It’s not just about focusing on CX, but rather about having an Emotive CX strategy in place.
You’ve probably heard of it, and wondered why it’s any different from the customer experience. Perhaps it’s just the hype? Here’s the thing, Emotive CX is rooted in consumer psychology and helps you create a much more loyal customer base.
Just take a look at Ben and Jerry’s – a ‘woke’ ice cream company whose board and founders are present across protests and vocal about current situations and issues. While this may have cost them the business of some, it has also won them the undying loyalty of their customers.
In the words of their CEO, Jostein Solheim, “If we share values on climate, same-sex marriage rights, racism, I think that’s a deeper bond than sugar and fat.” And it is. Many customers are more loyal to the company for their advocacy for Black Lives Matter, Pride, and more. Unlike their competitors, Ben and Jerry’s is not seen as being opportunistic, but authentic, cementing their position in the eyes of their audience.
In a world of intense competition, loyalty is extremely valuable for a business to inspire. It will determine your course over the coming years.
While most businesses are focusing on implementing an effective Customer Experience strategy with the aim of delivering beyond expectations and ensuring that their audience remains happy, there is a key element that is often being missed out on – emotions.
We are governed by how we feel at a particular moment, our buys, response to interactions, and even the perception of an event can be colored by the way we are feeling at the time. For example, imagine walking into a store after having had a terrible fight at home, and realizing that the item you wanted is currently out of stock. What might’ve been just another day turns out to be an absolutely horrible experience.
This is what would then reflect in the customer satisfaction surveys. So instead, have an emotive CX strategy in place. Instead of just focusing on the technicalities of an experience, understand how your customers will perceive the situation and hone in on those aspects. That doesn’t mean you have to foresee the fight at home, but instead, ensure small things that could make any situation in the store better.
That’s why it’s essential to emotionally connect with your audience, rather than just on an experiential level. Tap into their emotional side and customers may become more valuable for your business, from being more vocal advocates – and a lot more loyal – to spending more on your products.
An emotive CX strategy varies from creating meaningful interactions to developing a set of values your customers resonate with. So, as you set about designing your emotive CX strategy, here are some things to remember:
Emotions Rule Reactions
Not every aspect of your CX strategy will be remembered. Usually, on account of the primacy and recency effect, the first and last instances will be on the top of your mind. But that doesn’t mean everything in between is forgotten.
In fact, an event is remembered in highlights – both good and bad. Moments of heightened emotions have a greater impact than a singular experience. Take, for example, checking into a hotel.
You will remember having trouble during the check-in process, even though the rooms are just lovely. On the other hand, getting a room upgrade is also something you will remember in particular, even though the rest of the experience is just average.
So when you’re planning out your Customer Experience journeys, be sure to include small highlights for your customers to reflect back on. It can be a surprise discount code or a free gift, or perhaps it is as little as giving customers an exclusive preview of an upcoming feature.
Little things usually add up, and the highlights eventually color the view of an entire experience!
Increase in Customer Lifetime Value
Customers that feel emotionally attached to you on account of your values and the little gestures you make are the customers who have a higher lifetime value.
The reason is simple – a customer can easily find a replacement for your product in this market rife with competition, but they cannot find a replacement for your values and the emotional connection that you create.
As a consequence, that becomes the irreplaceable aspect in your relationship, making it the cornerstone of increased customer lifetime value. As a consequence, customers that value your company are often stronger advocates and louder promoters of your brand, increasing their contribution to your company, whether it’s through word-of-mouth or direct sales.
The more loyal your customers are, the more likely they are to stay with your company and jump onboard new offerings.
As a consequence, more loyalty is directly proportional to more ROI!
However, in order to get here, you have to find a way to shift your relationship with your customers from transactional to emotional. In fact, research done by NVM in 2018 unveiled that 63% of customers stated they are more likely to buy from brands and representatives they have a positive connection with. Unfortunately, only 13% of the customers believe they have a truly emotional connection with the brands they do business with.
Often times, this means that your customers have a relationship with you based on convenience. As a consequence, a competing business that offers better deals can be a significant blow to your business.
In order to generate loyalty that withstands the storms of competitiveness, you need to learn what really matters to your customers – and it’s not just about your products!
Isn’t that exactly what Ben and Jerry’s banks on as well? There are so many competing ice cream companies in the market – many low-fat, and healthier alternatives that can easily steal their business. So how come those loyal to Ben and Jerry’s keep going there?
The customer experience journey needs to go above and beyond to deliver to the customers, connect with them, and ensure positive recall.
Emotive customer experience helps shift the focus from being purely business to being all about the emotional connection. This can be done based on what the company stands for or on the personalized interactions that are created.
In addition to your products, you are selling customers an intangible experience that truly resonates with them, making it impossible to replicate and therefore increasing customer loyalty towards your brand.
So, the next time you’re planning out your CX journey, be sure to take a look at the ‘emotional peaks’ you have factored in. Keep an eye out for negative feedback, and implement a closed-loop system so you can keep evolving your experiences.