Thursday, March 28, 2019

All About the Feels? Why Emotion Plays a Critical Role in CX Success

By Cohan Daley

“Feel the feels”, “all about the feels”. Whether you love it or hate it, this phrase highlights a key point about digital communication. Customers are increasingly turning to self-service, chatbots or messaging apps, but while digital channels may be replacing voice for some interactions, how your customers feel about interacting with your brand is more important than ever. 
In the words of Maya Angelou, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And actually, isn’t this as true of customer experience as it is our relationships with friends, family and colleagues?
Yet our industry as a whole is still failing when it comes to meeting customers’ emotional needs.
The 2018 Temkin Experience Rankings raised alarm bells for the industry when it reported that just 7 percent of 10,000 consumers who took part in the research said they felt good about their interactions with brands.
Why does this matter?
There are numerous studies which demonstrate that emotion is critical to a brand’s bottom line. I’ve provided just a few examples below:
  • Organisations that optimise emotional connections outperform their competitors by 26 percent in gross margin and 85 percent in sales growth (Gallup, Customer Satisfaction doesn’t Count)
  • 63 percent of customers with positive feelings about a company will remain loyal, while 74 percent will go a step further and advocate for the brand (Customer Think)
  • Best-in-class brands average 17 emotionally positive experiences for every negative experience, while the lowest-performing brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one (Forrester)
  • Emotionally-engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend and repurchase, less price sensitive and less likely to buy from a competitor (Harvard Business Review)
Emotion trumps success and effort when it comes to building long-term customer loyalty. So what makes your customers feel good about dealing with you? The foundation of good customer experience is making it enjoyable (not just easy) for them to complete their journey with you. It’s vital that your customer journey planning takes this into account:
  • Ensure that you are investing in customer experience from your customer’s perspective rather than making it fit your internal systems and processes – and remember that understanding customer feelings about your service is essential at key stages in the process. While it is vital to capture the behavioural elements of the customer, emotion is a crucial part of the picture
  • Design customer interactions that engage with customers at the most critical times in their journeys with a message that connects emotionally and is delivered through their preferred channel
  • Gain executive buy-in by creating a direct link between emotionally-engaged customers and desired business outcomes
It might look straightforward but most CX professionals know how hard it is to follow these precepts. It starts with understanding your customers, planning the customer journey based on the real-life needs and motivations of these customers and removing the technology barriers to implementing these journeys. Many brands have invested in legacy systems that operate in silos and it can be difficult to join these up to provide the seamless experiences that your customers crave.

People are struggling to access the assets they need in their existing platforms and alongside their on-premise systems. West is embracing cloud-based platforms like UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS so we can help our customers pull all the systems they need together. Over the last year we’ve focused on creating a cloud-based contact centre platform that allows us to move capabilities in and out of business systems, while providing a 360-degree view of the customer.
Feel the same way as we do?
At West we’re passionate about delivering technology solutions that enable emotional connections, whether by empowering agents to empathise with customers, by offering joined up omnichannel journeys, or by allowing customers to self-serve if they want to. If you want to build emotional connections with your customers, then download our expert guide, Why Eemotional Connections Are Vital to Delivering Outstanding Customer Experiences, which includes a wealth of practical advice.

Cohan Daley, UK&I Acquisition Country Lead, West Unified Communication Services
Cohan is a highly-motivated, energetic and accomplished professional armed with a keen knowledge of Customer experience and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) A graduate of Reading University, his Neuroscience degree led to his interest in data science, A.I. and Machine Learning. And Cohan's passion for sharing his knowledge was recognised by ICMI who included him in their Top 50 Contact Centre Thought Leaders on Twitter in 2014.
At West he has built a strong internal following for his talent to use available data and information, internal resources and creative thinking to successfully create commercial opportunities. He built the company's Customer Experience practice in EMEA, an achievement which was recognised by his promotion to UK&I Acquisition Country Lead in 2019. In his spare time Cohan has a real passion for sport and enjoys spending time with his children and family. Cohan is highly competitive and trains in mixed martial arts and boxing disciplines.
Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter

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