Did we just walk into a carnival? Nope. We’re actually in an energetic room full of entrepreneurs. Small business owners are around-the-clock jugglers. More than an artist or boutique manager, they are the budgeter, interior designer, cleaner and product manager. They pick up the phone, meet-and-greet customers, organize the schedule and fine-tune the recipes.

But, while grassroots companies take flight on the heels of an individual’s passion, talent, leadership or skillsets, that doesn’t mean those owners have the time to orchestrate every single facet of the business. Plus, the chef, baker, florist real estate agent or accountant could be standout at their craft—but may not understand business marketing, or, perhaps more importantly, sentiment analysis marketing. (It’s okay business leaders. As it turns out, only computers can do customer sentiment analysis.) And like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, understanding more adeptly what customers think and feel could be the golden ticket for growing a small business.

Customer Sentiment Analysis

As creepy as it sounds, Sentiment Analysis has the ability to jump inside customers’ minds (figuratively, of course—this feature is Frankenstein-free) and measure how they are actually engaging with companies. What does that actually mean? To start the process, Connectivity uses data points such as existing phone records and emails to create a complete customer list.

FYI: 86% of small businesses don’t have a complete customer list, but could really, really benefit from one. Here’s why.

Track Growth & Marketing.

A customer list can help a small businesses track growth. For instance, say a company decides to invest in email marketing and after two months its sales triple. The growth could reflect a great investment decision in part due to the email marketing—but how can you tell if the email marketing actually played a role in the company growth? Connectivity also tracks customer interaction with company platforms such as email, phone and social media. (Boo-yah.) Alternatively, if the company doesn’t see growth after 12 months and emails aren’t successfully engaging customers, the business may decide to invest in a different marketing method.

Customer Interaction.

On that note, small business owners can use the beta provided via online sentiment analysis to adjust where and how they spend their time and money in order to more successfully and efficiently reach customers. Should a team member be available to answer the phone between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.? Are emails more successful when they’re issued on a Wednesday versus a Monday? With this data, owners can know where to put their energy.

Online Reviews.

Company owners can use the customer list to reach out directly to patrons to request feedback. Those reviews can go online, and positive reviews naturally forge more business. It doesn’t end there: The Sentiment Analysis tool can then track down keyword trends in online customer reviews and analyze how often those words are used with a positive or a negative connotation. (Whoa!) With a better understanding of customer sentiment businesses can implement improvements.

Tracking Sentiment with Automation

Okay, okay. So the machines aren’t actually attacking customers. But, Connectivity has invested a very savvy technology tool to help free-up small business owners’ hands (and, uh, time, money, energy, etc., etc.). That way, they can put their focus where it matters most: Baking that cupcake, editing that documentary film or tuning up that bicycle.

Morgan Tilton is a contributor to the Connectivity blog.