Young mother is left feeling ‘violated’ when creepy taxi driver bombards her with text messages after dropping her at home

A young mother was sent unsettling text messages direct to her phone from a taxi driver who had dropped her home a night before.

Natasha, who lives on the outskirts of Melbourne, was disturbed to awake the next morning to a text message from the taxi driver at 5.26am.

‘Good morning, do you need taxi? Tell me and I can come and get you,’ the message read.

'I can come and get you': The disturbing messages sent from the taxi driver were sent to Natasha's  personal mobile phone the morning after her ride 

‘I can come and get you’: The disturbing messages sent from the taxi driver were sent to Natasha’s  personal mobile phone the morning after her ride 

'This is not OK': Natasha wrote that she felt uncomfortable, with the taxi driver responding with 'I'll delete if you're not happy'

‘This is not OK’: Natasha wrote that she felt uncomfortable, with the taxi driver responding with ‘I’ll delete if you’re not happy’

When asked who was texting her, the driver replied with: ‘Taxi driver, I taken you in taxi before (sic).’

Disturbed, Natasha asked him how he had obtained her number, to which he replied sinisterly: ‘On my dispatcher’.

Feeling completely violated, Natasha told the driver to stop texting her immediately as she felt ‘really uncomfortable’.

‘OK I delete if you’re not happy,’ the taxi driver replied.

Natasha then emailed the taxi company, telling them that she felt ‘incredibly violated, creeped out and unsafe’.

Natasha was left feeling unsatisfied with the response from the company and took to social media warning women about the driver and the taxi company (stock image)

Natasha was left feeling unsatisfied with the response from the company and took to social media warning women about the driver and the taxi company (stock image)

‘I’m extremely upset. This man knows where I live and he now has my number,’ she wrote.

‘This is a huge breach of my safety, and my right to order a taxi without being harassed and having my privacy respected,’ she added.

Shortly after, Natasha received a response from the company apologising for the ‘unnerving’ situation and have asked the driver not to contact her again.

‘Unfortunately we are not with the drivers 24/7 and we rely on the drivers better judgement and that the driver does the right thing and respect a customer’s privacy’ they wrote.

The company then detailed how Natasha could use the company’s app to order a taxi in the future as they often use email addresses to contact the driver instead of using a phone number.

Natasha was left feeling unsatisfied with the response and took to social media to vent her frustrations.

Since her post she has had four women contact her to tell her they’ve had similar experiences with a driver that is eerily reminiscent of hers. 

‘I think this driver is a risk to women’s safety, I don’t think he should be driving with the company.’ Natasha told 3AW.

The company have since released a one-sentence statement saying they ‘understand the situation’. 

‘We understand the situation and we have spoken to the customer about this and we are also addressing the issue internally with the driver,’ they told 3AW.

'We understand the situation': The company released a one-sentence statement saying they're now 'addressing the issue internally with the driver' (stock image)

‘We understand the situation’: The company released a one-sentence statement saying they’re now ‘addressing the issue internally with the driver’ (stock image)

What happens to your body and brain when you stop eating sugar

Sugar is found in lots of foods but actually isn’t good for us. It’s fine to treat yourself in moderation, but have you ever wondered what would happen to your body if you stopped eating sugar altogether?

There’s a reason why sugar is hard to shake: for one, it’s delicious, but sugar also causes the opioid receptors in your brain to activate, which triggers your neurological rewards system to flare up. In other words, sugar makes you feel good emotionally, despite the negative side effects excess consumption can lead to, like headaches, energy crashes, and even hormonal imbalances, according to Healthline.

However, it is important to note that processed sugars are different than the natural sugars found in fruit, honey, and unsweetened milk. Refined sugars, otherwise known as sucrose, are highly processed from sugar cane and sugar beets, certified nutritional health counselor Sara Siskind told INSIDER. They’re high in calories, and have no real nutritional value, while natural sugars contain vitamins and minerals.

