The foundation of your company is your customer base. Without customers, your company will soon fold up and fail. Ensuring loyal customer relationships is at the heart of every great business. Positive branding is only one step in the process of building a connection with customers.
A company must also be sure to connect emotionally and form a bond with its customers if that company plans to remain competitive. Products, services, high-tech tools, and a supreme location are assets to any business, but customers provide the sales.
Furthermore, a strong customer base translates to referrals, which brings more customers.
Research shows word of mouth advertising is highly effective. Actually, Nielson revealed that 92 % of consumers are more prone to believe word-of-mouth advertising from a family member or friend than they would all other forms of advertising. That is some very powerful advertising, even for you and your company...
Because of this information, it follows that every business needs a strong customer service and loyalty plan. In order to accomplish that goal, businesses must understand the experiences of their customers, discover a systematic way to gauge those experiences, and have a methodical plan in place to ensure the customer experience is positive. By this, a business is able to transform the customer experience.
The Emotional Perspective
One commonality of all customers is they all have emotions. This is an important factor in marketing and sales, and hence, in building a business. Emotions play a big part in the connection between the customer and the product or service. Dale Carnegie had this to say about the importance of the emotional aspect in sales:
Emotions create movement and action. They generate energy during the presentation and get prospects to act on the proposal being generated.
He also stated that the balance between emotion and logic must be adhered to in order to cement the bond. People are moved by their emotions, but after emotions subside they need a logical reason to connect with your product or service as well. Furthermore, customer emotions as it relates to your product or service are often fluid.
The fluid nature of emotions makes it difficult for companies to assess if they are accomplishing the goal of brand loyalty. Therefore, when a company is trying to determine whether customers are in fact emotionally bonding with them, a methodical approach is necessary.
Unless a close analysis of the customer experience takes place, businesses will not know the level of satisfaction their customers are experiencing. As customer data is compiled regularly, patterns of behavior can be extracted to determine the customer experience.
When considering the impact of customer’s emotional connection to a company brand, motivation is another key ingredient. What motivates customers to patronize your company? Even more importantly, what inspires a customer’s loyalty to your brand?
Professor Daniel Kahneman explains how we as humans take decisions in 95-98 percent of our awakening time.
The Harvard Business Review conducted research on precisely that topic and they made an interesting discovery. Their studies revealed that people are motivated by their emotions to purchase products and that people do make emotional bonds with companies; actually, they discovered hundred of such motivators within consumers, but only ten were considered of strong significant value.
When companies are able to identify, measure, and tap into these emotional motivators, they have a winning strategy to create loyalty.
Additionally, they found four levels of connectedness. They are as follows:
- Level 1: Unconnected emotionally.
- Level 2: Highly satisfied, yet not completely connected.
- Level 3: Identifying brand differentiation, yet not completely connected.
- Level 4: Completely connected.
The research found an important discovery when comparing what the financial impact was if a change in levels occurred. For example, what brings more value to the company in terms of ROI?
The article noted that most companies focus on the unconnected or unhappy customers and attempt to bring them up to the next level. However, a remarkable increase in sales and frequency of purchases occurred when a customer crosses over from level three to the fully connected level four customer.
In fact, the level four customers are “52 % more valuable, on average, than those who are just highly satisfied.” That is quite a huge increase in value. Businesses would do themselves well to discover why, how, and what causes their highly satisfied customers to be at the level they are, so that they can help elevate them to the fully connected status.
Why is emotional bonding so important in building a successful brand? We see from the research that it increases the ROI, yet there are other important reasons companies should make it a priority. The main reason is that once customers feel an emotional connection with your brand, they become loyal to it. Loyal customers are an asset for the following reasons:
- Loyal customers are likely to pay more for your product or service.
- Loyal customers passionately tell friends about your company so you gain new customers.
- Loyal customers will most likely stick with you for the duration.
As companies strive to remain competitive, having a customer loyalty plan in place is crucial. Simply giving out surveys sporadically will not provide the kind of data necessary for measuring customer emotional connectedness. A thorough in-depth view of your customers across all touchpoints at various times yields the information needed.
This type of information is obtained through extended customer dialogue.
At Effectlys, we create actionable customer dialogues that extract the relevant data for your business. Our successful team then provides analysis concerning the information. Learn more in about how to build a powerful Customer Loyalty Program from the free whitepaper below.