Institute of Product Leadership
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Focus On Making Emotional Connections With Customers

Your business succeeds or fails based on the connection that you share with your customer. We tend to focus all our energies on our business features -- from pricing to product claims to timetables. But it's not the facts that set you apart.

The rational elements of your business do little to differentiate you from your competition. They also don't help you form a relationship with your customers. It's the emotional benefits you offer that make your company special, turning your business into a brand.

Put the customer at the forefront

Examine your processes, procedures and even the messages you send to your employees. Where is the focus? Is it on you…or your customers?
Every time they serve a customer, they ask;" If I were the customer in this situation, how would this experience feel for me? Did the transaction feel simple and easy? Did my issue get resolved quickly? Did the team member accept responsibility for making sure I got what I needed?"
Consider changing your processes and systems, with your customer in mind.

Connect with customers' emotionality

The more your associates can understand your customers' experience, along with their feelings and expectations, the better they can serve them. And, "getting close to customers' emotionality requires empathy,"

Empathy is even more crucial when dealing with complaints, where emotionality is even stronger.

Listen, Listen, Listen

• Do you regularly listen and respond to your customers?
• Do you truly understand their concerns?

Whether it's a phone call, face-to-face, email or chat listening helps customers feel welcome, comfortable and important in every interaction.

Ensure to regularly listen to your customers. Listen for inconsistencies or any sort of validation with your brand image. Ensure to listen to your associates as well.

Show Respect

• What can you do to respond in a way that demonstrates understanding and respect, and creates a stronger connection with your customers?
• Do you deliver on your promises in a timely way?
• Do you go out of your way to apologize when things go wrong and fix the issue fast?
• Do associates treat each other with respect? It's no surprise that customers rave about their service.

Customers don't necessarily remember what you do for them as much as they remember how you made them feel. There's where you can uncover your emotional benefit, which is an integral part of customer insight.


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