Artificial intelligence (AI) radically creates new opportunities for customers to engage with brands by changing the CX landscape. However, the use of AI does not come without risk. Primarily, it has the potential to estrange customers by deflecting them from human contact. To create standout experiences, AI must be combined with a critical factor: empathy.
Harvard Business Review researchers found that brands that are emotionally connected to a product buy more, are more profitable and loyal than delighted customers. As with any relationship, the connection between a consumer and a brand evolves. There are numerous factors, including but not limited to, emotional responses, shared values, and rational considerations, all coming to play at some point in the evolution of that relationship.
There is genuine business value in establishing emotional connections with customers. However, many organizations spend time and resources measuring satisfaction to improve transaction details rather than deepening relationships.
Before we deep dive into empathy driven CX, let us understand what it means and how it is shaping the way consumers approach a product.
Theory of Empathy Driven Emotion Connection
So, what is an emotional connection? A few decades ago, business owners would rely on giving their customers a handshake and a friendly smile to make an emotional connection. Having said that, over the years, the scenario has changed. Now, it is more about capturing minds and hearts. It is more of an unconscious feeling than a conscious one.
Empathy-driven CX is a crucial aspect of emotional connection and a prerequisite to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Customers who feel connected to a product, employees, company, or brand are 25% to 100% more valuable in terms of profitability.
It is believed that human empathy is on the decline. It is a deficit costing the average brand $300 million in lost revenue every year. Understanding customer mindset is essential for brands to connect with them to effectively market, sell and serve. This is where empathic Emotion AI is coming into the picture to empower various service professionals on the customer front lines to deliver a better customer experience.
Importance of emotional empathy for enhanced consumer experience
Attention spans are low, and competition is intense. Face-to-face interactions have reduced, too, with everything going digital. Consumers want effortless experiences that satisfy their existing requirements, with more than 50% willing to pay more for a good customer experience. How consumers feel drives their purchasing habits and this is where brand emotional intelligence plays a critical role.
Businesses with empathy within their culture and toward the customer will have a net positive benefit on their bottom line. Emotion AI capabilities have enormous potential to augment human empathy. Hence, Emotion AI is becoming important in the customer experience ecosystem to improve the bottom line. Empathic AI can help level up employees who might otherwise miss customers' emotional cues.
Empathy: The new frontier for CX Success
Empathy is elusive, and consumers are loyal to the brands that prioritize people. While all businesses know the importance of customer empathy, most struggle to deliver it.
In today’s technology ecosystem, AI identifies how customers feel so that customer-facing professionals can respond in real-time. It has compelled organizations to prioritize humans and bots working together to bring out their best capabilities. Presently, empathy-driven sentiment analysis capabilities are supercharging CRM functions such as marketing, sales, and service interactions with the power of knowing customers' emotional intent.
Challenges in achieving a great consumer experience
Technology is growing in leaps and bounds, bringing a world of possibilities with it. Given the competitive environment, personalizing, and improving customer interaction and creating hyper-human experiences are more important for businesses than ever before.
There are three critical roadblocks for an organization to provide a great customer experience: empathy, serendipity, and privacy.
How to amplify CX through Emotion AI
Emotion AI is an enabler to influence and understand human emotion and is the future of CX. As every customer journey comprises multiple connected experiences, Emotion AI is no longer just a tool for companies to add to their services. It is of utmost importance for companies that want to understand data in real-time, create a different business model, and transform every customer experience into one that demonstrates empathy, serendipity, and privacy.
Emotion AI is tailor-made to help organizations understand what customers want and what they will need in the future. It assists organizations in unlocking customers' desires and tying together experiences with one that is relevant to customers.
Understanding how CX works is essential for business growth. Adopting Emotion AI helps businesses to grow in diverse ways discussed below.
Companies that can use Emotion AI to drive better experiences will create CX that are more human than ever before.
Emotion AI help brand connect with customers in an empathic way
Human beings look for experiences that connect them. Recently, technological advancements have enabled us to communicate in new ways never previously possible. Human empathy augmented by empathic AI solutions is helping front-line employees who work directly with customers better understand and respond in context to the range and depth of customer behaviours and emotions to serve them better ultimately.
Emotion AI solutions use sentiment analysis capabilities to understand the customer better.
A case example is Amazon and what it is doing with its Alexa AI tool. Amazon uses the tool to decipher users’ emotional states through their voices. Later, the AI assistant uses this insight to provide personalized responses based on the user’s mood and facilitate in-depth conversations. An emotion AI system can also scan a person’s face to monitor their reactions for levels of dependability, empathy, nervousness, and truthfulness.
Brands gain an understanding of customer sentiment, with emotion AI assessing qualities like anxiety, disgust, and surprise.
Following on the lines of Amazon, Schindler Elevator Corporation worked to increase empathy in customer interactions, throwing out call centre scripts to improve the human touch.
HSBC, for instance, emphasized the importance of empathy as a consideration during the recruitment process for those in customer-facing roles.
The winning formula
In this impersonal digital age, we believe that people want to be treated like humans and, more minor a part of a homogenous customer experience.
Beyond delivering customer experience to elevating the human experience, organizations will be better positioned to create more meaningful connections, foster loyalty, and drive growth.
Organizations are aware that Emotion AI is coming “over the hill,” it is time to take hold of AI to enable brands to do what they do best. And that is connecting with customers and prospects on a profoundly human level.