven decisions and refine their technology strategies to continuously improve the digital employee experience.

Before we come to an end, if you want to further explore the exciting field of Experience Management, we have also covered the topic on other episodes of the podcast. For instance, episode 40 explores employee experience ROI, episode 43 focuses on customer experience and building feelings, and episode 44 breaks down digital employee experience.

Bottom line

There you have it, change has changed. This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's Live Session featuring Jon Leighton and Emily Schlick. There's a lot more to discover in the recording: from leveraging technology to fostering a positive work culture, they will provide actionable tips and advice that you can implement in your organization. Be sure to listen to the full conversation with Matt Beran to learn more about how to use sentiment analysis to improve customer experience.

You can find the full Live Session on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!

Read other articles like this : customer satisfaction, ITSM, Ticket Volume podcast, Experience Management

Evaluate InvGate as Your ITSM Solution

30-day free trial - No credit card needed