When it comes to customer retention, emotions play a decisive role. Companies that consider and act upon the feelings of customers at different points along the sales journey are more likely to win loyalty. According to Customer Think, 63% of customers with positive feelings about a company will remain loyal, while 74% will go a step further and advocate for the brand. Here are five tips for addressing customers’ emotions to ensure quality experiences at every step of their journey.
To properly address your customers’ feelings, take a proactive approach. For example, when designing a customer journey map, your company may integrate possible emotional reactions at all the different touchpoints. As you strategize the best ways to lead customers from point A to B, you can anticipate how a customer might feel if any given step is successful or not. These observations can then inform how your service may be improved at every step.
Once your brand identifies customers’ emotions in different contexts, you may then ensure that agents are well qualified to address them. Begin by hiring employees with strong interpersonal skills who are able to adapt to difficult situations. Then train them through roleplaying, using the customer journey map as a reference. For example, a training session might involve an agent playing the role of a customer who needs support with an online purchase. By discussing the possible emotions involved at this step of the customer journey, your agents can describe their own experiences and suggest solutions to potential problems. Agents will feel more empowered and better prepared to handle even the most difficult cases.
While it can be difficult to measure customer emotions, analytical tools nonetheless provide valuable insights. In addition to the Net Promoter Score, your brand may use social listening tools to learn about customer feelings on social media channels. Speech and text analytics are especially useful for analyzing emotions, and traditional surveys are the most direct way to gather concrete customer feedback. Lastly, your company may integrate widgets into webpages that allow customers to rate product descriptions, blog articles, and other content, enabling them to provide casual feedback quickly and easily.
It’s especially important to reach out to customers with negative feelings toward your company. Not only is it necessary to address any inconveniences they may have experienced, but it is also critical to understand how such issues can be prevented in the first place. Ask them for their feedback and suggestions on how your company could have better addressed their needs. Once you have taken measures to fix the problem, contact them again to show that their opinions were taken seriously. This last step shows the customer that your brand is willing to go the extra mile to win back trust.
For many companies, efficiency is a primary goal in customer service. However, if your agents are rushing conversations to the point that customers are bewildered and frustrated, your brand is not creating a positive emotional impact. Sometimes, agents need to be less interested in KPIs and more invested in the personalization of each customer experience. They need to take the time to listen to customers, validate their feelings, and foster a positive connection that earns respect and loyalty. Treating customers as individuals may win their respect, but validating their emotions at every step of their journey wins loyalty.
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