Helen Murray, Chief Customer Solutions Officer for Webhelp UK, takes us through what emotional connections can do for your brand in 2021 and beyond.

When it comes to Customer Experience, research has shown time and again that emotional connection is key. 

We’ve previously looked at how emotional connections can be hugely important for brands at a time in which many of us have never felt more disconnected. In our Emotions white paper, we investigated how brands can develop emotional connections with their customers. 

In this article, we explore the ways in which emotional connections can directly impact brands’ relationships with their customers, specifically the impact to three fundamental customer success metrics: 

  1. How likely is your customer to buy more products from your brand?
  2. How likely are they to develop stronger loyalty?
  3. How likely are they to recommend you to others?

What is emotional connection? 

Before we move on, it’s worth qualifying what we mean by “emotional connections to a brand”.  

We define emotional connection as the feelings that come together to form a bond between the customer and a particular brand. When customers have an emotional connection to a brand, they feel positive feelings towards the brand that goes beyond simply ‘liking’ it – behaviours such as being willing to show loyalty, to buy more products, to pay attention to marketing and communications, and to recommend the brand to others, are all more prevalent. 

“People need to believe, which is easier to do when the brand has a strong purpose and values. A bond – or a genuine emotional connection – is more easily created and retained when these are conveyed by a person. Technology can be a powerful enabler, but it’s really people that are key to emotional connections.”  

David Turner,
Chief Executive Officer, Webhelp UK Region

Emotional connections in 2021 

In 2020 and 2021, we contributed questions to the Ryan Strategic Advisory: Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, with an interest in both occasions in understanding the role emotional connections can play in helping organisations build lasting relationships with their customers. 

The 2021 report collated the views of 628 enterprise executives, each of whom is responsible for strategic decision-making over contact centres in their respective organisations. 

The results were interesting: 

From the data, it’s clear that the survey respondents are of the firm and consistent belief, year on year, that consumers who feel a strong emotional connection to your brand are more likely to buy more of your products, they’re more likely to stick with your brand, and, significantly, they’re more likely to act as advocates for your brand. 

What’s also interesting to note is, looking at the data between 2020 and 2021, there’s been a negligible difference in the results, strongly suggesting that the impact of Covid-19 across the globe has had no discernible impact on how customers view their relationships with those brands with which they feel an emotional connection. 

A couple of other significant takeaways from the report: 

  • With a score of 3.53, the area that respondents suggest is least affected by emotional connections is that of price. What this essentially means is, it’s less likely that customers would accept price hikes purely because they have a strong emotional connection with the brand. 
  • Almost half (47%) of businesses surveyed recognise that emotional connections with customers is vital, and have a strategy in place to support this goal. This is an increase of 6% year on year.  

Examples of emotional impact in different sectors 

Judging from these results, it seems clear that brands who invest the time in creating real emotional connections with their customers can expect to see results. 

Let’s take a look at some real-world examples of how emotional impact can build strong customer ties: 

Consumer trust in TransferWise is sky high 

TransferWise (now Wise), a London-based money transfer platform released 5,600 balloons outside Westminster. Each balloon, representing one million of the £5.6 billion pounds lost by British consumers in hidden bank fees in just one year, was tagged with a personal story from a consumer, outlining how much that individual person had lost in hidden bank fees. 

AirBnB show their travel cards 

While the 2018 US travel ban was dispiriting to many, it had a particular direct effect on travel and hospitality firms, including AirBnB. The holiday firm decided not to rest on their laurels, and – echoing the frustration of people around the globe – made their position clear on the matter. Their decision to speak out on what was widely considered an immoral judgement was backed up by their donation of up to $150,000 to the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). 

Samsung (literally) provide Good Vibes 

As one of the foremost manufacturers of mobile devices in the world, Samsung know a thing or two about communication. But they also proved they have a strong consideration of their customers’ needs with the launch of Samsung Good Vibes, an app which allows deafblind individuals around the world to communicate with anyone via their smartphone. Developed in association with Sense International India, the app uses a Morse Code-based vibration system and is free to download from the Galaxy Store. 

These are all strong examples of how brands can directly create strong emotional connections with existing and potential customers. But how can organisations be sure that the connections they’ve built have real staying power? What can they do to embed those connections more deeply into their customer experience?  

Well, that’s where we come in. 

How we can help 

Like any other relationship, these emotional connections with customers need to be nurtured and maintained. They also need to exist on a bedrock of customer service and experience. In other words, there’s no point in trying to build strong emotional connections with your customers if your existing customer experience is poor. 

We can help you to shape the ideal customer journeys for your business. We leverage industry-leading technology and data to continually optimise performance, and to help you scale and grow your business in a cost-efficient way, while quickly adapting to new and changing customer needs.  

In short, we can help you build amazing experiences for your customers.