Almost three-quarters of consumers say they prioritize experiences over products.1 It’s just one indication of how much customer experience matters. We seek great experiences, the happiness they bring, the chance to share them with others. These are things that will always outlast the satisfaction we get from purchasing an item.
It’s turned CX into a mission-critical business imperative. Brands all over the world are in the midst of implementing their own digital transformation, constantly gathering data as they try to understand their customers and offer those all-important experiences.
But the key to powering customer experience isn’t simply found in technology and data. Creating the experiences that customers crave means understanding them and their needs on a human level – connections based on empathy.
Scientists have found that the feeling part of the brain can process information five times faster than the thinking part of the brain.2 So we, as humans, literally feel first and think second.
With our feelings able to overtake our thoughts in such powerful ways, it’s imperative that as brands, we lead with our hearts. Aligning to customers’ values and what they care about is a powerful way to get them to associate your organization with a host of positive emotions.
Just as people put emotion before logic, they put questions before answers and challenges before solutions. So be ready to seize the opportunity to engage them emotionally - giving them the answers, providing the solutions, meaning what you say, and making them feel good.
In return, you can expect some significant rewards, as these feelings transfer into buying behavior – and more. Positive emotional associations not only make us seven times more likely to buy more from a company, we’re also eight times more likely to trust the brand and six times more willing to forgive them when they make a mistake.3
It’s almost as if we’re building up a bank of emotions with a brand, and when it makes a misstep, we’re willing to forgive much more easily because of that positive association.
It’s even possible for you to aim for the ultimate – advocacy. These positive associations will make your customers much more likely to share with friends, family, and co-workers that they love your brand. In a world where 60% of us use the same type of emotional language for our favorite brands as we do family, friends and pets – words like love, happy and adore4 – it’s a worthwhile aim.
Leading with your heart can really set a powerful foundation for having a conversation with customers and driving customer experience.
If you’d like to learn more about maximizing your opportunities and establishing emotional connections by leading with your heart, you can:
1 Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics, Generations on the Move
2 How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y. By Joeri Van Den Bergh, Mattias Behrer
3 Temkin Group, Q1 2016 Consumer Benchmark Study
4 Deloitte Digital, Exploring the value of emotion-driven engagement, May 2019