Marketing Strategy

Are You Leveraging the Science of Customer Emotions?

Connecting with customers’ emotions could be the best way to get new business. Here’s how to add this element of customer focus to your portfolio.

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Building a customer-centric marketing strategy doesn’t just rely on winning your customers’ mindshare; it’s also about making an emotional appeal. According to new research published in the Harvard Business Review, emotional connections are an essential part of winning customers. Yet for marketers, it’s not always clear how to move toward engaging customer emotions. Here are some strategies that can put you on the right path.

Measure emotions: It’s hard to start cultivating strong positive emotions when you don’t have a baseline to work from. There are numerous strategies businesses can use to take a pulse on how their companies are connecting emotionally with audiences. They can conduct surveys or interviews, hire an agency to conduct emotional measuring, or explore social media sentiment analysis. Often, it’s possible to make a concerted effort to understand how you’re currently doing in terms of emotional connection.

Identify gaps: What does your initial baselining reveal? If you’re on a positive emotional footing with your customers, define what’s working well, and invest more in those areas. For example, one organization I worked with found that having customer success managers conduct outreach to their customers greatly improved customer satisfaction and created a positive sense of being cared for. If emotional connections aren’t being made, identify the gaps and see what can be improved.

Invest in emotional connections: For many organizations, trying to forge an emotional connection with customers is a whole new approach. An important aspect of making this a success is realizing that it will take some investments—potentially of staff time, financial support, and other resources. Making the commitment to do this, and then backing it up with the logistical support to make it a reality, can pay dividends in your business.

Understand the emotional component of your business: One of the most important steps to making strong emotional connections in your business is to understand where the emotional context is for your business. For example, a clothing store might connect with customers by helping them feel good about their appearance or get ready for a big event or job interview. A healthcare provider forges an emotional connection by showing patients it cares and empowering them about their health. Explore what emotional details customers are likely bringing to your business, and build off that to create unforgettable connections.

It’s no longer enough for customers to remember your brand. We live in a world where it’s critical that they also feel a strong emotional connection with you. Take the time to research baselines, evaluate what’s working and where improvements can be made, and make a commitment to invest in creating those emotional connections with your customers.