Processed sugars have a bitter-sweet effect on the human body, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth a taste

Baked goods, fizzy bottles of soda, and even the so-called “healthy” packaged snacks at your desk are likely jam-packed with grams on grams of added sugars. That initial first bite or sip tastes satisfying enough, sure, but can you honestly say you feel particularly vibrant or energized when that slice of cake or carbonated syrup is sitting in your stomach?

Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan told INSIDER there are more than 50 names and varieties of processed sugars in food products, and even though they might taste good, they certainly aren’t doing any good for you.

“The high glycemic index [of processed sugars] can spike blood sugars in the body fast and drop them quickly as well,” leading to a kind of roller coaster effect on blood sugars, Derocha explained. “As blood sugar levels rise, you’ll experience a quick increase in energy. Sadly, because those levels become regulated quickly, an energy or “sugar” crash is not far behind the spike, especially when dealing with added sugars.”

What’s more, the body uses enzymes in its small intestine to break down sugar into glucose. Typically this isn’t a problem as glucose from carbohydrates are stored as an energy source your body can dip into when necessary, but Derocha pointed out that any excess glucose will be converted to fat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity if you aren’t minding your portions.

So what happens to your body when you stop eating sugar?

Hard as it may be to stop ordering an ice cold cola with your burger, or keep your fingers from grazing the candy dish at parties, omitting sugar from your diet can have a significant impact on your health. If you’re someone who regularly treats themselves to dessert with a cup of tea after dinner, or tosses a store-bought granola bar in with their lunch every day, Siskind warned there might be a tough transition period at first.

tea coffee
You will have sugar withdraw symptoms if you regularly consume sugar and then stop.

“Studies have shown that [when someone stops eating sugar] there are similar effects as when people get off drugs,” she said. “You may experience exhaustion, headaches, brain fog and irritability. Some people even have gastrointestinal distress.”

Translation: it’s a process.

Your mood can change drastically if your body is hooked on sugar, and suddenly you’re going without

Sugar releases the feel-good hormones — dopamine and serotonin — in the brain, activating your body’s reward system, Robert Glatter, M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, Northwell Health told INSIDER.

In other words, the more sugar you consume, the better you feel — at least, temporarily. When you stop eating sugar altogether, however, your body goes through withdrawal, and it’s not pleasant for your body or your brain.

“As you begin to cut back on sugar intake, the body begins to sense this, and you may feel cranky or irritable, especially in the first few days,” Glatter said.

Many people experience fatigue, headaches, or even a feeling of sadness or depression, he added, aka tell-tale signs that your body is adjusting to the now low levels of glucose, dopamine, and serotonin. “After a week or so, your energy will begin to improve, and you will feel more alive and less irritable.”

Sugar causes inflammation in the skin, so the less you eat, the clearer your complexion may become

There are certain types of foods that may cause acne; processed sugars are among them.

cookies cookie dough chocolate chip
Sugar can lead to more breakouts — so without it, you will likely notice a change in your skin.

Diets high in refined sugar (think candy bars, cake, cookies, etc.) can lead to excessive insulin spikes which, in turn, triggers inflammation in the skin, Glatter explained. As a result, elasticity and collagen — what makes your skin look plump and glowy — become damaged, possibly leading to premature wrinkling, sagging skin, and acne and rosacea. Reducing your sugar intake will do just the opposite.

“Reducing your sugar intake can help improve your complexion by strengthening elastin and collagen and reducing the level of inflammation present in your skin,” Glatter said.

Eliminating sugar from your diet can improve the overall quality of your sleep in the long run

Breaking up with sugar won’t solve your sleep problems overnight, but in a few weeks time you should notice yourself falling into a deeper sleep, Glatter said. This is because foods containing high amounts of refined sugars reduce the degree of slow wave sleep (SWS), the restorative sleep that consolidates memories and information learned throughout the day, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the dream phase.

Eating less sugar will reduce the number of times you wake up during the night, and improve your sleep quality overall.

