Connecting with Customer Emotions is the Key to Success

“Branding is not merely about differentiating products; it is about striking emotional chords with consumers. It is about cultivating identity, attachment, and trust to inspire customer loyalty.”- Nirmalya Kumar

The interesting truth about customers and their buying decisions is that the approach is hardly ever rational / logical. What this means is that they do not analyse financial details and product features when they buy. Research shows that over 50% of their decisions and experiences are guided by emotions, which drive their buying behaviour and patterns, a lot more than any other functional aspects of the products. Even if customers do not realize that their decisions to buy are influenced by emotions, it would be prudent for companies to pick up these signals. Connecting with customer emotions, then, makes great business sense and will help companies to sell more and gain loyalty. The quote above clearly says that striking emotional chords in customers would be the key to success and customer loyalty.

Emotions are certainly ‘at play’ for customers when doing business with a company. This is possibly why good customer service has become the number one priority – trouncing good quality products and competitive pricing. When customers receive respect and a company puts in the effort to make them feel important, it is essentially addressing the human aspect and the need for people to feel good about themselves – this has nothing to do with rationality. The way customers ‘feel’ when doing business with a company has a deep and long-lasting impact on their relationship with the company – connecting with customer emotions consistently would enhance the strength and duration of the relationship. Over time, these emotions would enable passion, trust, loyalty, and brand advocacy on the part of customers.

Research has revealed that at least 89% customers do not feel emotionally connected to companies that continue down the path of ‘rationality and logic’ and seem inadequate at connecting with customer emotions. Their customers would not last long and it would be rather easy for the other ‘market players’ to swoop in and steal their customers, given the lack of any emotional bonding. With rising competitors, companies just have to put in place strategies and policies that would ease their path of connecting with customer emotions and strengthen these connections throughout the association. It is important and crucial now for companies and brands to make people ‘crazy’ about themselves – drive them towards deep emotional connections and ‘love’, such that not only do they stay but get others to ‘fall in love’ with the brand too. By connecting with customer emotions, a company would form deep and almost indestructible bonds with their customers – something that even the best products and lowest pricing cannot beat.

The idea of connecting with customer emotions is not new actually and studies show that at least 95% of buying decisions happen in the mind of customers without them even realizing it. The brands or companies seem compatible with their thoughts and beliefs and these ‘common grounds’ give rise to affinity and a desire to remain associated, which over time takes the shape of engagement and loyalty. In fact, studies have proved that when customers have emotional attachment to certain brands, they use these feelings to overcome confusion brought about by the numerous choices in the market. Simply put it means that a customer would choose a product or brand that evokes positive and happy emotions in them, even if they cost more and would ignore the others – repeatedly.

Just like with human relationships, compatibility scores high when moving towards emotional connections. People select brands that seem ‘compatible’ with their own values and beliefs – which again is a highly emotional aspect of any relationship. When companies and brands understand these ‘drivers’ and compatibility factors, they would be better equipped to put together customized messages that would brim with emotions, and have a better chance at striking the right chords with their target customers. Simply by harnessing and connecting with customer emotions, and measuring how they fare on this front, brands can potentially become leaders in their particular market segments. Is your company / brand able to do a good job of connecting with customer emotions consistently? As mentioned, the most basic requirement would be to understand completely what drives customers and what makes them excited about products / brands. Using these ‘drivers’ a company could match its values and culture and raise the level of bonding customers have with the company.

A thorough understanding and knowledge of the target customer would enable a brand / company to deepen the emotional bonding by differentiating itself based on what drives customers to buy. Uniqueness and compatibility would make connecting with customer emotions a lot simpler and more effective. A deeper understanding of these emotions would ensure that the company continually works towards keeping customers at the centre of whatever it does and focus all its efforts to keep customers happy and engaged. Emotional connections are built and sustained by showing customers that their needs and expectations are priority and that the company is committed to putting them first, irrespective. Everyone in the company must have training and should understand the value of serving customers well at every touch-point and each interaction. Customer service and connecting with customer emotions must be a company-wide effort and not just the responsibility of the frontline staff or the leadership team.

When a company makes it the culture to serve customers and understand their emotional needs, empathy would be the guiding force behind every interaction. Understanding the pain points, needs, preferences, and expectations of customers would mean that each person within the company would use every opportunity to get closer to customers and draw them in. Bonds and rapport with customers based on emotions prove to be stronger and more durable as compared to those based on ‘freebies’ and other incentives.  Companies would need to shift their perspective and move away from ‘tradition’ to give way to empathy and genuine care – the key aspects allowing a better connection with customer emotions. Every customer experience would be pleasant and memorable leaving customers feeling emotional satisfied and understood.

Understanding customers would mean that a company is paying close attention to them. This in turn means that the company would consistently ask customers the ‘right questions’ in order to solicit responses that would enable them to serve customers better, especially from the emotional angle. Customers do not always have the time or the inclination to provide feedback or respond to questions from companies. However, if they do see that their opinion and insights are used to make improvements to help them, they would be more inclined to provide feedback and over time, do so from being emotionally connected with the company.

The mistake that most companies make is that they focus their energy and attention to the technical aspects of products and pricing. However, with so many people offering similar ‘models’, the differentiator would be the company’s ability of connecting with customer emotions and building solid relationships that would endure. This is what customers value and remember for a very long time, which leads them to come back repeatedly with more business and become raving fans of the company, encouraging others to join ‘the party’.

Learn about a new approach to better customer service!

Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree