Blog Post

Wisdom of the Crowds: The Value of User Sentiment Observability

What’s the first thing most people do when they’re unhappy with a business? Take to social media to complain about it. How can you monitor that voice of the customer and why is it important to do so?

What’s the first thing most people do when they’re unhappy with a business? Take to social media to complain about it. Observing those comments – otherwise known as “user sentiment observability” – gives you a head’s up as to when problems become big enough to impact user experience.

How can you monitor that voice of the customer? And why is it important to do so? Let’s take a deeper look at the issues.

Why is user sentiment observability important?

User sentiment observability is the process of tracking what consumers are saying about a specific service by gathering reviews, opinions, and hot takes from a variety of social media platforms, such as Yelp and Twitter. While complaining customers can be challenging, they are also highly valuable in highlighting the pain points of your customer service system. User sentiments and comments can be correlated to a wide variety of useability and reachability issues. When used in conjunction with a broader observability strategy, they can help speed troubleshooting and improve digital customer experience. Issues that can be indicated through user sentiment observability include:

  • Website latency
  • Cloud provider outages
  • Vendor issues
  • SaaS tool glitches
Screenshot of a tweet by @navneetraju used as an example that can alert businesses of a cloud provider outage

Example of Tweet that can alert businesses of a cloud provider outage (Twitter/@navneetraju)

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and many other network monitoring and observability tools mostly ignore the user and the last mile of a digital transaction. That’s a pretty big omission, since the quality of the user experience is the ultimate measure of success of the digital performance of a company. Shouldn’t a platform that helps companies provide a flawless digital experience to both employees and customers also include their actual voices? What happened to the human perspective aspect of observability?

Moreover, addressing validated issues as soon as possible will improve your business’ reputation. It gives you the opportunity to resolve social media complaints in a less public forum, the way that works best for you.

How can you monitor and measure user sentiment?

Measuring user experience requires the collection and analysis of multiple sources of telemetry. By monitoring user sentiment, alongside active observability, network observability, endpoint observability, and real user monitoring (RUM), enterprises can cast a broad telemetry net that provides a comprehensive picture. Businesses can measure the true user experience from the users’ point of view, listening to the opinions and feelings of their customers as they consume digital services and apps.

When it comes to digital experience monitoring, Catchpoint has always started with the end user instead of the data center and focused on observing the entirety of the digital service delivery chain. Since 80 percent of performance and availability issues occur outside the corporate firewall, any other approach seems counterintuitive to us. After all, we live in a rapidly changing digital world, where people work remotely, talk to their doctors via Zoom, and buy a staggering quantity of goods and services online. In reality, user experience is synonymous with business performance.

That’s why a holistic digital experience observability strategy is so important. By drawing insights from more than 800 backbone, broadband cloud, enterprise, last mile, and wireless points of presence, companies can use Catchpoint to identify issues from anywhere, in real time. The ability to tap user sentiment information offers businesses broader insight into the overall well-being of their brand.  It’s an important piece of the monitoring puzzle that’s too often ignored. Catchpoint offers this insight directly from our observability portal, so you can connect the dots between what customers are saying, the digital experience your business provides, and when and where you should deal with issues.

The importance of perspective

Having a broad range of perspectives in your observability strategy makes a difference. Consider the fable of the five blind men and an elephant. Each person examined one part of the elephant’s body, like the tail or the tusk. As you can imagine, each person came up with a different concept of what they were feeling, and the descriptions were completely unrelated to the reality of the situation. For example, the tail was “rope” and the tusk was a “spear.”

The same thing happens when you are only monitoring from a single lens – a partial picture often results in mistakes in discovering the origin of issues (not to mention a much slower issue discovery process to begin with). That’s why the inclusion of user sentiment observability is critical in your overall observability strategy.

Ready to learn more about building a comprehensive observability strategy? Read Measure What Matters: Connecting Your Observability Strategy to Business Goals.
An image of a short information brief highlighting the benefits of User Sentiment Observability
Customer Experience

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