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Discovering Persuasive Language through Observing Customer Behavior

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Jason S. Kessler | Predictive Analytics World, May 17, 2017
@jasonkessler
Discovering Persuasive
Language through Observ...

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A car dealership’s home page
Reviews that are
• five star,
• recent
But: 1,508 reviews!
• Lots that fit both
categories....

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A car dealership’s home pageCDK Data Science:
• Predict how customers
will respond to
language
Help customers:
• Pick in...

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Discovering Persuasive Language through Observing Customer Behavior

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How can you use text data combined with customer activity to learn how to speak better to customers? This talk is a brief overview of how CDK Global levered review data and mystery shopped email communication to learn both general and specific ways of creating effective copy and communication practices. The three general tips were:
1. Be specific.
2. For non-expert customers: pain points > jargon.
3. Speak to the customer’s next steps and desires. Don’t be vacuous.

How can you use text data combined with customer activity to learn how to speak better to customers? This talk is a brief overview of how CDK Global levered review data and mystery shopped email communication to learn both general and specific ways of creating effective copy and communication practices. The three general tips were:
1. Be specific.
2. For non-expert customers: pain points > jargon.
3. Speak to the customer’s next steps and desires. Don’t be vacuous.

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Discovering Persuasive Language through Observing Customer Behavior

  1. 1. 1 Jason S. Kessler | Predictive Analytics World, May 17, 2017 @jasonkessler Discovering Persuasive Language through Observing Customer Behavior
  2. 2. 2 A car dealership’s home page Reviews that are • five star, • recent But: 1,508 reviews! • Lots that fit both categories. Which reviews should you feature on your home page? @jasonkessler
  3. 3. 3 A car dealership’s home pageCDK Data Science: • Predict how customers will respond to language Help customers: • Pick influential reviews • Write more effective email responses • Etc. Which reviews should you feature on your home page? @jasonkessler
  4. 4. 4 Measuring how well a review converts users …I was very skeptical giving up my truck and buying an "Economy Car." I'm 6' 215lbs, but my new career has me driving a personal vehicle to make sales calls… Review Appearing on a Car Enthusiast Website Car Reviewed: Chevy Cruze @jasonkessler
  5. 5. 5 Measuring how well a review converts users …I was very skeptical giving up my truck and buying an "Economy Car." I'm 6' 215lbs, but my new career has me driving a personal vehicle to make sales calls… Review Appearing on a Car Enthusiast Website Car Reviewed: Chevy Cruze # users reading review 20 15 # of those who went to a Chevy dealer’s website @jasonkessler
  6. 6. 6 Measuring how well a review converts users …I was very skeptical giving up my truck and buying an "Economy Car." I'm 6' 215lbs, but my new career has me driving a personal vehicle to make sales calls… Review Appearing on a Car Enthusiast Website Car Reviewed: Chevy Cruze # users reading review 20 15 # of those who went to a Chevy dealer’s website 15/20=75% Review conversion rate: @jasonkessler
  7. 7. 7 Measuring how well a review converts users …I was very skeptical giving up my truck and buying an "Economy Car." I'm 6' 215lbs, but my new career has me driving a personal vehicle to make sales calls… Review Appearing on a Car Enthusiast Website Car Reviewed: Chevy Cruze # users reading review 20 15 # of those who went to a Chevy dealer’s website 15/20=75% Review conversion rate: 22% Median conversion rate: @jasonkessler
  8. 8. 8 Not all positive reviews encourage conversion! Conversionrate Review Star Rating @jasonkessler
  9. 9. 9 CAVEAT The subsequent results have evidence to support them, but are based on limited data. Use them to form hypotheses for later testing. @jasonkessler
  10. 10. 10 Finding Words that Sell Cars (SUV-specific) 5 star review words Love Comfortable Features Solid Amazing <3 star review words Transmission Problem Issue Dealership Times How did we find these associated terms? • L2-penalized logistic regression • Each review is an instance • Set-of-words features • Class label: 5 star or 1-2 star • Ranked by coefficients • Lots of ways to do this: • pip install scattertext • https://github.com/JasonKessler/scattertext @jasonkessler
  11. 11. 11 CDK Global: Finding Words that Sell Cars (SUV-specific) 5 star review words High conversion words Love Comfortable Comfortable Front [Seats] Features Acceleration Solid Free [Car Wash, Oil Change] Amazing Quiet <3 star review words Transmission Problem Issue Dealership Times @jasonkessler
  12. 12. 12 CDK Global: Finding Words that Sell Cars (SUV-specific) 5 star review words High conversion words Love Comfortable Comfortable Front [Seats] Features Acceleration Solid Free [Car Wash, Oil Change] Amazing Quiet <3 star review words Low conversion words Transmission Money [spend my, save] Problem Features Issue Dealership Dealership Amazing Times Build Quality [typically positive] @jasonkessler
  13. 13. 13 CDK Global: Finding Words that Sell Cars (SUV Specific) 5 star review words High conversion words Love Comfortable Comfortable Front [Seats] Features Acceleration Solid Free [Car Wash, Oil Change] Amazing Quiet <3 star review words Low conversion words Transmission Money [spend my, save] Problem Features Issue Dealership Dealership Amazing Times Build Quality [typically positive] The worst thing you can say about an SUV may be: I saved money and got all these amazing features! Tip 1: be specific! @jasonkessler
  14. 14. 14 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or @jasonkessler
  15. 15. 15 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or @jasonkessler
  16. 16. 16 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or @jasonkessler
  17. 17. 17 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or The word torque is among the 10 best predictors a midsize sedan review will have a low post-read conversion rate. @jasonkessler
  18. 18. 18 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or The word passing is the best predictor that a midsize sedan review will have a high post-read conversion rate. @jasonkessler
  19. 19. 19 Two snippets from midsize sedan reviews. Which will make customers more likely to buy? “Sporty clean lines, liquid handling, and the torque is just plain fun!!!” “I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power.” or The word passing is the best predictor that a midsize sedan review will have a high post-read conversion rate. Tip 2: For non-expert customers: pain points > jargon @jasonkessler
  20. 20. 20 How should you response to an email lead? • Email close rate: – dealership sells to customer who emails them thru website • 3 months of email close rates across over 1,300 US dealerships • One volume or one luxury brand • Mystery shopped top and bottom 10% of the population – two new vehicle leads to gather lead responses. @jasonkessler
  21. 21. 21 Our Study Group High Group Low Group Average Unique Leads 145 179 Average Close Rate 10.9% 1.6% Monthly Internet Results @jasonkessler
  22. 22. 22 How should you response to an email lead? High converting Low Conversion Text “send me a text” Cell “call me on my cell” Schedule “Contact me to schedule a test drive.” Goal “out #1 goal is customer satisfaction” Life “free oil changes for the life of your vehicle” Personally “I would personally like to invite you our to our dealership” Store Dealership @jasonkessler
  23. 23. 23 High converting Low Conversion Text “send me a text” Cell “call me on my cell” Schedule “Contact me to schedule a test drive.” Goal “out #1 goal is customer satisfaction” Life “free oil changes for the life of your vehicle” Personally “I would personally like to invite you our to our dealership” Store Dealership How should you response to an email lead? Tip 3: Speak to the customer’s next steps and desires. Don’t be vacuous. @jasonkessler
  24. 24. 24 Thank you. @jasonkessler 1. Be specific. 2. For non-expert customers: pain points > jargon. 3. Speak to the customer’s next steps and desires. Don’t be vacuous.

