Getting emotional is generally not something the average worker tries to do during working hours. As an employee, we want to be as efficient and timely as possible as that is more or less what most businesses want. Therefore, we can see why most employees might think being logical and practical is the appropriate way to act at work.
However, recent research has shown that getting emotional is actually essential for building a five-star customer experience (CX). Research from Forrester shows that emotion has a bigger impact on brand loyalty and customer retention than ease of engagement and CX effectiveness. As a matter of fact, Deloitte found that 60 percent of loyal customers use the similar emotional language that they would use for family and friends when speaking of their favourite brands.
Forbes has listed three ways that every contact centre can engage with customers in a more emotional and appreciative way.
Put sentiment analysis at the core of every interaction
Sentiment analysis is required to gain actionable insight to transform CX. It is the process of understanding how customers feel about products, promotions, brands, or the interactions they have with your organisation. Speech analytics software is very useful in this regard. Compared to methods such as surveys and solicited feedback, information provided by analytics is invaluable and can provide a clearer picture of what concerns customers are really feeling and why.
Training frontline employees to be aware of a customer’s speech patterns is also encouraged. Their rate of speech, the words they use, their tone, etc., could all provide hints as to what it is they are really seeking.
Wear your emotional data on your sleeve
Understanding customer emotion is one thing, but what businesses do with that information can be the difference that elevates their CX to new heights.
By comparing sentiment analysis scores across different segments, companies can pinpoint weak spots and opportunities to improve customer support and product/service satisfaction. Through monitoring of customer attitudes, businesses will also be able to detect shifts in perception and adapt to meet changing expectations.
Context and emotional awareness are key. While technology can play a big role, it always starts with human capabilities and a willingness to connect. Therefore, employees should always be trained to understand the context of any given situation and what customers really need. For example, being polite and asking how a customer’s day has been going can be a plus point. But for others, it might be a point of friction if they are in a hurry.
The same goes for empathy. Not all customers want you to know how they feel. Sometimes, they just want a solution.
Understand the context before getting emotional
As previously mentioned, understanding emotion is not enough to improve the overall customer experience. Understanding the contextual information is crucial to getting a grip on why someone is feeling the way they do. Combining emotion with words and situational factors can show what is actually taking place and the appropriate next step to take.
For example, when calls have extended periods of silence, you can identify the driving force. Is it agitation on the customer’s part, or is an agent taking the time to look for more information? There’s a huge benefit of understanding the context behind spoken words.
It is very important for employees to remember that they are dealing with other people, be it face-to-face, email, or at the other end of the phone line; and that real-life rules still apply. Technology can analyse context immediately for you, but sometimes the human brain should do what it does best: Connect the dots, and connect with people.