You might lose weight from cutting sugar out of your diet, but there are other variables that go into this, too

To clarify, sugar itself doesn’t make you gain weight. Eating an excessive amount of sugar can contribute to weight gain. Just as there are different elements that go into gaining weight, there are a few factors that contribute to shedding the extra pounds. Cutting back on sugar is just one of those things.

“When you reduce or eliminate sugar, storage of fat will decline slowly, and you will lose some weight. However, this takes time, with the effect typically beginning at one to two weeks,” Glatter told INSIDER.

If you’re hoping that omitting sugar from your diet will result in rapid, significant weight loss, however, Glatter said eating more protein and following a regular exercise routine that includes both cardio and weight training, is key.

When docs provide CMs

Complaints and concerns about doctors who provide complementary medicines has sparked a consultation by the Medical Board

The Board is consulting on options to more clearly regulate medical practitioners who provide complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments.

It created a set of proposed draft guidelines after an analysis of complaints and wider concerns raised with regulators, which identified a need for additional safeguards to protect patients who seek such medicines and treatments.

Concerns include patients being offered and/or having treatments for which the safety and efficacy are not known; which may be unnecessary; which expose them to serious side effects; and that may result in delayed access to more effective treatment options.

The proposed draft guidelines provide a framework for doctors practising in this area, but do not rule in or out specific complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments.

They are designed to be used alongside the existing code of conduct for doctors in Australia.

“The draft guidelines aim to prevent harm that may occur directly from the complementary and unconventional medicine or emerging treatments or indirectly, from delays in accessing other treatments,” the Medical Board says.

“While some treatments may be beneficial, others may have no effect, the benefit may be uncertain, or the effect may be harmful physically, psychologically or financially.

“The draft guidelines also address risk to patients from increasingly blurred lines between research and commercial innovation, and conflicts of interest that can emerge when a practitioner has a financial or commercial interest in the product or service being offered.”

The Board says it recognises that both medical practitioners and consumers hold “diverse and passionate” views about CMs and their provision via doctors.

“We are consulting on options to best protect patients and minimise the risk of harm to them, without stifling innovation, making a judgement about specific clinical practices or limiting patients’ right to choose their healthcare,” it says.

It adds that to date there is not a widely agreed-upon definition of complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments and that the Board is consulting on a proposed definition that includes:

“…any assessment, diagnostic technique or procedure, diagnosis, practice, medicine, therapy or treatment that is not usually considered to be part of conventional medicine, whether used in addition to, or instead of, conventional medicine. This includes unconventional use of approved medical devices and therapies”.

The consultation paper, discussion paper and draft guidelines are published on the Medical Board’s current consultations page.

The consultation is open until 12 April 2019.

Lawmakers seek $15M boost to Nevada public health funding

Nevada legislators heard introductions for three bills in the Assembly and Senate health committees Monday, including one that would appropriate $15 million to general public health needs.

The others target Medicaid. One would study the financial impact of increasing reimbursements — which experts have long expressed are lower than most states. The other would mandate that the state program for low-income Nevadans covers the cost of donor breast milk.

Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle, D-Sparks, who chairs the Assembly health and human services committee, sponsored AB97, the public health funding bill, and AB116, which mandates the study of Medicaid reimbursements.

He was joined in presenting the bill by Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick, who said that upping funds designated to public health could improve access to health care and reduce the economic burden of disease.

“Ultimately, the flexibility in this funding allows health authorities to address root causes in social determinants of health,” Dick said.

Nevada, which ranks 50th in the U.S. for public health spending, allocates $6.75 per capita on public health. The fund would bring that number to $9.25, increasing Nevada’s rank to 49th.

The national median on per capita public health spending is $38.13, according to Dick.

Public health funds could play a role in preparing the state should a public health emergency occur, like the measles outbreak in Washington which had infected 61 people as of Monday.

Medicaid reimbursements

Sprinkle also introduced AB116, which would call for studying the cost of increasing Medicaid reimbursements to 90 percent of what Medicare pays. Physicians in Nevada have long complained that low Medicaid reimbursement rates kept physicians from accepting patients under the program, therefore impeding access to care.

