New case study: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Emotional Connections in a Digital Age

The first thing consumers experience after an interaction with a brand representative is usually an emotion, whether it’s good or bad. That’s why exit surveys exist: to get a read on which emotion was elicited by an interaction with a given company. But now more than ever, we need to focus on that exit-emotion. The digital age has given companies an invaluable marketing and service opportunity — to be connected with their customers on a much more personal level.

By establishing an open dialogue with your audience and opening up as an entity (and not a faceless brand), you’ll be seen as a trusted, empathetic, and understanding presence. This process takes place when consumers and brands (through social or a real-world agent) interact.

The consumer’s goals are universal: acknowledgement, resolution, and maybe something a bit extra.

  • Consumers gravitate toward the things that are relatable, things with which they can empathize. This is the only reason the share, like, favorite, retweet, reblog, and love options exist on social media. It’s a way of broadcasting, “I agree with this! Do you?”
  • People like to be engaged, informed, and knowledgeable. So when we open that chat box or start that email thread, it’s important that whoever is on the other side treats the consumer as someone who has a goal. If they’ve reached out, chances are high that they need you to provide something.
  • Feeling valued leaves a great impression, and consumers might even bring up their experience to friends: “I spoke with their customer service. They’re great. I’d definitely recommend them.”
  • The bulk of customer sentiment comes from how things are handled rather than why we got in touch. Even if the agent at the other end of that chat wasn’t able to help you meet your goal, the customer will appreciate that they did everything in their power to help.

The brand strives to create a genuine interaction between company and consumer.

  • When a brand’s tone of voice meets the expectation of the consumer, they’re more likely to engage, whether that means sharing your articles or opening discourse on your content. If they see you more as a kindred spirit rather than a company, you’ve established a special connection with the consumer.
  • The rise of Stories on both Facebook and Instagram has enabled consumers to interact not just with friends and families, but with their favorite brand as well. It’s a behind-the-scenes invitation from companies to their ardent followers, and it creates a feeling of mutual connection between brand and consumer.
  • Understand that if someone reaches out to you, that means they want to speak to you. While bots are a great way to rule out any recurring issues and get a quick fix, bots often lack the emotional understanding that comes from a real person. Bots are programmed to assume; humans are programmed to understand. Providing real agents for your audience to speak is an investment in your own time that demonstrates your respect for your customer’s time.

The agent is face and voice of the brand.

  • Customers may jump from channel to channel expecting the same results across all platforms; companies need to ensure that their agents are fully prepared to offer them that level of service. Chat agents need to understand, for example, that response times and spacing out replies are necessary to make it feel like a chat. You can’t paste paragraphs of content in a chat and expect it to look natural to the consumer, just as you can’t ask “What can we help with?” as a standalone email.
  • Give the consumer the proper style of service on each platform, and back it up with a professional, empathetic listener at your end of the conversation.

In this digital age, there are more opportunities than ever before to leverage an emotional connection with customers. ModSquad can help with implementing a workforce that can really understand your story and help share it with the people that matter: your audience.

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