Zion & Zion Study Reveals Emotions Behind Negative Home-Service Reviews

TEMPE, Ariz. (Nov. 7, 2018) – To help home-service companies better understand their customers, the market research team at Zion & Zion, a top-ranked, full-service national marketing agency, leveraged IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence engine API to examine customer emotions behind online, home-service company reviews; specifically the intense emotions that lead people to take the time to write and post a very poor review. The full report is available here.

The findings of the report have numerous implications for the home-service industry, with respect to building empathy with customers:

  • Our review of 26,955 1-star Yelp home-service reviews, via IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence tone analyzer API, reveals that when people give a 1-star (very poor) review, they are significantly more sad than they are angry.
  • Our analysis detected anger in only 22.7% of 1-star reviews, but found evidence of sadness in a 62.6% of 1-star reviews.
  • The research suggests that home-service companies can develop empathy with their customers by understanding that negative reviewing behavior is driven far more by feelings of sadness, loss, and disadvantage than by outright feelings of anger.

Using the Watson Tone Analyzer API, the Zion & Zion research team performed linguistic analysis of 26,955 1-star Yelp reviews to understand the emotional nature of poor reviews. Authors of the study are Aric Zion, MS; Nicole Ellis; Anna Bussert; Will Yowell; and Thomas Hollman, MBA, PhD.