Think of something you like to do regularly, whether it’s jogging, reading, or eating ice cream. What keeps you coming back? Chances are it feels good, and the emotions you associate with the activity make you want to do it again. In short, positive emotions lead to loyalty.
It seems like a simple equation, but how a brand should go about inspiring positive emotions in customers is a complex question. Emerging studies in behavioral science are telling us more and more about the relationship between emotions and decision-making. In the meantime, there are a few simple things any brand can do to spark positive, loyalty-inspiring emotions in customers.
1) Be active and available on social media
Most interactions between brands and customers take place on digital channels. So not having an active presence online is a deal-breaker for today’s customers. The key here is regular interaction. 87% of consumers who interact with a company daily feel loyal to that company. Did you get that? Simply interacting with customers will help keep them loyal. Why? Because you’re making them feel connected.
Being there for customers across digital channels is key. They want to know you’re listening and ready to respond. But cookie cutter communication doesn’t work on social media. 70% of 18-24 year olds state that brands that fail to personalize their social media posts will lose them as customers. So it’s important to offer proactive service that’s also personalized. To do that, agents need the right tools.
How to do it: Use omnichannel digital customer service software to aggregate social media accounts and live chat into one streamlined interface.
2) Show some character
Think of a brand that’s great at social customer care, like Netflix or Zappos. Chances are you’ve heard a story about how one of their agents went out of their way to audaciously please a customer. If you’ve actually seen the Twitter feed of either company you know how they use multimedia and humor to brings smiles to the faces of their customers. That’s a key part of what has made them successful.
Social media is by nature social, so brands that think of it specifically as a marketing or customer service channel aren’t seeing the full picture. Brands that show character are more relatable for customers. And customers are only loyal to brands they relate to. But remember, we’re not just talking about getting more followers on social media. Customer loyalty online translates offline: 60% of customers prefer to shop at a retailer that connects with them on social media rather than one that does not.
How to do it: Give agents the tools and the soft skills to offer more human customer service with the efficiency of digital channels.
3) Be empathetic and response driven
Putting a smile on a customer’s face is important, but customer service won’t win over customers if it’s not actually offering solutions. A lasting result is better than a rapid response, so it’s important to think about the KPIs that control the contact center. The classic theory would say that calls should be kept as short as possible and all queries should be answered immediately.
But efficiency-based KPIs put the wrong kind of pressure on agents, who should be focused on making real connections and offering personalized service rather than just getting every interaction over quickly. When customers know they can depend on you for an answer and won’t have to waste time repeatedly entering information, they’ll love you for it.
How to do it: Balance KPIs based on efficiency and empathy and use software that routes each customer query to the best agent for that case.
So here’s the point: great customer experience is about inspiring positive emotions, which in turn lead to loyalty. And how does loyalty add up on the bottom line? Significantly. 25% of millennials say brand loyalty drives purchasing decisions, and 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from 20% of your current customers. Each interaction is an opportunity to inspire positive emotions in the customer. The more you do that, they more they’ll like you, and ultimately, the more loyal they’ll be.