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Emotional connection in customer experience


Recently, our dishwasher broke down. We called an engineer who turned up, took a look, read it its last rights and declared we needed to get a new one.

Emotional connection in customer experience Fintech CoinGenius Hosts Virtual Crypto Event The Road To Mass Adoption

Machines cannot empathise (yet) and understand what is happening inside our heads

We had a look online and found a suitable model. Due to our kitchen setup, we needed an integrated model. Luckily, the ordering process took this into account.

We clicked through a wizard, a series of beautifully designed screens that, very pictorially, was intended to ensure the model ordered could fit perfectly in the hole in our kitchen. Someone had thought through the process and rightly decided that a picture was worth a thousand words. We opted for installation, set a delivery time and hit buy.

And then the doubts set in.

I am a natural worrier, and almost as soon as I pressed “buy”, I started wondering if I had actually taken everything into account. I started imagining the delivery/installation team arriving and getting annoyed because I had foolishly clicked on the wrong picture on the online wizard, rendering the dishwasher useless for our purposes. I managed to push away my fears until the day of delivery.

As had been promised, I received a call from the delivery driver on the day of delivery – let’s call him John. His telephone manner was so pleasant that any verbal roasting fears evaporated. John turned up with his helper, let’s call him Lewis. Their professionalism and style were so incredibly reassuring and, well, just lovely. It made me appreciate just what an excellent end-to-end customer experience I had encountered.

> The digital shopping experience – amazing

> Being kept up to date – fab

> Lovely people to deliver and install – hurrah!

But the vital element was the humans. I think John and Lewis totally understand that customers may well be worried about the choices that they have made and have been trained to provide maximum reassurance. And that matters. That is the sharp and pointy end of a “customer experience”. It is emotive and memorable and creates chemicals in our brain that means there is a connection in a way that simply does not happen with a purely digital experience.

In a similar vein, I was chatting to someone in the wealth management industry who told me about an incredibly sad client. This client lived in rural England and had to commute to London every day (pre-COVID, obvs) to a job they hated. This wealth manager did not like seeing his client so unhappy, so he looked at his financial holdings, did the sums and made a suggestion. Why not retire? His client could afford to do it and was at an age where it was possible. His recommendation proved to be the nudge that this person needed. They retired and their quality of life improved.

This story speaks to that human connection. Machines cannot empathise (yet) and understand what is happening inside our heads. So, if a website asks us how we are feeling, it is not the same as if a human poses that same question.

The wealth management industry is lucky as it is in a good position with its human representatives who can create that connection with customers. Its big opportunity is how to make the best use of technology to support those relationship managers.

The big challenge is the fintech space and the more mass-market financial services propositions. So much of what they do is digital and machine based. They are creating technology-driven experiences to help customers manage more and more of their daily lives through mobiles and computers. But most lack a “human heart”, so the opportunity to make that visceral “chemical” connection is not there. And that should be something that worries the industry. Without it, there is a danger that these products and services will become disposable.

However, on my daily scroll through TikTok not so long ago, I came across a video from Monzo. In the video, Richard Cook, its head of social, explained how to “save over £660 with the 1p savings challenge”. The video is authentic, interesting, charming and very watchable, as are the other videos that Monzo produces.

Watching the video, I actually started to feel a connection to Monzo. A chemical reaction was happening in my brain, connecting me to the brand. I felt warm and fuzzy. Whether by design or not, Monzo has found a way of using social media effectively to augment their functional experience to create that all-important human connection. They have moved from a two-dimensional piece of functionality into something more rounded and 3D with a personality.

Monzo’s use of social demonstrates that, while it is difficult, it is not impossible to open the door to a more emotive relationship with your customers, which can only be a massive positive.

About the author

Dave Wallace is a user experience and marketing professional who has spent the last 25 years helping financial services companies design, launch and evolve digital customer experiences.

He is a passionate customer advocate and champion and a successful entrepreneur. 

Follow him on Twitter at @davejvwallace and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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  • Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2022/05/emotional-connection-in-customer-experience/

This Post was originally published on BankingTech

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