Rates vary by service provided and provider type.

“Today, it’s just a questions of really knowing where we stand and what it would take so our reimbursement rates across the board are not picking winners and losers every two years,” Sprinkle told legislators Monday.

A preliminary analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Care Financing and Policy found that increasing Medicaid rates to meet Medicare rates would cost the state $174.1 million over the biennium, but cautioned the estimate was likely conservative and the cost could be greater.

A Nevada Medicaid representative said the agency would hire an outside consulting firm to complete the analysis, which would take $148,000 and 14 weeks.

Representatives from Nevada hospitals and health care professional associations expressed support for both bills, anticipating the legislation would positively impact patient care.

Donor breast milk

Republican Sen. Scott Hammond introduced what he called “one of the best things I’ve worked on” Monday evening in the form of a bill that would require Nevada Medicaid to cover the cost of donor breast milk for the smallest neonatal intensive care unit infants.

SB 115 comes with a $25.1 million fiscal note from the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, which administers the state Medicaid program.

Hammond attempted to quiet concerns from committee chair Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, who expressed confusion regarding the need for donor breast milk coverage within the program by comparing the cost of donor breast milk to those associated with long-term complications and NICU stays.

“What I’m really wanting to dig into is are we really moving the needle, or are we just replacing the funding?” Ratti said.

Nevada Medicaid administrator Suzanne Bierman said cost estimates were likely overstated.

Industry representatives, including Elena Medo, CEO of Medolac Laboratories, a Boulder City-based producer of donor breast milk, testified in support of the bill.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

Relief fund aims to cover half the cost of full-body health scans for firefighters

Determined to turn the tide on 200 deaths from occupational cancer in the past three decades, the Boston Fire Department Relief Fund is aiming to subsidize half the cost of elective full-body health scans and cardiovascular tests for long-term firefighters who’d otherwise pay for the preventative measures out of pocket.

“It’s a big issue and it’s in everyone’s best interest to mitigate this the best we can,” fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn told the Herald on Monday. “It’s something that’s not going to go away. The best prevention is early detection.”

Eligibility is currently open to the department’s more than 200 firefighters over the age of 50 with 20 or more years of service on the job.

Finn said approximately 22 firefighters have undergone body scans since the fall, when the department also lost firefighter Jaime Galarza Jr., 54, to cancer after 31 years of service to the city, including with Hazmat Special Operations.

“Every one of them had an issue, whether their calcium scores were high or they had the beginning of cancer nodules in their lungs, pancreas or liver,” Finn said of those who voluntarily underwent a scan.

Between 2012 and 2017, 27 active and retired firefighters under the age of 70 were killed by cancer, according to the nonprofit fund. More than a dozen are currently on leave due to a cancer diagnosis. The fund claims that 67 percent of Boston firefighters will face a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.

A proliferation of plastics and flame retardants in household furnishings, including computers, are contributing to the problem, Finn believes. He said the department has lost more than 200 firefighters to occupational cancer since 1990.

Absent an established medical necessity, insurance companies are reluctant to pay for body scans, which Finn said typically cost $800 and have been “an out-of-pocket expense to the members.”

“The goal of the Boston Fire Department Relief Fund is to subsidize 50 percent of the costs for important cancer screening and cardiovascular tests not covered (by) insurance,” the fund said in a statement on its website. “Although the dangers of the job will never change, the Relief Fund can help improve firefighter health and wellness by detecting potential problems before they become too big to solve.”

Finn said though the program is open to active-duty firefighters now, the goal was to expand eligibility to include retirees as well.

Battling occupational cancer is “a team sport,” said Finn, who praised the collaborative work of the fund, Boston Firefighters Local 718 and the Boston Firefighters Credit Union.

The fund is now accepting monthly donations to help pay for body scans, starting at $10. More information is available at www.bfdrelief.org.

