Emotion Analytics Speaking Your Customers Language

The Role Of Emotion In Digital Customer Experiences

5 minute read
David Roe avatar
Research is proving that emotion plays a big role in customer experience and how your organization craft theirs will be the difference between success and failure.

In the world of digital business, organizations have two choices - evolve or get left behind. The need for change has never been as urgent as it is now.

There has been a good deal of discussion over the past two years as to what change is needed, and who should be driving that change. Even still, it has been difficult to identify what  the key elements of a superlative digital and customer experience are.

While the use of technology undoubtedly helps develop and build experiences, recent research from numerous difference resources is beginning to show that emotion should be driving the way organizations build these experiences.

According to the Inmoment 2017 CX research users are nearly twice as likely as brands to say they associate the emotion of anger with bad experiences.

Based on a survey of 10,000 brands and 20,000 consumers around the world,  the research showed in the hotel industry, for example, 88 percent of those customers that felt ‘valued’ would recommend that brand to others.

However, the opposite also applied. The research showed that that only eight percent those who felt they had a negative experience will continue their relationship with that brand. Individuals will advocate for the TV service provider, and just above 1 in 10 of them will keep their existing relationship with the TV service provider as well as enrich their relationship with additional products/services.

Owning CX, DX

At the recent CMSWire DX Summit in Chicago, it became clear that It is no longer enough for a CX team to simply own the theory of better customer experience - NPS, measurement, voice-of-customer reports among others. They also need to try to communicate that to separate teams that make those experiences.

The new model requires the CX team to speak the language of multiple disciplines and strengthen the overall customer experience by driving immediate and effective change through brand design, global UX strategies, tone of voice, and digital marketing programs.

Nicole Rachanow-Garvin, Assistant VP for User Experience at global insurance giant MetLife, points out that for many enterprises the digital transformation process is well under way and even wrapping up in many cases.

In the case of MetLife experience, she told the audience that experience innovation is the destination of all the digital stuff the company has been focused on for the past 20 years. The choice for the organization is to change or get left behind. Designing the end customer experience is the next era of transformation.

With startups setting new standards for products, services and experiences, large corporations are being forced to focus on transforming their customer experiences.

Digital People

Experience, though, is not about technology, it’s about people. According to Burlington, Mass.-based Stratabeat founder and CEO Tom Shapiro, people’s decisions and behavior are largely driven by the subconscious mind.

Citing research from Neilsen, he points out that the subconscious processes 11 million bits of sensory information every second compared with less than 100 by the conscious mind.

The implications for the development of customer experiences and marketing strategies is huge. It means, for example, that ads based on emotion perform better and ones that lack of emotion drives purchase intent downwards.

“By aligning your marketing to what the brain is naturally attracted to, and influenced by, you’ll be better able to deliver successful digital experiences,” he said.

"The human brain is oriented to process information in specific ways. Marketers need to develop campaigns around what the brain is naturally influenced by."

Taking the example of the success of the bricks-and-mortar Apple stores, he pointed out that that organizations achieve twice the impact with target audiences when using emotional marketing. Using this as its starting point, Apple's brick-and-mortar stores became the fastest growing retail space in history.

Learning Opportunities

The contrary is also true. Purchase intent drops when the marketing message fails to consider the emotional response of users to products and the way they are marketed.

Because of this, technology companies are investing heavily in either developing emotion recognition technologies, or buying emotion recognition marketing technologies. The market for these kinds of products will grow to $36 billion by 2021.

Using Metrics

Liraz Margalit is Director of Behavioral Analytics at Tel Aviv-based Clicktale and a specialist in the psychology of web use. She agrees that emotion is a key driver in web campaigns, but says enterprises need to develop and deploy metrics to get a better understanding of what people are doing both in the real world and online world.

"Traditionally retailers measure 'footfall as the number of people entering [their store], but those figures say nothing about where those people go, what they do," she said. "[In the online world] a click is not behavior. We must integrate metrics and see sequences over time if we are to infer meaning," said Margalit.

It is essential, however, that organizations understand these "meanings." Understanding the experiences of people on your site may seem like one of the hardest things to do, but innovative businesses who measure their customer online experiences are set apart from their competitors, according to Margalit.

“Stop thinking about conversion, start thinking about experience,” she said.

With artificial intelligence and smart machine gaining traction in the enterprise the role of emotion is often overlooked. However, research published by Gartner last May showed that enterprises are struggling to support a customer-centric business strategy.

It pointed out that game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machines will not provide long-term business advantage unless customer empathy is a key design consideration.

The bottom line, the Garter research argues, is that vendors need to build customer empathy into processes, policies and IT system configurations from the start.