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Rant & Rave Head of Digital Marketing Rant & Rave Yiannis Maos discusses the Age of Customer Emotion and the opportunities that it presents to businesses

Facebook recently announced plans to introduce new emotion buttons as an alternative to the traditional “like” button. This comes at the same time that ‘Superbrands’ such as Heinz, Jaguar and M&S have regained popularity with consumers, with British Airways taking the top spot for quality, reliability and distinction. The report suggests that far from seeking out new brands, consumers have an appetite for a familiar brand with which they have an emotional connection – defying expectation that some challengers, such as technology enabled or social-based brands, would break through.

These recent developments have further highlighted our need to express emotions as consumers. The question is, in an age when consumers use a multitude of channels to communicate with brands, how can businesses keep up and provide the personalised experience that consumers demand to build upon this emotional relationship?

Appreciate how your customers are feeling

Having an understanding of how customers see themselves – or even better, who they want to be – is crucial in the Age of Emotion. Customer relationships are no longer just limited to transactional level, but develop as consumers interact with a brand. Understanding what drives your customers, including emotional motivators, should be a key element in everything from product creation to the way your agents communicate with customers in the contact centre. Emotions are incredibly personal, so by evoking an emotion in your customer you are instantly creating a connection with them. Connected consumers will care more, spend more, and be loyal to a brand – so it is crucial to build this link.

Make your emotional standpoint part of your brand identity, much like the heritage brands of British Airways and M&S have done, to build consumer trust.

Measure the sentiment in customer communications

With customers now demanding a 24/7 personalised service, brands must proactively reach out to customers to find out how they feel about the service they provide. Failing to do this may result in the customer turning to a competitor, and damaging your reputation. After all, research shows that 95% of customers share bad experiences with others, and getting customer experience right first time around is absolutely vital.

One way of tracking customer feedback is through measuring sentiment – essentially tracking how the customer felt in real-time through their language. Monitoring and acting on this feedback in real-time means that the business can take swift action on any problems that arise, and this can be elevated through the business if required. Gauging the sentiment of customer interaction also means that customers can be directed to more appropriate agents dependent on their history with a brand, and agents can provide a truly personalised experience.

The Age of Emotion is a golden opportunity for brands who are willing to take up the challenge of closing the loop with consumers by really listening to their feedback and acting on it. The superbrands report demonstrates that the most powerful driver for consumers is an emotional connection with brands. Therefore, to enhance customer experience, businesses should look to engage with consumers on this emotional level, building and nurturing relationships.

Rant & Rave was launched in 2000 and is a leading customer engagement specialist, counting half of the FTSE as clients. Its real-time technology lets brands proactively communicate with and listen to the voice of their customers so they can take real-time, inspired action.

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