 

Feb. 23: 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at COC

The College of the Canyons Sports Medicine Program and Valencia High School Medical Science Academy will host the 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at the college’s Valencia Campus on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The free event will begin with a morning presentation from a panel of industry professionals (athletic trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor, orthopedic surgeon, emergency/urgent care doctor, and EMT) designed to help audiences better understand these respective professions and discuss a range of topics including:

* training/education/degree needed to work in different areas of the sports medicine field
* costs attached with pursuing this type of education/training
* average expected earning salary upon degree completion

Later, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the professions booth section of the fair and receive additional information and explore the various training and education options available to students interested in beginning a career in sports medicine.

Organizations scheduled to participate in the day’s events include Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Southern California Orthopedic Institute, Vargo Physical Therapy and Vertical Wellness Sports Therapy Chiropractic.

“This fair will assist students in choosing a profession that best fits their personal needs and interests, as well as chart a course that will enable them to finish their education in a timely manner,” said COC athletic trainer and event organizer Sarah Ehrsam.

The 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair will run from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 23, beginning in the East P.E. gymnasium. Free parking is available in student lots on the day of the event.

For more information, contact Sarah Ehrsam at sarah.ehrsam@canyons.edu or call 661-362-3377.

Bocacare® Now Offering Concierge Medicine

                    Aaron Klein

First hospital-based program in Palm Beach County

Boca Raton, FL – Boca Raton Regional Hospital (BRRH) today announced Aaron Klein, DO, has joined its BocaCare® physician network and will offer a concierge medicine option to the network’s patients. This initiative represents the first hospital-based concierge medicine program in Palm Beach County.

Dr. Klein is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has been practicing medicine in Boca Raton for 13 years. He formerly served as Chief of Medicine for BRRH. His primary interests are preventive, geriatric and sports medicine.

Dr. Klein earned his degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Davie, Florida. His postgraduate training included an internship and residency program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine. Dr. Klein is also Head Team Physician for the Lynn University Athletic Department and Assistant Team Physician for Florida Atlantic University Athletic Department.

“Dr. Klein’s experience and reputation in concierge medicine presents an exciting option for our primary care patients,” said Amy Cole, President of BocaCare® and Vice President of Physician Networks at BRRH. “His addition brings a new dimension to our network’s capabilities and services.”

Patients enrolled in Dr. Klein’s concierge practice have immediate and continuous access to Dr. Klein 24 hours a day, seven days a week, same-day office visits and extended on-time appointments. These benefits are available at an affordable out-of-pocket annual fee that is independent of patients’ health insurance liabilities. Another distinguishing characteristic is expedited referrals to BRRH specialists should the patient’s condition warrant additional services.

“The medical field is ever-changing and growing. As an Internal Medicine physician, it is my responsibility to ensure my practice mirrors those advancements providing the most cutting-edge and high-quality care to my patients. Since Boca Raton Regional Hospital and BocaCare maintain these same priorities, collaborating to establish BocaCare Concierge was a natural progression in meeting that responsibility,” said Dr. Klein. “I am excited about this opportunity and what we can provide to our patients.”

For more information about Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Concierge Medical Practice,

call 561-955-5VIP (5847).

Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine. Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center (BRRH.com) with 400 beds, 2,800 employees and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff. The Hospital is a recognized leader in Oncology, Cardiovascular Disease and Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Orthopedics, Women’s Health, Emergency Medicine and the Neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). BRRH is recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 – 2019 Best Hospitals listing as a Top Ranked Regional Hospital, for the fourth consecutive year, and the highest ranked hospital in Palm Beach County.

4 mental-health journaling prompts for the reflective soul who doesn’t know where to start

There’s something so inexplicably satisfying about cracking open a brand-new journal. It’s a blank canvas on which you can record your thoughts, your worries, your dreams, and so much more. But beyond simply being a place to chronicle the events of your life and everything you feel about those goings-on, journaling is a great way to nourish your mental health. I may be going out on a limb here, but I’d venture to say that you’d be hard-pressed to find a mental-health professional who wouldn’t recommend journaling as a tool for general healing, coping with depression, and reducing anxiety.

