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Are emotional connections the key to a powerful customer experience?

Are emotional connections the key to a powerful customer experience?

When we think about using emotion in marketing and communications, you may think of adverts that get us crying – such as the John Lewis Christmas ad, Man on the Moon.

Of course, adverts that provoke a strong response can be very effective, but this is rarely appropriate in the realm of customer communications.

However, adding an emotional component to your communications doesn’t mean trying to manipulate people into a strong reaction – it just means connecting your services and products to the moments in life that people care about. And it means understanding the emotional impact of a warning letter – or a gift. Everything we do has the capacity to annoy, inspire, delight or disgust. By being aware of the emotional power of our communications, we can do more to improve the experience for our customers. We can harmonise our communications with customer emotions - rather than work against them.

Becoming a CX leader

Cliff Condon, chief research and product officer at Forrester states: “If brands want to break away from the pack and become CX leaders, they must focus on emotion. Best-in-class brands average 17 emotionally positive experiences for every negative experience, while the lowest-performing brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one. Emotion is critical to a brand’s bottom line. For example, the TV service provider industry had the largest percentage of customers who felt annoyed of any industry in the study. Among those annoyed customers, only 17% plan to stay with the brand, 12% plan to increase their spending, and 11% will advocate for the brand. A large TV service provider leaves $104 million on the table for every one-point decline in its CX Index score.”

Emotional connection is the key to customer experience

In a Harvard Business Review article on why emotional connections are more important than customer satisfaction, the author writes: 

“Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs . That means appealing to any of dozens of 'emotional motivators' such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure."

Emotional customer communications

As we’ve seen, focusing on the emotional power of your communications doesn’t mean tugging on heartstrings, or manipulating our customers. It just means that we consider this aspect of our messages and media when composing and delivering communications. Let’s explore a few simple ways to align your communications with your customer’s emotional experience.

Consider the moment

Whether you’re an insurance provider, a utility company or a shoe store, your customers always interact with you when they have a need, a threat or an opportunity. While we can never be sure of our customers’ state of mind when they contact us or place an order, there are some assumptions we can make.

For example, a customer starting a new insurance policy might be feeling annoyed with their previous provider – and eager to have a better experience. And we can assume that any customer filing a complaint is already irritated – and may be feeling impatient to resolve their issue. Some of these points are obvious, but it’s important to reflect these moments in our communications. What more can you do to enhance a customer’s joy – or ease their pain? 

Be authentic and human

The easiest way to create a disconnect between your organisation and your customers is to use robotic, passive, jargon-filled language.

However, if you write as you would speak, you give customers the impression that they’re dealing with people – even when your communications are automatically composed and dispatched.

Listen and respond

If you can’t hear what your customers are thinking and feeling, you can’t respond appropriately. Make sure your communication channels give customers easy ways to provide feedback, and contact a person if that’s what they need.


Personalised communications are a simple way to show customers that they are recognised and understood. This doesn’t simply mean using a customer’s name, but also acknowledging their past orders or current subscriptions - and the implications of these actions. For example, don't offer support for a product the customer has never ordered.


Enhance the customer experience with DocCentrics

Our customer communication management (CCM) software makes it easy to create and send large-scale customer communications that resonate with your audiences. Want to know how DocCentrics can transform your customer experience? Our consultants can walk you through the platform and explore the benefits of using a single application to create and send all of your customer communications.