The modern customer is often on the go, seeks timely support, and wants a seamless experience. While such demands may be met through advanced technologies, the human touch remains essential. According to a Harvard Business Review article on the science of customer emotions, when a major bank recently unveiled a credit card targeted to millennials and designed to evoke emotional connection, use among the segment grew by 70% and new account growth increased by 40%. The millennial generation is known for valuing emotions and purpose when engaging with brands, and their ideology presents companies with an important overall lesson: Building long-term relationships with your customers means appealing to their emotions in an authentic way. Here are five ways to humanize customer experiences throughout the customer journey.
Every brand has a story. Are you communicating yours to customers? Use engaging written and video content to describe the origins of your brand and the values you stand for. For example, if your brand supports specific social or environmental causes, customers will appreciate knowing that they support the same causes indirectly by engaging with you. Including employees and brand advocates further humanizes your brand and conveys the message that your company works as a team and values its customers.
Perhaps the most effective way to humanize the customer experience is by personalizing service. Agents should be trained to speak to customers with empathy, especially during difficult situations. Giving customers the comfort of knowing their feelings matter is essential to winning their trust. In addition, taking measures such as contacting them on their preferred channels, offering personalized product recommendations, and thanking and rewarding them for their business show your brand’s attentiveness to each customer as an individual.
Part of humanizing your brand is reaching out to customers for input on what they have purchased. For example, can improvements be made, or are they highly satisfied with a specific feature? Social media platforms can hold a wealth of answers to these questions, so your brand should monitor these channels proactively for customer feedback. Other ways to achieve this goal include holding contests that allow customers to vote for favorite products.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, so their emotions count as much as your customers’ feelings. It’s essential to listen to their feedback regarding their experiences with your company, whether it be ideas on how to improve working conditions or customer service. Giving them mentoring and professional development opportunities motivates them to do their best and inspires a team mentality that unites your brand. When your employees are happy and advocating for your brand, your customers will feel their enthusiasm.
In addition to soliciting customer feedback regarding products, check in with your customers regularly. After each service or sales exchange, be sure to send specific surveys that ask them to rate and describe their experience. Periodic surveys are also essential to getting an overall pulse on your customers’ sentiments. Lastly, it’s especially important to understand their feelings when they have decided to leave your brand, as it empowers your organization to take action and improve the customer experience. A humanized customer experience begins with understanding the emotions of your employees and customers. By considering internal feedback and keeping a customer-centric attitude, your brand can deliver the seamless experiences your customers want with an authentic human touch.
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