CX Digest - February 2020

Understanding and identifying customer emotion is key to delivering a successful Customer Experience (CX). Customer interactions are born out of empathy, engagement and emotional intelligence. If organisations are able to tap into these emotions and form a strong sense of connection, their customers are likely to buy more and stay longer. Research states that consumers with an emotional connection to brands have a 306 percent better lifetime value than satisfied customers.

Organisations now realise how important customer emotion is, and how much influence it has on the quality of the experience customers have with brands, but many don’t understand how they can influence that emotion or believe they have the power to influence it at all.

Tapping into emotional triggers to encourage customers to buy is not a new phenomenon –brands have been trying to do so for years through advertising and marketing in order to drive sales, but to encourage an emotional connection in today’s complex world, an understanding of how customers feel at every touchpoint along the customer journey is necessary. Only with this level of insight, will you be able to get a clear idea of what is fuelling their actions.

Vulnerable Customers

Equally important, is the emotion and empathy your employees show towards customers, particularly when dealing with problems or vulnerable customers.

Up to 50 per cent of UK adults are vulnerable at any one time. This can be an elderly person, a disabled person, someone in debt, out of work or because of a bereavement, an illness, a relationship breakdown, – the list is endless.

Vulnerability can be hard to identify though, customers are not often willing to disclose such personal information so it requires skill, emotional intelligence and a lot of empathy from frontline employees.

At IIC, we work with many clients that deal with vulnerable customers on a daily basis. Customer feedback during the assessment process is generally very good as the companies we work with invest in the ongoing training and development of employees to ensure worried, anxious customers are treated with compassion, empathy and extra special care.

Our 360° assessment process will ensure you gain a deep understanding of your customers' emotions. Anticipating needs is one of the 16 themes we focus on and interestingly, it is always scored the lowest, as you can see in the chart below in 'From the IIC assessment archive'. Understanding the underlying emotions that drive your customers' actions means you will be able to anticipate their needs and provide a product and service that not only satisfies but delights!

Congratulations to Trafalgar House, Lantern, Hillyer McKeown and Fenchuch Law for their recent IIC Gold accreditations, you can read more below. 

Enjoy the rest of the read and please feel free to pass this email on to any colleagues or industry folk that may be interested in improving their CX. We would be delighted to help.

Tony Barritt, Managing Director

We have assessed over 300 organisations and asked questions to more than 3 million customers. Customers have been located all over the world; have been a mix of business to business clients and customers of consumer firms, and have represented sectors as diverse as insurance, travel and manufacturing. In all that time, one thing has been clear – the failure of firms to anticipate customer needs – has been the lowest scoring customer metric in the majority of our CX Assessments. In fact, in 55% of IIC assessments, anticipating needs has the lowest average score since our records began.

Being able to anticipate customer needs requires insights into how your customers feel about your brand at each stage of the customer journey. Gaining this level of detail on your customers gives context around their behaviour and allows for a deeper understanding into what your customers want and why they make the decisions they do.

So whether, the customer is existing or new; young or old or fits any other demographic, the ability to anticipate their needs and tailor your services to match what they want is an essential part of delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Click here for more information about our assessments

Fantastic achievements for these organisations who achieved Gold, our highest accolade for CX, leading the way in putting their customers first:

We're always on the look out for fresh thinking and new ideas in CX. Here's our hand-picked selection of the best articles we have come across recently.

3 Emotions Your Marketing Needs to Move Your Customers to Action
The right emotions will help you deliver a stronger customer experience. 

How Customer Emotion Impacts Customer Sentiment
Business 2 Community
In order to measure sentiment correctly, you must also capture and understand the emotions that drive it.

Transformative technology in 2020 - humanising the customer experience
Experiences, good and bad, create an emotional connection with a company. It can be a positive experience or a negative one, so if you want to increase loyalty, you must be able to engage customers on a deeper, more human level.

The Worst Thing That Happens is Your Customer Loves You
Business 2 Community
Six ways to make your customers love you, no matter what.

5 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty and Love
Sophisticated loyalty programs that allow customers to be rewarded for sharing their data, and personalized, meaningful brand interactions that build trust and create emotional connections are the keys to brand love. 

We're benchmarking customer experience perception. See how you think you're doing versus everybody else. Here's how it works:

1. Follow  this link  to our CX perception survey. Or scan the QR code with your smartphone.

2. Fill out the short questionnaire (your perception of your organisation).

3. Receive your perception benchmark (based on everyone who has filled out the questionnaire). We will update you as more data becomes available, so you can see how you're doing against an ever-growing data-set.