For many years, in the race to increase cost effectiveness, we added lots of layers between us and our customers’ emotions; we outsourced the customer service and support function overseas; on the websites, even a phone number is buried under layers and layers of FAQs, knowledge bases, and e-mail forms.
Recently, we have started realizing the importance the customers’ emotions; because of social media, the customers’ extreme emotions become super contagious, getting spread all around the web quickly, and influencing the company and brand significantly. I read an interesting research article in Marketing Week, Getting Emotional Work Wonder. In the article, Jo Roberts explains how market research industry is learning to measure emotional responses and use it to devise marketing strategy.
Connecting with consumers on an emotional level is very difficult to pull off because emotions come from the unconscious mind, so we’re not really aware of what’s going on there. To tackle this, the companies and market research agencies are finding innovative methods to tap into human feelings, including using images rather than direct questions and specially developing emotion tools.
Use Images and Scenario Pictures and Tools
Using scenario pictures rather than direct questioning to help consumers to articulate emotions is something that many researchers advocate. It can help consumers articulate their feelings. A market research firm has created a research tool with a methodology that involves asking people questions and then asking them to adjust a heart frequency, dialling it up or down to demonstrate how strongly they feel.
Spend Time with Customers
Spending time with consumers can be a useful way of finding out their real emotions about a product or service. When respondents are quizzed in their natural setting, researchers can get a better understanding of the real emotions about the product or service.
Handle Customer Feedback via Social Media
Listen to what people are saying about your brand, products, services, analyze and explore what they are feeling and more importantly you should react, respond. There are many ways to capture the customer feedback, their emotions in natural settings through social media. However, the problem is how to figure out which emotions to address first, which conversations make sense to listen and engage in. And, that’s when it is important to get more details, and initiate follow-up conversation in a controlled environment.