Can emotion-driven CX become a business asset?

7th May 2021

Talk of brands incorporating an emotional response into customer engagement is a welcome prospect for most consumers. But this commitment needs to be present at the heart of those brands, not just in their marketing messaging if it is to make a difference.

For sales professionals and marketers, boosting their brand’s net promoter score (NPS) has long been a key objective, but this legacy ranking system may no longer be fit for purpose. Analysts such as Gartner and Forrester identify emotion-driven customer experience (CX) as the key area of differentiation that will lead to greater returns. If this is true, CX professionals need to prove a direct correlation between their customer experience and profit by changing their attitudes towards measuring customer success and introducing techniques and tools that show results.

Customer service ratings on Uswitch/Compare the Market are beginning to have a far bigger impact on customer choice. So, to give reputation a boost, brands need to deliver CX which is guaranteed to trigger an emotional response consistently, whether that’s by going the extra mile or by simply making the experience easy and effective. There is no way to replicate a truly personal connection, so brands who take the challenge seriously will need to be equipped with the right tools.

360-degree customer view

In the world of the customer service agent, knowledge is power. Agents need to know as much as possible about a customer to fully understand a problem and to resolve the issue quickly. Often, it’s a failure to connect on the basics such as customer history, personal details and reason of contact that trigger the breakdown of a customer relationship. These failures can frequently be put down to the technology being used by contact centres.

It is unlikely that a customer will speak to the same agent twice, but even if they are talking with a different representative every time they contact the brand, customers don’t like to feel that they have been forgotten. Shared customer information is too often siloed across contact channels and departments and the agent’s view is split across several programmes and screens, so they have to do their research, switch between multiple sources of information whilst dealing with a customer in real-time. Simply put, this approach is rarely successful.

Instead, building a layer across digital systems that automatically connects customer data from disparate sources brings everything to one manageable data source. In doing so, customer service agents can resolve issues in a fraction of the time. Further to that, they can protect customer relationships, enhancing CX by effortlessly identifying customers and instantly building a meaningful rapport based on real context.

Proactive customer engagement

A good sales strategy means never missing the opportunity for a sale. At the same time, you can’t forge a sales opportunity from nowhere and being too pushy is a quick way to lose a customer. Finding the sweet spot may seem like an impossible task, but with AI and RPA in the CX toolbox businesses can make sure that they are the first to offer a product or service when, where and how it is appropriate to do so.

Using intelligence to send instant alerts, customer service agents will be updated when something changes in a customer’s situation while AI calculates the best response. If a customer has changed their address, brands know they may be looking for contents insurance, if they have recently purchased a portable stove, now is the time to offer the best deals on camping equipment.

However, this type of proactive CX isn’t just about beating competition to the post. By offering relevant products or services before a customer asks for it, brands can show that they are using customer data for their customers’ benefit too. This technology is also a chance for them to save customers time and money by giving the best offer first. That way, they have no reason to shop around for an alternative.

AI empathy

Predictive analytics for CX isn’t just a sure-fire way for marketing teams to increase their success rates. In fact, the next-best-action for a customer isn’t always a sale or an upgrade. If a brand is truly conscious of creating pure CX emotion, predicting customer needs is also a way to nurture ongoing customer relationships. More evident than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, where Pega research found that 36% of businesses lost customers over poor treatment, brands need to take this into account if they want business to grow, not shrink.

Using an AI that can calculate the next-best-action for the individual any customer service agent can make the right call when a customer needs support. With access to a range of customer data sources, brands can identify when a customer might need an overdraft extension, offers on downgraded services or a freeze on a subscription.

The important thing for business profitability in the long run is looking after customers when they can’t spend, rather than trying to catch them out and pushing them further into distress. That way, brands have the opportunity to help customers in hardship on their way to recovery. If they succeed, those customers will be able to unlock spend-potential faster and, having built trust and cemented a stronger relationship, they will be more open to making sure that when they do spend, they bring their business to you.

Perfecting customer experience has been an afterthought for far too long. Luckily for customers, CX emotion brings a new light to business goals. Leadership teams are now recognising that building an emotional connection with customers is the cornerstone of a lasting, profitable customer relationship.

By implementing technology that helps brands maintain the quality of customer relationships, they can make sure that the number of sales continues to grow. Looking to a brighter future for customers and brands, the best-loved and the most profitable organisations will be those which add CX emotion to their garrison of business assets.


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