First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 400 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The post-COVID era is replete with digital marketing tools and services. Today, it seems that we can automate or speed up almost all customer communication processes and enjoy success. In reality we know that’s not the case.
Behind the application of all these modern technologies we still have basic human decisions and feelings that we must take into account. We need to better understand how the use of technology can help us, and where it can completely ruin the customer experience. Today we’ll look at emotions and their importance in creating long-term and trusting relationships with our customers.
Why are emotions so important?
We often talk about loyalty. Loyal customers are what we all strive for. They buy our product and recommend it to others, creating new potential consumer groups. But what is loyalty based on?
In fact, loyalty is a function of memory. You cannot be loyal to something you are not experienced with. Therefore, how this memory is formed becomes very important.
There is a “peak-end rule”. A psychological heuristic, the essence of which is that people evaluate their experience in terms of peak and final emotions, rather than in terms of their total amount of feelings. We don’t calculate it like machines, combining different points of experience to sum up and make a conclusion. We sum up our feelings organically – based on peak and final emotions.
Thus, our emotions form our memory, and memory forms loyalty to companies and brands. That’s why if you want to gain more loyal customers advocating your brand – emotions should play an important role in the digital experience.
Digital experience and technologies
A CallMiner study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, revealed that 56% of surveyed organizations found anticipating and interpreting a customer’s emotional state challenging or very challenging. Further, 70% of customer service representatives are now dealing with more emotionally driven customers.
Modern technological tools open up opportunities for us in working with this, but at the same time requires a thoughtful study of their application.
Success with AI
Today AI Insight tools provide us with huge opportunities to capture and analyze emotions. What’s really important here is they can do it in real time, rather than through post-interaction surveys.
The right tools can help you to understand at which point of communication your clients feel one way or another and how you can improve to create more value for them.
We don’t have to guess anymore, we can take real data of what people say, where they see gaps, and what makes them frustrated and then process it to create positive memorable experiences.
Dangers of Automation
But what can go wrong?
Process automation is certainly useful and brings value to businesses and customers. But since we are creating communication for people, we should always be thoughtful about our audience’s feelings.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Surely you have experienced this: you’re on a chat on a website to solve your particular problem, you take time to explain what went wrong, answer questions, but at some point you realize that you are communicating with a robot. This can be frustrating. Moreover, the robot cannot solve your problem and switches to an operator who asks you the same questions and clarifications in a circle. This is already beyond annoying.
In this case, perhaps you should be transparent with your clients and clarify that this is a bot working on chat. Give your operators time to get acquainted with the chat history and only then jump to a live conversation.
Another example. You bought a product in an online store and are waiting for delivery. During this time, promotional letters begin to arrive in your email with offers to buy more and more. You have not received the product yet, you have not understood whether you are satisfied with its quality and level of service, but you are already deleting spam from your mailbox. This happens all the time. Perhaps it would be better to receive a message after the purchase asking if everything is in order and do you need help with the product?
Lastly, how often do we buy a subscription to a service for a year, but continue to receive special offers to purchase the same thing? This can be frustrating – “It’s cheaper now than when I bought it!”, or cause anxiety – “Is something wrong with my subscription? Why am I being offered this again?”
Yes, today we have the tools to communicate actively and on a large scale with an audience, but it has made our communications “unconscious” and often mis-understood.
Every time we communicate with our audience, we must think about the outcomes of what we say and offer. We must remember that the goal is not in the quantity of SMS sent, but in establishing trust and delivering value.
– What emotions are we trying to create in our audience? What emotions do we evoke today and what do we want to evoke tomorrow?
– Are these emotions valuable for my business? If we can evoke these emotions, can we get more (customers, trust, money, etc.)?
Study the behavior of your audience, remember that what people say and what they do can be very different. Disney Park knows that if you ask visitors, they’ll say they’d love to see a salad option on their lunch menu. But at the same time, Disney knows that people don’t come to a theme park to eat salad, in fact they choose hamburgers.
Understanding the difference between what your audience says, what they do, and how it can be applied to your communication is the key.
What about B2B?
Well, all this can certainly be applied to B2C, but does it work for the B2B sector?
As long as your clients are human beings, yes. People behave more rationally and strictly in a business environment, but emotions are still at the heart of decision making.
Who do you trust? Who cares about you as a person?
We understand that emotions are at the root of our loyalty.
AI driven tools can help us analyze audience feelings and gain insights from customer’s emotional data.
At the same time, we need to be careful as we incorporate modern technologies into our communication processes, checking how, at every step of our clients’ experience, how the use of technology can affect their feelings.
Look at your existing customer experience.
Where could you apply technology to improve and bring value? Where are technologies already in use? What emotions do they evoke in consumers? Do they make interaction easier or create more ambiguity?
Talk to Us!
Our highly professional teams always work from the approach of achieving your business goals, rather than simply completing tasks.
If you’d like to learn more about how to apply technology to your communications, or if you’d like to overhaul your existing technology stack, talk to us today.