For The Love of CX: How To Capture Emotionally Connected Customers

Staying ahead in CX requires a new strategy—to gain emotionally connected customers.

Published on October 14, 2022
Last Updated on October 14, 2022

As the world dramatically shifted in just a couple of years, so did the varied nuances of customer experience—from groundbreaking products and improved delivery channels, to simplified engagement strategies that are necessary for connected customers. With the landscape becoming increasingly competitive across all industries, these dynamics have become table stakes to succeed in 2022.

The simple truth is that businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to build and retain customer loyalty. The challenge for companies today is to not only make a mark in the minds of their customers but also to know your customer and create emotional customer connections.

The Power of Emotionally Connected Customers

Leading brands continue to harness the power of positive emotional connections to drive loyalty that ultimately increase the lifetime value of their customers. A Harvard Business Review study found that “fully connected and satisfied” customers were 52% more valuable than “highly satisfied but not connected” customers.1

The value brands realize from emotionally connected customers doesn’t end with increased spending. They often exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They recommend your brand to others more.
  • They portray less sensitivity to prices.
  • They listen to brand communications more.

So what drives emotionally connected customers to engage?

According to a research by Deloitte, connected customers have a strong emotional attachment to brands based on trustworthiness (83%), integrity (79%), and honesty (77%).2 These attributes make absolute sense. Unfortunately, plenty of brands are still missing the mark, which results in less valuable customers and lower top-line growth.

Investing in initiatives to build emotionally connected customers is undoubtedly what organizations should focus on today. However, carrying out these ventures is an uphill battle. To begin with, businesses must gain a deeper knowledge of their market and customer journey through research.

How Can Brands Establish an Emotional Connection With Customers?

It’s not easy to capture your audience, let alone establish intimacy with them. It requires putting oneself into the customers’ shoes to determine the whole customer journey and draw the lines of when and how to connect.

Here are some guidelines that businesses need to start creating meaningful customer connections:

1. Know Your Customer

  • In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, David Covey presents the idea that one of the most effective approaches for building solid relationships is to “First seek to understand, then be understood.” The same approach applies to initial efforts for creating emotional connections with your customers.
  • Successful brands start by understanding who their customers are and what they care about. This is key in building a sound emotional connection strategy.
  • Here are some methods you can do to understand your customers more:
    • Customer journey mapping to identify key moments of opportunity.
    • Customer surveys to help understand where negative emotions may be occurring.
    • Focus groups with your frontline teams (sales & support) to learn about on-the-ground customer experience and interactions.
    • Social listening tools to aggregate and analyze customer sentiments across the web.

2. Market Shared Values Across Customer Touchpoints

  • Once brands thoroughly understand who their customers are and what they care about, they typically start to focus on marketing shared values across customer interactions or touchpoints throughout the customer journey and customer experience ecosystem. 
  • “Marketing shared values,” in this context, encompasses every phase of the customer life cycle from marketing/awareness, through the sales/conversion process and eventually, post-sale/customer support.
  • Every customer interaction with a salesperson or customer support representative is an opportunity to demonstrate shared values and deepen relationships. This is why it is extremely important to start from within—providing quality training to customer-facing employees and nurturing a culture that aligns with the shared values in the workplace. This practice can naturally bring out the values your brand represents and maximize opportunities for building relationships and gaining connected customers.

3. Measure What Matters

  • Creating emotional connections with your customer base is not a “set it and forget it” type of investment. Monitoring the effectiveness of your strategies by measuring progress and hitting milestones is crucial.
  • There are various ways to check your progress: customer feedback, churn analysis, focus groups, social platforms/communities, and other methods to capture insights on your brand’s performance. This way, you can identify opportunities for improvement and create better strategies to drive emotional customer connections.
  • In summary, emotionally connected customers can be obtained through the following:
    • Understanding and knowing your customers thoroughly and map out the customer journey to develop connection strategies at various touch points.
    • Publicizing shared values through marketing campaigns and extending those messages/themes through customer-facing personnel (such as sales and customer support representatives).
    • Measuring progress to identify missed opportunities and/or additional avenues to drive more emotional connections with your customers.

Achieving Meaningful Connections with Human + Tech Collaboration

Businesses must recognize the value of leveraging AI and automotive tools to improve customer experience. One of its advantages is to minimize repetitive tasks of frontline agents. By reducing their workload, more time can be spent on creating genuine interactions, which can eventually lead to a positive customer experience and emotionally connected customers.

  • 2^Exploring The Value of Emotion-driven Engagement
Learn more about creating emotionally connected customers.

References

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Josh Semler
Senior Consultant
Josh has a unique background in management consulting, project management, and sales leadership within the CX space. He’s spearheaded transformative initiatives across a variety of industries with an emphasis on enhancing the customer experience through robust analysis, strategic roadmap development, and solution implementation.