Still, journaling can seem like a daunting task—especially if you’re not in the habit of writing about your feelings regularly. The good news? According to New York–based holistic psychotherapist Alison Stone, LCSW, there’s no such thing as a right or a wrong way to journal—and there’s not a specific amount you have to do it, either.

“For some people, it might be daily, while for others it might be weekly,” Stone says. “Experiment with not only what gives you the most benefit, but what is realistic for you to commit to on a regular basis.”

“Journaling is great for enhancing self-awareness through helping us detect and track patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.” —Alison Stone, LCSW

In other words, if you want to let your thoughts flow freely every day for an hour, great. If it feels more natural to you to express yourself with a combination of words and pictures, bullet-journal-style, once a week, that’s great, too. Maybe you’re all about going out and buying a gorgeous journal that you feel excited to open all the time. Or maybe the thought of writing your feelings by hand is exhausting to you, and you’d prefer to dump them all in a Google Doc. Great, all-around, because, as is the case with so many things in life, the best thing you can do is listen to your own specific wants and needs to do what is authentically best for you.

And, no matter how or how often you choose to journal, there’s no question that it’s great for mental health. Below are a few of the heavy-hitting reasons why.

1. Journaling enhances self-awareness

Sometimes, it can be hard to pinpoint why we do, think, or feel certain ways about certain things. When you start journaling regularly, all of these things become a lot clearer. “Journaling is great for enhancing self-awareness through helping us detect and track patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings,” Stone explains.

For example, say you’re a single person (who doesn’t want to be single) whose anxiety spikes at night when you just happen to be scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, double-tapping photos of happy couples. In this case, a regular journaling habit may help you identify a pattern and lead you to change your behavior around Instagram.

2. Journaling can help alleviate stress

By simply jotting things down on paper, whether it’s feelings of anxiety and stress around a specific situation or just getting out the events of the day, journaling can help you get your thoughts and feelings out of your head. This simple act can make it easier to stop obsessing. “Doing this can help get rid of stress, clarify goals, and reduce symptoms of anxiety,” Stone says.

3. Journaling helps cultivate gratitude

Research has shown that gratitude can do quite a bit for our brains, happiness, and overall mental health. And according to Stone, journaling regularly is an effective means for identifying the things you’re grateful for. “This is an excellent benefit to journaling, because gratitude is a crucial part of overall mental health.”

If gratitude doesn’t flow out of you naturally during your day-to-day journaling habit, no big deal. Hey, a journal full of complaints and stressors is still helpful for identifying the things in your life that aren’t serving you—and that’s certainly productive. Still, try setting aside a few minutes of your journaling time to list out the things you’re grateful for.

Need a few prompts to get started on your healing journaling journey? Here are four that just may do wonders for your mental health.

If you’re anxious…

Anxiety is very, very prevalent in the United States. In fact, the condition impacts a whopping 40 million adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While there are a number of effective ways to treat your anxiety, journaling is a great one to start with. In this case, here are two journaling prompts Stone suggests trying:

“When I’m feeling acutely anxious, three strategies I know work for me are…”

and:

“One example of how I successfully navigated my anxiety in a stressful situation in the past is…”

If you’re struggling with depression…

When you’re in the throes of depression, journaling just may be the last activity you’re jonesing to see out. Sure, zonking out with Netflix buzzing in the background or sleeping the day away may sound more appealing. But if you do have it in you to crack open your journal, doing so can help quite a bit. Here are the two prompts Stone suggests starting with:

“Even though I feel down, two to three things I feel thankful for are…”

and:

“One reasonable goal I have for myself this week is…”

So there you have it: Journaling can be a supplemental tool to help you along on your mental-health journey—so get started today. But if you haven’t already, do first seek the help of a professional to devise a personalized plan to treat your condition.

