Maham Riaz (June 8, 2015)
Exceeding customers’ expectations and creating a memorable customer experience are two important considerations for businesses. However, without connecting emotionally with your customers you will not be able to nail these goals. Stats reveal that 50 percent of a customer experience is based on emotions rather than rational thinking. If you succeed at emotionally engaging your customers, you are likely to build a strong and lasting relationship with them. Instead of using the conventional material approach to satisfy your customers’ needs, focus on a more humanistic approach that emotionally appeals to your customers. Here are a few smart tips to win your customers for life!
Without incorporating the concept of strong and lasting customer brand relationship and giving priority to customers’ needs and expectations as part of your organizational culture, you will not be able to win your customers’ hearts. According to Mori Study, “Emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to stay brand loyal.” Customers’ emotional engagement will not only enable you to gain customer loyalty but it will also help you in acquiring new customers and increase sales. Take inspiration from brands like Nordstrom and Zappos and make your brand “All about the customer.” Treat your customers as your most valuable asset, remember their names and preferences, greet them with a smile, address their queries and concerns without making them wait and go the extra mile while solving a complaint or issue. Start showing your customers you care for them and they will start trusting you if you prove to them that you truly value their needs.
It is more likely for customers to develop an affinity with your brand if your organization has a “customer centric” approach. The first step towards adopting this concept is to hire people who are emotionally intelligent and sensitive with good communication skills. Conduct psychological tests of the candidates before hiring them; you should make sure that the customer service staff you are hiring is capable of empathy and satisfying customer needs. Different kinds of customers behave differently in different situations. Having a team that knows how to pacify an irate customer, offer suggestions to a confused customer and make an unhappy customer contended would earn you a competitive edge along with the popularity as a brand that goes the extra mile taking care of the emotions of its customers. Trader Joe’s Team received worldwide commendation due to their emotional sensitivity for delivering food to a snowed in 89 year old man during the holidays (when no grocery and food outlet delivers) on his daughter’s request.
Make use of behavioral psychology to emotionally connect with your customers. Treat every customer with respect as it is the inherent desire of every human. Listen to your customers and maintain eye contact when a customer is complaining, sharing his/her knowledge about the product, explaining his/her preferences for a product or just telling an experience or story. The more you will listen to your customers the more they will feel close to you. Empathy is yet another emotional trigger while dealing with customers’ complaints. Give value to your customers’ feedback and suggestions, don’t just take it for the sake of fulfilling a norm or a ritual and modify your product/service according to your customers’ opinions. It would attach them emotionally to your brand since they would know that they are being heard.
Creating emotional brand value for your business would go a long way in earning you customer loyalty. Bungie Studios, a thriving game developer company received a request from a distressed father whose son was a huge fan of “Halo” (their popular video game) but was in hospital for a liver transplant and really wanted to play the latest release of his favorite video game. Bungie sent their little fan a “Custom Get Well soon Card” with best wishes from all the team members, a custom helmet, shirts and toys. The gifts were delivered in person by a representative of the company. The father posted his son’s smiling pictures along with an emotional testimonial on how he is short of words to thank the game developing company for bringing a smile to his son’s face. That brand not only won one customer but created an emotional brand value for thousands of other customers out there who read this story and felt the sentiment of that father and his son.
Do not let anything get in the way of creating a personalized and satisfying experience for your customers. Make use of innovative technology, strategies and resources to make sure your customers are treated exceptionally and always get more than their expectations. You need to inculcate the concept of “Emotional Customer Engagement” in your organizational behavior to make it really work for your business. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and see how you feel emotionally about the overall customer journey, it would help you develop an efficient and practical approach for delighting and satisfying your customers. Empower your employees to creatively solve customer service issues so that it improves the quality of interaction with customers and earns their trust.
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