It’s never about you: Emotional appeal and your customer experience

There’s a strange paradox that occurs in the business world: at some point, people forget what it’s like to BE a customer.

We’ve all done it – gotten so wrapped up in the daily grind of meetings, budgets, and deliverables that we grow detached from our customer because they are outside the company. We may think, “It’s not relevant to my job, they’re not on my team, they’re not me.”

To improve the customer experience, remember what you like as a customer

(Photo by Dima Bushkov https://www.flickr.com/photos/bushkov/)

But to every other business on earth, you ARE the customer. When you grab a coffee, drive to work, read your email or write on a whiteboard, when you adjust your clothes before a presentation, ride an elevator, look at the clock. All day, every day you are a customer of countless products and services. And if all those businesses that produce that infrastructure for you did not care about giving you a great experience, your day would be much less comfortable.

As a consumer, if you cannot easily do what you want, when you want it, it’s likely you’ll drop one product or service for another until you get the experience you want. And when you get it and keep getting it, you fall in love—and that’s called brand loyalty. As a business, that’s what you’re shooting for, so don’t just give your customers the best YOU can think of; give them what THEY value most.

5 Tips for increasing emotional appeal in your customer experience

  1. Value what they value – What are the things that matter most to your target customers and why? Frame your business strategy, offerings, and communications around what resonates best with your audience to increase a positive emotional connection with your brand.
  2. Avoid one-size-fits-all – Even if you can’t create a unique experience for every customer, you can create experiences that make people feel recognized as valuable. Beyond showing appreciation, address what’s most relevant and helpful for each person in each interaction.
  3. Put yourself in their shoes – Every time you write customer communications, answer a support call, design a product –ask yourself: “What if this was for me? How would I feel?” Most of us want more than having basic needs met; we want to feel delighted, confident, comfortable. If you can deliver that customer experience-–you’re golden.
  4. Rely on real insights, not best guesses – Too often businesses do what they think is right for customers, but it’s based more on what the company can do than what customers said they want. To build stronger relationships, listen and learn through a Voice of the Customer program-  then take action to improve the customer experience . It’s a great way to put your Big Data to work for making business decisions with a more meaningful impact.
  5. Create win-win scenarios – Typically, when your customers are happy, you’re happy. If your customers can get what they want and feel great doing it, they’ll keep coming back, buy more, say good things about you, refer you to others. That’s good for your business, so you win too.

Every day you go to work, think like a customer. Consider how much you value an experience when you easily get what you need, and feel great doing it –because that’s the customer experience you want your company to deliver.

Remember it’s never about you. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business – so it’s always about them. Let your customers make it about you when they celebrate your brand. That’s where building strong emotional appeal into your customer experience really pays off.

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