How Companies Can Forge Deeper Connections With Customers Through Technology

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While brands have traditionally used various tactics to create an emotional connection between the company and the customer, they should also look toward newer concepts like CX, the customer journey, and technologies like AI and CPaaS. Here, Brian Gilman, CMO, IntelePeer, discusses how marketers can use these concepts and technologies to develop deeper connections. 

Using marketing to create emotional connections between brands and consumers is nothing new. In fact, these principles were pioneered in the late 1920s by Edward Bernays, the father of PR. Some of his methods were controversial, but Bernays’ strategy of appealing to the target audience’s deepest desires was immensely successful. While emotion-based tactics are typically associated with print advertisements or television commercials, more novel concepts like customer experience (CX) and the customer journey are equally important when establishing these meaningful connections. And with new technologies, such as AI-powered data analytics and Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), companies can create an emotional connection with their users or customers to deepen relationships, foster brand loyalty and boost revenue.         

Building Emotional Connections Throughout the Customer Journey

Many companies lack a strategic objective that spans the customer journeyOpens a new window , and some brands cannot distinguish between the types of interactions that are superior occasions to build emotional connections to nurture brand loyalty. Generally, there are two types of interactions between customers and businesses. The first is more transactional, where a person asks for the tracking status of their package or account balance. More often, these things get accomplished via self-service features with chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants, which do not garner much brand loyalty. Still, greater convenience and speed are welcomed by customers, especially today. Likewise, these seemingly insignificant interactions can snowball over time into emotionally-rooted relationships with customers.

See More: The Human Touch: Marketers’ Journey to Emotional Connection

The second type, which is much more influential to brand loyalty, deals with omnichannel or complex transactions that involve multiple interactions over different channels. Customers who engage in an omnichannel experience are more emotionally connected, which, ultimately, makes these efforts more profitable for businesses. Take a complex transaction like buying a home. When someone buys a home in a new state, they are constantly interacting with a bank or mortgage company over several months, visiting the website for necessary forms, getting assistance via phone calls and even going to the office for a face-to-face consultation. Throughout the customer journey, whether the business is insurance, finance or retail, brands need to provide emotional and meaningful interactions for the most optimal customer experience possible. Finally, when the client emerges from the journey, they are a loyal customer and will recommend products or services to others.

Unmasking and Better Serving Customers With Data

Businesses must find out what motivates customers to connect with them on an emotional level. Essentially, brands need to determine why people purchase their products or services. Data is also critical to pinpointing customers’ challenges and pain points. Companies can leverage AI-powered big data analytics techniques to discover their target audience’s emotional needs and adjust the customer experience accordingly. 

Data allows organizations to serve their customers more effectively and give them personalized and individualized interactions, such as messaging via their preferred channel, which makes the customer feel valued, deepening the emotional connection. Plus, keeping data out of silos helps companies make the customer experience more efficient. Data acts as the connective tissue of the customer experience, enabling seamless handoffs between agents and departments, which prevents customers from having to repeat their queries multiple times. Consider a mortgage business using data to help guide a client through an application; whenever the client calls, the agent can immediately pick up where they left off on their previous phone call.

See More: The Age of Brand Intimacy: Why Marketers Should Care

CPaaS and the Customer Experience

When most think of emotional connections, they typically imagine marketing campaigns that tell gripping, moving or nostalgic stories. However, as demonstrated, the customer experience provides ample opportunities to create emotional connections between brands and those they serve. One modern communication solution that can make customer-company interactions more meaningful, even if they are not face-to-face, is CPaaS.

Businesses might not have the talent to craft the same stories as Nike or the resources to build the highly-specific workflows as Amazon, but they can leverage the intuitive features of CPaaS. Various leading CPaaS platforms provide pre-packaged, low-code applications that require minimal development. Through these enterprise-grade, snap-in applications, companies can support advanced communication workflows and integrations that encourage more chances for meaningful connections.

Moreover, most leading CPaaS offerings come with AI-powered automation, empowering businesses to ensure 24/7 communication, provide intelligent call routing based on natural language processing and deliver more tailored experiences. The automation capabilities of CPaaS platforms are just as pivotal as having un-siloed data. Say a client calls a business, but all live agents are busy. In such a situation, the company can avoid disaster by automating self-service options allowing the caller to speak to a bot that will gather important information until an agent is free. 

Linking Products/Services With Resolutions

Research shows that consumers will begin to associate a brand with the resolution it providesOpens a new window . Similarly, people might even start connecting a particular name brand with the actual object itself, as is the case with ‘Coke’ being ubiquitous for any carbonated beverage in the South. Businesses must strive to make the various customer interactions positive (no matter how insignificant) so that, over time, people develop emotional connections with that business. Even for organizations that sell simple products or consumable items, every interaction on the customer journey needs to contribute to the larger and long-term emotional attachment.

How are you using newer technologies to develop deeper connections with your customers? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .

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