David Turner, Webhelp UK Group CEO, introduces the blog serialisation of our latest whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” 

Commissioned by leading customer experience provider Webhelp, the series will look at what brands need to know about emotional connections with customers and feature a range of industry experts.

Great brands make us feel something. They’re there where and when we need them. The best ones go further. They chat, share, understand, fix, reward and put people first.

In the midst of the feelings brands inspire, how many of us really think about what we’re buying and why?

An interesting question as apparently 95 percent* of our purchasing decisions take place in the subconscious mind, which is overseen by our emotions.

If we look specifically at research from the retail sector, it has been shown that customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are far more valuable to that brand, spending twice as much than those just simply satisfied with the brand; they also have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand longer and recommend more**. To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, it is therefore very obvious that brands must cultivate an emotional connection with their customers.

As part of this third chapter of the Webhelp Disruptor Series, we have once again commissioned research through polling experts YouGov. This time, we took a deep dive into the hot topic of ‘emotional connection’ and explored to what extent emotional connections exist between consumers and brands, what forms an emotional connection, and how people behave if they are emotionally connected to a brand.

While emotional connection can – and does – exist, it is not reported by all consumers. However, the extent to which our research revealed that emotional connection positively impacts consumer behaviours was hugely encouraging. People really do buy more, remain loyal and recommend more if they are emotionally connected to a brand. And it was no surprise to me to see just how crucial customer experience is to forming these highly profitable emotional connections…

And at a time when Webhelp has just launched its new brand vision of ‘Making business more human’, it was particularly interesting to see just how important being a ‘human’ brand is to consumers. Heartening reading indeed for us all at Webhelp – and no doubt other industry professionals who read this paper.

A word of caution however. As many brands undergo digital transformation, the focus on emotional connection – as well as ‘human’ brand attributes – must not be overlooked.

Often, given the number of channels that can be used to communicate with customers, brands forget that connection is essentially ‘human to human.’ But if brands are unable to establish and maintain strong emotional bonds with customers they will most certainly get lost in the choppy seas of competition…

* Harvard Business School

** www.prnewswire.com

You can follow the blog serialisation, and join the conversation, on the Webhelp LinkedIn and Twitter sites or read the Whitepaper in full below.