Analyzing Online Reviews and Feedback to Improve Reputation

Online reviews and feedback have emerged as a way for businesses to understand consumer sentiment in almost real-time. But to get the most out of this form of sentiment analysis, the data must be analyzed. Only then does it become “intelligence”. 

Definition of Review Analysis

Review analysis refers to the process of systematically collecting, tracking, and interpreting online reviews and feedback. This involves delving into the quantitative and qualitative data from customers’ reviews, exploring trends, themes, sentiment, and relevant details that can provide valuable insights about products, services, customer care, executives, competitor, and industry trends.

Importance of Review Analysis for Businesses

Review analysis is an essential part of product and service strategy. It allows companies to understand strengths and weaknesses, and areas for improvement. It also provides insights into customers’ needs, preferences, and expectations, all of which can lead to informed decision-making and a competitive edge. A well-executed review analysis helps improve product/service quality, enhances customer satisfaction, and can help foster long-term brand reputation improvement.

Types of Review Analysis

Keyword Analysis

Definition and Significance

Keyword analysis, in the context of review analysis, is the process of identifying and examining the words or phrases that frequently occur in online reviews and feedback. Keyword analysis helps businesses understand which aspects of their products or services are commonly mentioned, whether positive, neutral, or negative.

How Keyword Analysis Works

Keyword analysis involves collecting text data from reviews, then utilizing algorithms to identify and count the frequency of certain words or phrases. These ‘keywords’ often reveal common themes, sentiments, and concerns raised by customers. By addressing these recurring themes/patterns, businesses can improve their product offerings and customer satisfaction.

Sentiment Analysis

Definition and Significance

Sentiment analysis (opinion mining), involves determining the emotional tone behind words to gain an understanding of the attitudes, opinions, and emotions of a reviewer or survey participant. With reviews, sentiment analysis is quite valuable because it helps businesses gauge public opinion, monitor brand and product sentiment, and better understand customer needs.

How it Works

Sentiment analysis employs Natural Language Processing (NLP), text analysis, and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information from source content. It goes beyond the number of positive or negative words in a review, considering context and tone to provide a more accurate overall sentiment score.

Contextual Topic Analysis

Definition and Significance

Contextual topic analysis refers to understanding the context or subject matter discussed in reviews and survey feedback. It helps businesses understand what specific features or aspects of their product or service customers frequently talk about, allowing them to focus on improvement.

How it Works

Contextual topic analysis normally involves machine learning to identify and categorize main topics or themes in a body of text. This goes beyond just identifying recurring keywords because it recognizes phrases and discussions around specific topics, giving a more nuanced understanding of what customers are discussing in their feedback.

Sources of Review Feedback

Review sites are not the only way to gather customer feedback.

Survey Results

Importance and How to Analyze

Customer surveys are a gold mine for businesses seeking to understand customer satisfaction, preferences, and improvement areas. They offer a structured way to gather feedback and can be designed to target specific aspects of the business.

To analyze survey results, responses can be categorized to identify trends over time. Advanced analysis can incorporate sentiment analysis to uncover the human emotions behind the responses.

Surveys are a very good way of gathering data privately, as compared to public review sites. By gathering feedback privately, companies can avoid negative responses becoming public.

Net Promoter Scores

Understanding and Leveraging Net Promoter Scores

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple yet powerful tool that measures customer loyalty. It’s based on one simple question: “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” Customers are classified into:

  • Promoters
  • Passives
  • Detractors

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from promoters. A higher score indicates better customer loyalty. NPS can be used to track performance over time and benchmark against competitors.

Social Media

Social Media Reviews and How to Collect Them

Social media is a public platform where customers freely share their experiences and opinions – good and bad. Reviews on these platforms are critical as their public nature influences the perceptions of potential customers. Businesses can collect reviews using social listening tools or by manually monitoring their social media. It’s important to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely manner to show customers and others, their feedback is valued.

