The Link Between Emotion and Customer Experience

Marketers are masters at using emotion in ways that help connect their brand with their customers. For example, how often do you see a commercial that gets you all teary eyed like this one from Subaru:

No purchase is void of emotion. Brands spend millions of dollars attempting to connect customer feelings to their product and striving to bring emotion into the on-going customer experience.

Why are emotional connections with brands so important?

Many behavioral economists believe that rational considerations make up less than one-third of human decisions and behaviors. This means that the majority of a customer’s buying decisions are made from the heart rather than from the head. For customers, feelings are facts and any metric that does not account for this aspect of human nature is fundamentally flawed.

One reason that companies are examining the emotions surrounding customer experience is because it has been found to be a huge indicator of whether or not a customer will return – creating a powerful link between customer engagement and key business outcomes.

Social media gives customers access to the emotional pulpit.

Often when customers take to social they are either enraged or ecstatic. There must be a fire or passion to express their opinion, and often there doesn’t seem to be much else in between.

Social media has given power to the masses. Anyone can broadcast about an experience with your company – and if negative, they can quickly take down your business with one bad review. People tend to trust their peers (even if they don’t know them) more than they trust marketers.

Social media has also provided businesses and brands a unique opportunity to create stand-out experiences and/or fix issues for customers that went awry. Having personnel to monitor for, interpret and respond to these emotional moments is a critical part of customer experience.

Linking emotion to customer engagement.

According to Gallup, “fully engaged customers are more loyal and profitable than average customers” whether economic times are good or bad.

For businesses that are serious about connecting emotionally with their customers, simply measuring customer engagement is not enough. Business owners and executives should use intelligent data, make actionable decisions and develop emotional engagements that achieve the outcomes that are important to their bottom line.

This requires customer engagement to be at the center of their business strategy. For the strategy to be most successful, it must account for the rational and emotional aspects of customer relationships, focus on sustainable customer service tactics, and blend customer and employee engagement for optimal results.

Therefore, a customer engagement strategy is about more than bells and whistles. It’s about creating an emotional connection between your brand and your customers. All of these interactions allow your business to become more than a product or service; it becomes a part of your customer’s social channels, their peer groups and your brand will get integrated into your customer’s lives.

Customer experience is changing the way companies operate and the importance of engaging your customer base is only increasing. Eliciting customer emotion is an important factor for sales and marketing, but can also help improve customer loyalty, increase brand building, and create brand fanatics. Overall, emotional connections can increase customer engagement and can improve all business metrics.

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