Emotional Connection via Apps
Use everything you know about the customer to improve CX.
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As a lifelong marketer turned research analyst, I've worked on the positioning, branding, and differentiation of products, services, and brands my entire career. Today, customers' brand experience is frequently driven first and foremost by digital (DX) and plenty of digital brands are raising customers' expectations.
Thanks to those digital brands, customers expect 24/7 availability, real-time engagement with apps to complete tasks, access to online resources and subject matter experts, and a custom digital experience leveraging the data they've provided.
According to Bain, the revenue of digital leaders is 2X that of digital laggards. Companies like Amazon, Apple, NetFlix, Google, Lyft, Spotify, and Airbnb have driven customer experience (CX) expectations to a new level.
New research from Deloitte Digital, "Exploring the Value of Emotion-Driven Engagement" reaffirms what I have been suggesting for many years — emotion helps drive brand loyalty.
I had the opportunity to discuss the research with Anthony Stephan, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and US Head of Deloitte Digital and Tim Greulich, Experience Management Product Leader, Deloitte Consulting.
Key findings of the research include:
Emotional outcomes drive brand loyalty and advocacy. Get to know your customers.
Consumers expect a two-way relationship with a brand. Consumer insights and reciprocity.
Consumers have strong feelings about what brands know about them. Use relevant customer data to improve CX.
You need to provide coherent, predictable experiences across all touchpoints. Consistency builds trust. Inconsistency leads to confusion and mistrust.
According to the study, consumers expect brands to listen and respond to their needs, but they also feel strongly about the types of information that brands should know about them and how that information should be used. It found:
- Trust is the most important emotional factor that influences consumers’ connections to a brand. Unfortunately, trust can be broken more easily than it can be established.
- Trustworthiness (83%), integrity (79%), and honesty (77%) are the emotional factors that people feel most align with their favorite brands.
- More than a third (35%) of consumers do not want their favorite brand to know their browsing history for similar products or services in order to serve relevant ads; but 66% of consumers expect brands to use their feedback to provide new products responsive to their wants and needs.
This align's with what my good friend, Dr. Ralph James, wrote about in The Integrity Chain. Integrity begets trust, trust results in repeat business, and repeat business results in profitability. Ultimately, integrity results in customers for life.
So what do developers need to take away from this research?
Because of the importance of integrity and trust, choose to make applications that will make you vulnerable to the reactions of others and be prepared to respond to those reactions. I've seen so many companies that think they know what their customers want without even talking to customers. Prototyping and testing are key elements of design thinking. Prototype and test your apps with customers and be open and responsive to their feedback.
Ask yourself, and your customers, is what I'm building enhancing or eroding trust? Are you improving the customer experience? Are you making customers' lives simpler and easier? Is the information your app is providing timely and relevant?
How is the app enhancing human connection with personalization and the information customers need to move forward?
If you are providing customers personalized, intuitive, relevant digital experiences, you're earning their trust and a customer for life, thereby adding value to your company.
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