In early 2021, Coca-Cola replaced its logo with inspiring resolutions on its new cans — a marketing strategy to inspire positivity and change. The brand replaced the logo entirely. Through its online customisation, users could write custom messages on the cans and send them to their friends and family.
During the pandemic, big businesses raced to create more meaningful experiences for their customers, and Coca-Cola did what was right. Today customers care about empathy as brand value more than its background. The big players have already replaced traditional brand voice with emotional connection. This change is not just limited to their marketing angles, it surpasses the processes and strategies being adopted by them.
The consumers, during the global pandemic, were taking a cautious step into the new environment, coping with stress, fear, and worries made them tired, and a measure of positive transformation was required. Any positive experience a company gives makes its consumers come back to it again.
An improved CX drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, trust, purchased intentions and the enthusiasm to engage with the brand.
CX and the role of emotions
Marketing experts and researchers advise enhancing CX. The question is on which CX factors should retailers focus on when they try to improve CX?
Take a step back and think about a memorable experience you had with a brand. Why does it stand out? Were you excited, surprised, or disappointed? The point is customers make emotional decisions. One thing that stays long after is “how a particular experience made us feel”. By understanding and hitting into those emotions, businesses can develop a powerful connection that creates fierce advocates.
For instance, when it comes to the healthcare industry, patients are inclined towards talking to a Live agent even though hospitals put their best efforts to offer telemedicine and digital services during the pandemic. There’s an emotion involved while patients make their decisions.
“Whenever we make decisions about healthcare brands, 70% is emotional and only 30% is transactional. Hence the healthcare industry is a unique blend of digitization in the clinical outcomes and personalization when you really touch the customers,” said Kowshik Bhattacharjee, Head of Customer Excellence, Medcare, UAE.
Difference between Passives and Detractors
Measuring the emotion of customer experience is a next-generation CX measurement and platform development. Businesses often struggle when they rely on traditional metrics to improve and engage with consumer-facing teams with almost inactive NPS or Customer Satisfaction scores.
It’s easier to open the way with a detractor (unhappy customers) than it is to get in touch with a passive customer; because detractors are more vocal about their interaction with the brand, so they’ll reach out with complaints more frequently as compared to a passive who is a “somewhat” satisfied consumer.
In this scenario, companies get a chance to make up with detractors, as they would make their negative experience more noticeable, hence there’s a high possibility that detractors would open, read and respond to email or message. Whereas, a passive might not view services or products as a high preference in their lives. They might use it out of necessity, hardly use it or along with alternatives from your competitors, thereby an outreach email or message can be more like just another random message for them.
The most reliable way to reach out to passives is with a direct message — asking questions such as if there is any scope of improvement, what they’d like to see in your product or service, what their unique requirements are and how you can better serve them.
Usually, all it takes is a short email with just a few questions to reach out to a passive customer and start converting them into loyal, valuable promoters (happy customers who are likely to recommend the brand).
A Deeper understanding of Promoters
Traditional metrics help by telling brands what needs to be improved, whereas emotional CX measurement reveals how. If a CX program simply relies on traditional metrics, then brands miss some of the important aspects. The metrics which add the “feel” element to what consumers say they “think” opens new perceptions on driving the best-in-class that influences future loyalty.
The brand, products, and services are experienced by consumers in different ways and usually it’s the emotions connected with experience that cements the moment in their minds.
How Retailers Can Improve Their Affective CX
Understanding the importance of consumers emotions leads retailers to the next step, which is constructing how you want your consumers to feel.
Which emotions do you want your consumers to “attach” to your brand? Which emotions do you want your consumer to experience when they shop at your store? These are questions a retailer might ask. According to The Nature of Customer Experience and its Determinants in the Retail Context: Literature Review positive emotions like enjoyment, entertainment, excitement, and peacefulness before, during, and after the shopping experience was found to improve CX.
The pandemic transformed the consumer in many ways due to which digital presence has got an upward trend. Consumers prefer shopping online or a combination of online and offline channels. Therefore, retailers need to seamlessly blend various channels to provide an omnichannel experience.
If retailers want to enhance CX, it’s mandatory for them to consider all shopping channels. Just thinking about the store atmosphere is not enough to support an enjoyable CX experience, more strategies must be in place for various channels and touchpoints.