Journaling call also help you crush your fitness goals, and plan dreamy vacations.

[Key Indicators] How To Measure The Customers’ Feelings For Your Business

Measure The Customers’ Feelings For Your Business

Photo by FreePik, CC0 1.0

In any market, offering great products or services is simply not enough to beat your competition.

While good products and services definitely lead to increased sales, they don’t guarantee customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the degree to which a customer is happy with your products, services, experience or brand.

It is the driving factor behind customer love for your brand and should be monitored regularly.

Given that happy customers buy more from you, readily refer your brand and stay with you longer, you cannot afford to be ignorant of your customers’ feelings for your brand.

Here are six ways you can measure your customers’ feelings and know the areas you need to improve to make them happier.

1. Use surveys to measure net emotion value (NEV)

Net emotion value (NEV) is the number that represents your customers’ feelings towards your business on a scale.

It can be calculated by subtracting the average of negative emotions recorded (such as unhappy, stressed and dissatisfied) from the average of the positive emotions (such as happy, helpful and trusted.)

The best practical example of how the NEV of your company can be calculated is by taking a look at how live chat workers do it. After they are done helping a customer, they will give a short survey asking them to rate their experience. As more customers take the survey and the data piles up, the company acquires all the information they need to calculate their NEV.

There are two major advantages of using NEV to gain insight into your customers’ feelings;

  1. It’s easy to set up. The survey used can be behavior-triggered thus reducing the effort and monitoring needed.
  2. It can be implemented at the individual level. Unlike mass data collection strategies that involve a lot of estimation, NEV surveys are individually taken, thus leading to more accurate data collection.

Don’t use trial and error tactics to estimate customer emotions. Set up an NEV survey today to get a better understanding of how your customers really feel about your business.

2. Conduct sentiment analysis for individual interactions

Sentiment analysis is the process of determining whether an interaction is positive, neutral or negative. It is also called opinion mining since the person conducting the analysis aims at deriving the opinions, emotions or attitudes expressed in an interaction.

Though sentiment analysis and NEV are closely related, they are set up differently. While NEV is heavily dependent on customer rating and direct customer feedback, sentiment analysis is more interested in the conversation. It analyzes every bit of the messages coming from customers to try and detect different feelings and attitudes portrayed. No surveys are needed in sentiment analysis.

To streamline the analysis, you can use a sentiment analysis software that is automated to analyze all customer interactions. Such software can detect sarcasm, surprise, anger, disappointment and other feelings in the messages received from customers.

The main advantages of sentiment analysis include;

  1. It can be implemented across all communication channels. The software used can be integrated with all marketing and communication channels to ensure that you are not missing out on any data.
  2. It can detect opinion changes in interaction. This is very useful when your customers feel differently about various aspects of your business such as your website, products or customer service effectiveness.
  3. It can effectively detect different feelings. This makes its findings more accurate and thus more valuable to your team.

Don’t speculate or assume to know what your customer feel without carrying out a conclusive analysis. Sentiment analysis will remove all the guesswork out of the equation and give you a clear picture of your customers’ feelings.

3. Social media monitoring

Using social media analysis to detect your customer’s emotions is fairly straightforward.

The approach and tools you use are solely dependent on the social media platform you choose. This is because different platforms have different features, meaning that different metrics are used to analyze each channel.

When implementing social media analysis, you start by creating a custom campaign to help you track emotions related to the aspects of your business that you want to gain insight into.

Monitoring a specific aspect, such as the usefulness of your products, narrows down the data you collect, making it easier to analyze and draw more accurate conclusions. While your campaign is running, try tracking all the metrics you had settled on.

Some useful metrics to track include;

  1. Customer reactions such as likes and dislikes
  2. Number of shares or retweets
  3. Number of positive and negative comments
  4. Comment velocity- how fast the conversation around your campaign is moving

Social media analysis can be used in conjunction with sentiment analysis since some of the data collected e.g. comments can be used for sentiment analysis.

