Trust and relationships aren’t just built on smart branding or favorable financial reports. These factors might help in luring new clients but won’t help in establishing long-term business relationships. So, what distinguishes a company that has successfully nurtured a lasting and enduring relationship with its clients from others? Emotions! An emotional connection is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for modern CX solutions.
Emotional intelligence is the key to lasting relationships
The power of emotional intelligence is highly underrated and less explored in present-day CX strategies. Most brands fail to associate that being emotionally sound and responsive toward customers directly ensures customer-centricity.
No matter where they are, customers share a common desire—to feel understood, valued, and validated. Whether it’s through effective brand communication or the creation of products or services that resonate with their feelings, customers seek emotional connection before making a purchase.
Unfortunately, some companies struggle to shift towards a customer-focused culture because both executives and employees have disconnected from their customers. They failed to realize that persuasion and logical reasoning sans emotions are not effective in the world of CX.
Why does prioritizing client plights lead to brand success?
For a good percentage of customers, the allure of a product or service transcends its price tag. It hinges upon how a brand attends to a customer’s needs both before and after a purchase—a litmus test that reveals the depth of its customer-centric ethos. Customers aren’t merely seeking a transaction; they crave an unwavering partnership, a brand that listens intently and extends extraordinary efforts to resolve their concerns.
Brands like LEGO, Disney, Kellogg’s, and Ford are stellar examples of exceptional customer service. This is why these brands have successfully built a legacy of generational customers, retaining loyalty across multiple generations within the same family.
Failing to understand customers’ preferences displays a lack of empathy too
Although universally untrue, there have been instances where companies focused more on promoting the features of their products or services rather than fully understanding and addressing their customers’ specific needs.
For instance, in the early 1990s, Pepsi unveiled a clear cola, setting it apart from other transparent carbonated beverages by omitting the usual lemon or lime essence. Since customers were accustomed to associating clear beverages with a lemon/limey taste, the drink didn’t match up to their expectations. It didn’t embody the typical cola taste either. Despite an extensive and costly media campaign, this transparent soda failed to resonate with consumers.
Consumers had an unspoken, yet enduring emotional connection with Pepsi’s dark carbonated drink. They embraced what they knew. The abrupt change left consumers puzzled and undervalued. If only Pepsi’s representatives had directly engaged with consumers to understand their expectations for the drink or whether they desired any alterations, such a disaster could have been averted.
Inflexible company policies can breed dissatisfied customers
Companies rigidly sticking to policies without considering unique customer situations can lead to dissatisfaction. For instance, denying refunds or exchanges without understanding extraordinary circumstances can alienate customers.
How should a company establish an emotional connection with its client?
What some marketing geniuses and strategists, despite their sparkling degrees, overlook is the fundamental truth: they’re dealing with humans. Humans are innately social creatures, inclined to share personal experiences and concerns. They long to feel heard and understood. When this connection is respectfully fostered, a beautiful and powerful bond forms between both parties.
Additionally, here is a list of steps a company can take to fall under the empathetic bracket:
- Approaching with empathy à According to author Simon Sinek, “We don’t do business with companies. We do business with people. Business is always human.” Empathy enables authentic connections with fellow humans. When brand representatives or CX agents take the initiative to step into their customer’s shoes, they grasp their needs, expectations, and frustrations more profoundly. Customers feel appreciated when agents actively listen to their concerns and demonstrate genuine understanding, free from purely business-driven intentions.
- Taking feedback seriously à When customers provide feedback about issues or suggestions for improvement, companies should not ignore or dismiss them at all. If done so, customers can feel disappointed and frustrated. They may begin to renounce the brand subconsciously and start looking for products/services backed by competitors who can respect their critique.
- Cultivation of patience à Being patient in the field of CX bears long-term rewards. Working in the customer service industry is emotionally taxing on most days. There are days when agents can cater to each of their customer’s requirements effortlessly and then there are days when agents fail to be on the same page as the client despite repeated attempts. Cultivating patience during high-stress situations is a key strategy to sustain brands over the long haul.
- Style of communication: In the realm of CX, the way brand representatives communicate is a lot more important than what they communicate. A polite and empathetic approach towards a query/doubt/complaint will always reassure the customer that things are going to be alright within no time. Insensitivity and unresponsiveness can damage customer-company relationships to a huge extent.
- Building bonds that last: Humans, unlike robots are equipped to make the most of their EQ as well as IQ. Building trust requires a bit of both. The ability to fathom and create what customers want coupled with offering it to them in a way that makes them feel valued and special ensures the pathways to bonds that will last a lifetime.
Brands should showcase care more often
Are emotional connections built only through words? No. They are also built on acts of service. When a brand/company genuinely comprehends its target audience’s needs or envisions how a product/service can benefit them long-term, it’s an expression of care and empathy. Whether through surveys or learning from past product/service failures, customers appreciate being asked and valued when their opinions shape decisions.
Learn why personalized marketing is essential in the upcoming era.