Editor's Notes

  • Imagine you’d like to display a couple reviews on a car dealership’s home page. They have over 1500 reviews to pick from. Which ones should you show? They should probably be positive and recent, but what should they talk about? What tone should they use? What words should they use?

    CDK Global has algorithms that can help our customers know what to look for.
  • Imagine you’d like to display a couple reviews on a car dealership’s home page. They have over 1500 reviews to pick from. Which ones should you show? They should probably be positive and recent, but what should they talk about? What tone should they use? What words should they use?

    CDK Global has algorithms that can help our customers know what to look for.
  • This is a very good review.
  • Three and four star reviews may be more credible.
  • We omit 3 and 4 star reviews.
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  • Persuasive language may not be what you expect. Both sentences are highly positive and from highly positive reviews.
  • Both are positive
  • Both are positive
  • Let’s see how we came to this conclusion. One on the right converted. Think I’m 6’4” and have plenty of head room vs 41 inches of interior height.
  • Let’s see how we came to this conclusion. One on the right converted
  • Objective: Do dealerships who have a high email close rate communicate differently than dealerships who have a low close rate?
    First of all, the answer is yes!

    We used sentiment analysis to determine if there were differences in the words used by high closing dealerships and low closing dealerships. And, we built a prototype Consumer Language Tool that helps us dive deeper into the context of those negative and positive words.

    We are able to determine if a response is an auto response or a person and only counted the first response from a human
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