Review Sites

Importance of Online Review Sites and How to Utilize Them

Public online review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews aggregate customer reviews for businesses. These platforms tend to be highly visible in search results and, therefore can influence consumer purchasing decisions in much the same way social media can. By encouraging customers to leave reviews and responding to them appropriately (see gated vs. non-gated reviews), businesses can manage one aspect of their online reputation – reviews.

Step-by-Step Guide to Analyzing Reviews

Overview of Sentiment Analysis Tools for Review Management

Introduction to Key Tools

Sentiment analysis tools, like Brandwatch, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and many others, employ advanced AI technologies to interpret emotions behind customer feedback. These tools extract and analyze subjective information from text, helping businesses understand customer sentiment toward their products or services.

Benefits of Using Sentiment Analysis Tools

One of the largest benefits of using sentiment tools is scale. These tools provide businesses with the ability to analyze large volumes of data quickly, which would be a pain to do manually. They help to identify customer sentiment trends, detect urgent issues, and offer actionable insights to improve customer experience. One thing to remember about these tools is that someone needs to keep an eye on them in order for them to be useful. 

Identifying Negative Reviews and Engaging Stakeholders

Methods to Identify and Analyze Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can be identified through keyword analysis, rating filters, and sentiment analysis tools – or by the CEO making a panicked midnight call to the Director of PR. 

Importance of Sharing Insights with Product or Service Teams

Gather and analyzing review sentiment is useless if the information isn’t shared with the right people. Sharing insights derived from negative reviews with product or service teams is key for organizational learning and improvement. These teams can take direct action to address the highlighted issues, enhancing the product or service quality. Having SOPs in place to manage various sentiment scenarios is helpful before a crisis occurs. 

Measuring Improvement Over Time

Once changes are implemented, track reviews over time to measure improvement. Monitor if the frequency of certain complaints decreases and positive feedback increases – or vice versa. This provides a tangible measure of the effectiveness of your teams actions.

Competitor Review Analysis

Understanding Competitor Feedback

Businesses tend to pay more attention to their own reviews than those of competitors. Understanding competitor feedback provides a benchmark for your own business and highlights industry trends. You can learn from your competitors’ successes (and mistakes) and get a sense of customer expectations in your industry.

For example, Coors Light is probably paying close attention to social media and reviewing outcomes for its competitor Bud Light.

Compare Your Reviews with Competitors

Look at the overall rating, sentiment score, and common themes in your competitors’ reviews. While you cannot usually see their private survey feedback, you can track their public feedback. Compare these with your reviews to identify gaps and opportunities. Then, think as a prospective customer might. Studies show that customers gravitate toward brands with the best reviews and ratings – looking at your ratings as compared to competitors, how would you choose if you were a prospective customer making a choice?

List of Popular Online Review Sites

Below is a brief overview of key online review sites. A company usually chooses only a handful to monitor and respond to, especially those that tend to rank highly in search results for brand-related research queries:

  • Amazon: The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has customer reviews for product purchases.
  • Yelp: A public company that hosts reviews of local businesses, focusing on restaurants and service providers.
  • Google Reviews: This platform allows users to write reviews directly on the business’s Google or Google Map listing.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): A non-profit organization, BBB serves as an intermediary between consumers and businesses, providing business reviews and ratings.
  • Trustpilot: A Danish consumer review website, Trustpilot hosts reviews of businesses worldwide.
  • TripAdvisor: Popular travel and restaurant website that features hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings, and other travel-related content.
  • Glassdoor: This site provides employee reviews of companies, including insights into the company culture and management.
  • Facebook Reviews: Facebook allows users to review businesses, making it a common platform for customer feedback.



About the author

Kent Campbell is the chief strategist for Reputation X, an award-winning online reputation management agency. He has over 15 years of experience with SEO, Wikipedia editing, review management, and online reputation strategy. Kent has helped celebrities, leaders, executives, and marketing professionals improve the way they are seen online. Kent writes about reputation, SEO, Wikipedia, and PR-related topics.

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