Most business owners know that providing good customer service is crucial to fostering customer loyalty or winning new clients. While this is true, there is another element to doing good business that often gets overlooked, and that's making an emotional connection with your customers.
In addition to offering the best shopping experience or quality products and services, brands should consider appealing to customers' emotions. As Harvard Business Review succinctly explained it, businesses should meet their clients' “deep, often unspoken emotional needs.”
However, the idea is particularly challenging to eCommerce companies, as most conduct their business solely online. Connecting emotionally with customers without the help of physical staff or a brick-and-mortar store experience can be difficult, but it can be done. Here are some suggestions how:
Create a Story for Your Brand
Brand stories give your company the opportunity to show off the characteristics and values it puts in high regard. It also gives customers something they can relate to and it helps explains how your brand faces your clients' problems. The more open and transparent your brand's story is, the higher the chances are of customers trusting your company. A simple and direct narrative that clearly speaks about your brand's purpose can be a very effective way of generating positive emotions from customers.
A good example of this approach is Trader Joe's. The company replaced its “About Us” page with an “Our Story” page and the rest is history. The story humanizes the brand by explaining the company's approach to doing business and what it values most. The new page also has a link to a company timeline that shows how it grew from a small chain of convenience stores to becoming a nationally recognized brand with over 400 locations.
Irresistible Images Make Compelling Emotional Triggers
Videos and photos are good at providing instant emotional triggers, regardless of whether that emotion is joy, sadness, fear, love, or lust. Intersperse interesting videos and eye-catching photographs throughout your website that visitors would love to share with their friends and family. You can also use photos of your staff, your offices, and maybe some behind-the-scenes images so visitors to your website will see who's behind the brand. Putting a face to the people behind the brand makes it more relatable.
Apple, for example, does an excellent job of using emotive imagery in its marketing campaigns. This has helped it to maintain one of the highest rates of customer loyalty among corporate brands.
Tap Into People's Greed
Greed has been the unabashed battle cry of the 80's, thanks to Michael Douglas' awesome portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. While the emotion might be considered a deadly sin in some social circles, there's no question of its effectivity in persuading people. Consider how the words “free,” “all yours,” or “valuable” are often used in advertising. Whether it's a free gift or a limited time offer, advertisers know that tapping into people's greed can reap rewards. After all, it's human nature for people to want to believe that they're getting something good for almost nothing.
If you want to use this emotion, you have to give your customers a little push and help them realize what they will be missing if they act too slow. Using phrases like “Limited Offer” or “Buy Now Before It's Too Late” have always been effective. You can also emphasize the benefits they'll get or the return of investment they'll enjoy.
Touch on People's Desire to Give Back
Most people want to give something back to the world, and brands that support a charity or are deeply involved in their community engenders a lot of positive emotions among consumers. A Cone Cause Evolution Study determined that 83 percent of Americans want the services and products they support to also support charities. It's not surprising then that 80 percent of American consumers are likely to change brands to ones that do support a charity.
TOMS epitomizes this idea. In its One for One campaign, the company pledged that for every purchased pair of shoes, they would also donate a pair to underprivileged kids. So far, the company has already donated 45 million pairs to charity.
Finding a way to incorporate charity or community work will boost your brand's awareness, reputation, and revenue.[Featured image via Pixabay]