How to strike the right emotional chord with your customersSoumita Basu
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
The customer is no exception to this. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaldman says that 95 percent of our purchase decisions take place unconsciously. According to the Harvard Business Review, appealing to the emotions of the customer could be the gamechanger in complex sales.
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So what are some of the best ways to forge this emotional bond with customers? Emotionally connecting with the customer depends on knowing them. So, listen to them! Take constant feedback using the various customer measurement tools that are available. Your job is to identify how you can bond with the customer. Keep researching on how to enhance their experience. Find out what more can be added to the product, service or brand. Here are a few additional tips you can use:
Be socially responsible
Supporting a social cause and having a responsible business is one of the ways to engage with customers emotionally. According to the Cone/Roper Cause Related Trends Report, 66 percent of American consumers said they were willing to switch brands that support a cause, as stated by Inc. Actions that appeal to the social conscience can range from brands being accountable in terms of fair labour to companies strongly supporting health or education. Even small gestures can go a long way. For example, gestures like keeping a pet drinking bowl in front of your shop could attract more customers with pets.
Design consumer-centric marketing material
Attracting new customers is largely dependent on marketing and branding. Outbound marketing uses ads to impress the subconscious mind of the consumer. Both written and visual content should subtly capture their emotions. This is best done by using ‘you’ to address the customer in all written communication. For visuals, the most important feature should catch the attention of the customer first, while the right colours, lighting and contrast should touch the desired emotional chords. The focus of the communication should be on the emotion that the product aims to kindle in the customer instead of the features of the product.
Do not sell directly
The best way to emotionally connect with the audience is to talk beyond the product. Inbound marketing tools can be used to do just that. Talk about your product or service, but do not sell it directly. For example, if you are trying to sell tyres (yes, emotions play a role in such mundane purchases, too), blogging about the latest cars or workshops on travelling creates an immediate connect. Direct sales attempt can be annoying and can disengage the customer.
Make sure your employees are informed and happy
One important aspect businesses tend to overlook while trying to engage with the customer is something closer home – their employees! How satisfied a customer feels depends a lot on their interaction with the employees of the organisation. How many times has your interaction with the customer service (which is often outsourced) made you rethink your choice of brand? To optimise this interaction, it is important that employees are well oriented about the company’s philosophy, and features and benefits of the products and services it offers. It is also important that the front line with whom customers interact are given some decision-making powers to meet customer demands more efficiently. Happy employees can mean happier customers.
The most important emotion to build on is trust. The customer comes with set expectations. So deliver what you promise, every single time. By delivering consistently and on time, you score high on reliability. Simple things like having regular and consistent shop timings can build reliability. Consistency can be a gamechanger for a business.
Keep your eyes and ears open towards the customer’s subtle desires. Only this can take you miles ahead from your competitors.