A glance at most social media feeds can tell you that people are frazzled, anxious, and overwhelmed. When faced with this environment, brands need to rise above the noise and connect with consumers on a positive emotional level to stand out from the crowd.
Stress, Sadness and Anger Are At a Record High
Stress, sadness and anger are at a record high, according to a Gallup report. The global economy, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, political unease and numerous other factors have contributed to an increase in mental health disorders.
In addition to being more anxious than ever, today's customers are impatient, irritable and sad. These emotions can affect buying behaviour, customer loyalty, and overall company performance in the market.
Safety, Security and Reassurance are The New Primary Customer Needs
People need to feel safe, secure and reassured. They want to trust that the brands they buy from can help them navigate their lives in a turbulent world with unknowns. Sales funnels need reshaping to accommodate these new needs.
Designing Intense Brand Experiences
Emotions are the foundation of human decision-making. In this world full of noise, emotional resonance can be a useful trick in the hat.
Customers have a choice of where to spend their money, and they will choose the brands that create positive experiences. If you don't, it could cost your business dearly.
When a customer feels something for your company—love or hate—that feeling will drive them to action (or inaction). In this current state of things, brands that preach hope inspire loyalty because these customers want to see positive change in their communities and the world.
An emotional brand experience is authentic. It doesn't seem forced or pandering. Instead, it comes from within the organization's core values so that customers can truly connect with what you stand for.
Create Immersive Journeys
Create a service or product world that makes customers forget about the things happening around them. It needs to be unique, memorable and meaningful—but also easy enough that it doesn't feel like work for them (or anyone else involved in the process).
How can marketers achieve this? One way is through using innovative storytelling techniques, from memes to animation. Using these approaches, marketers can create immersive experiences that drive real impact with their audience.
Streamline all front-facing processes and procedures. You want to make your customers' interaction with your brand as easy as possible.
Focus on simplifying the process of purchasing, returning, or contacting you in any way possible. If they can understand and navigate your website more easily, there is a greater chance that they will become repeat customers or refer others to do business with you.
Communicate With Clarity
Language: avoid jargon and speak in simple language. Keep your messaging short, clear and concise.
Images: use imagery that is non-polarizing. Avoid anything that could be construed as offensive or contentious. Don't use photos of people with disabilities, for example (unless you are specifically targeting this market segment).
Video/animation: use immersive video and animation to tell stories about your brand—what it means to customers, why they should care about it and how it can improve their lives or solve problems for them (or both).
Social media: Instagram Stories and Telegram updates are a great way to add visual spice to your communications without requiring much investment from you or your agency team.
Be Patient and Listen
When you're experiencing angry customers, remember that they may feel overwhelmed and under-served. It can be helpful to realize that their anger is not necessarily a reflection of how you've treated them but rather a byproduct of an external situation.
When faced with angry customers, it's essential to listen and acknowledge the emotions behind their anger before diving into solutions for them. This will help build trust and establish rapport so you can work together to solve the problem.
After listening carefully, ask questions to learn more about what your customer needs from you and any additional information that would help serve them better.
Apologizing is the most crucial part of customer service. It's also one of the most difficult to implement effectively. When crafting a brand apology, you must be transparent and give clear answers so that customers know what happened and why it happened.
You should also sweeten the deal by offering some form of compensation—even if it's just a small discount—to show them your remorse has genuine value behind it.
Personalize the experience. What do you want your customers to feel when they engage with your brand? Keep this in mind and consider how you can provide them with a personalized experience that aligns with their expectations.
Personalize the content, message and story design. Create relevant content for customers based on their needs and interests. This can be achieved by collecting data from all touchpoints throughout the journey—from ad clicks through to purchase—and then using this data to construct messages tailored specifically for each customer segment.
Personalize messaging through storytelling techniques such as framing (showing how things are connected), reframing (applying new meaning or context), and embedding persuasive elements into narratives that appeal to emotions.
It's essential to make sure your employees are as invested in positive brand experiences as you are. Ensure that they understand the emotional motivators in their niche (could be safety, security, love or any other desires).
As a team leader, you must train your customer support team to identify and leverage these motivators within each interaction. Teach them how to show empathy, patience and care when interacting with customers—even when things don't go according to plan or expectations aren't met immediately.
In addition, teach them how to build credibility and trust so that customers feel comfortable and reassured when they deal with your business.
The bottom line is that brands must be more sensitive, flexible and responsive. They must create a deep connection with their customers and emotionally impact them. This requires businesses to change their mindset from thinking about marketing as an informational exchange to an experience that is deeper and richer.