Due to the first-paced nature of conversations on social media, using an automated monitoring tool such as Meltwater, and Socialmention can make the process easier and more accurate.

4. Use customer data to calculate net promoter score (NPS)

NPS is the value that represents the likelihood of your customers recommending your brand and products to other people.

Customer studies show that 84 percent of customers trust product recommendations made by friends and family and are thus more likely to make a purchase. Given these numbers, it would be unwise to ignore the value that referral marketing can have on your business and its profits.

Customers only recommend products that they have found useful and that come from brands they love and trust. Having a great product isn’t enough, customers need to fall in love with your brand so that they can recommend it to others.

This is where the NPS comes in. You have to know how likely your customers are to recommend your brand through referrals to know whether they love your business or not.

The easiest way to carry out an NPS evaluation is by asking them directly. Ask them how likely they are, on a scale of one to ten, to recommend your products. Afterward, categorize their responses and score them.

A simple scale you could use is;

  1. A score of 9 or 10 are promoters
  2. A score of 7 or 8 are passive promoters
  3. A score of 6 and below are cynics

After grading the responses, subtract the percentage of cynics from the promoters. Alternatively, you can use an online NPS calculator to streamline the process.

5. Monitor your website’s user experience

Many business owners undervalue the effect their website has on customer experience and customer emotions.

In many cases, your website is the first point of contact for customers with your business. Which is why you need to create a killer first impression if you want to have a lasting positive impression on your customers.

Measuring the user experience on a website can be done through various ways, you could use a survey as a content gate for free resources, or email it to your customers with the promise of a free resource or a discount.

A more effective way to analyze your customer experience is to use software to monitor how customers interact with your website naturally without your interference. Some metrics you can analyze include;

  1. Amount of time spent on your website. When customers spend most of their time on your blog, it means that they trust you enough to want to learn from you.
  2. The number of pages visited by your customers. Disappointed or angry customers will not spend a lot of time on your website; they will browse fewer pages.

To get more accurate readings, you should mix the findings from the above metrics with the data you get when you survey your readers. Afterward, split-test different changes made to your website to find out exactly what is affecting your customers’ feelings.

The data collected from a website analysis should be used to enhance the experience of your customers as they interact with your site. For example, if most of your customers complain of a lagging or slow website, you should consider switching to faster hosting such as SSD web hosting and It is important to understand what is SSD hosting to improve customers online experience. If they complain of the colors you’ve used, consider changing the colors used to a mix that is more user-friendly.

There is no perfect website, but you should not use that as an excuse to let your website continue frustrating your customers and causing feelings of dissatisfaction or frustration.

6. Monitor churned customers to gain insight into their sentiments

A churned customer is a customer who has stopped using your product or service.

Customers stop doing business with a company for many reasons, but feelings of dissatisfaction, helplessness and other negative feelings are notorious for increasing churn rate. Studies show that up to 42 percent of consumers have left a business due to their dissatisfaction with the customer service offered.

Such insights show the value that can be found in analyzing churned customers and asking them for more information on their reasons for leaving. The best way to get churned customers to tell you more about their feelings for your product or your brand is through a churn survey.

A churn survey is sent to customers who have already stopped buying your product or have canceled their subscriptions. The survey is aimed at gauging their emotions towards your business and its products.

Some areas to probe in this survey include;

  1. Their reasons for leaving
  2. Their feelings towards the products they were using
  3. Any comments, concerns or feedback they would like to convey

Churned customers have nothing to lose and are more likely to be more honest with you when expressing themselves. Take advantage of that honesty to learn more about your customers’ emotions.

What do you do with these insights?

At the end of the day, measuring your customers’ feelings is a waste of time if it is not going to help you improve your business.

All the insight you gain from understanding your customers’ emotions should be used to improve your products, your customer service, website experience and anything else that has an impact on your customers’ feelings.

Don’t sit back and wait for customers to leave your business. Act first by measuring their feelings; then finding ways to make them fall in love with your brand over and over again. Happier customers equal to more money.