Brands are starting to see the need to embed emotional intelligence into the customer experience. Implementing automation across sales, marketing, and customer service is crucial, as well as finding ways to personalize an experience for a customer using empathy.
Studies show that human empathy is on the decline – a deficit that costs the average brand $300 million in lost revenue each year. Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) to help brands recognize opportunities to respond empathically are on the rise.
Understanding the customer mindset really starts with brands actually connecting with their customers to effectively market, sell and serve. Empathic AI solutions are coming on the scene to complement and empower sales, marketing and service professionals on the customer frontline; they are helping to identify customer emotional state and intent, enabling organizations to deliver a high definition customer experience.
Emotional intelligence in business leads to superior performance
Now more than ever, customers are looking for easy, effortless experiences that meet their current and future needs. In fact, how customers feel drives their shopping habits, and around 86% will pay more for a great customer experience. This is where the brand’s emotional intelligence plays a critical role. McKinsey recently referenced a study that evaluated 170 publicly traded companies on their empathic abilities and found that companies with empathy in their culture and customer relationships will have a positive net benefit to their bottom line. The top ten leaders in empathy outperformed the bottom ten twice in the stock market.
Gartner agrees that companies that employ empathy significantly outperform those that do not, in terms of sales and profit. Designing an emotionally conscious organization is increasingly becoming a top topic on the board’s agendas.
The New Path to CX Success Depends on Empathy
Empathy is key on the way to delivering great customer experiences; however, empathy can be difficult to achieve without the right plan. According to Forrester, consumers are gravitating towards brands that emphasize people over profits. While nearly every company knows the importance of showing customer empathy, most struggle to deliver it consistently.
Many organizations are prioritizing humans and bots working together to bring out each other’s best capabilities using AI to identify how customers feel so customer-facing professionals can understand and respond in real time. Today, AI-driven sentiment analysis capabilities are overloading CRM functions such as sales, marketing and service interactions with the power to know the emotional state and intent of every customer and prospect.
Paul Greenberg, president of 56 Group, LLC and author of The Commonwealth of Self Interest: Business Success Through Customer Engagement, has written extensively about the business imperative of empathy – the ability to understand what customers and employees are going through, along with the context. and act accordingly. He states, “One of the greatest vocations of customer experience professionals and enabling technology platforms is to help customers through understanding their struggles and aspirations.”
By leveraging a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI to surface next-level or next-best actions for empathic customer engagement, AI solutions are becoming progressively good at using sentiment analysis capabilities. to better understand the customer. Greenberg says, “AI-based sentiment analysis combines customer voice and text with commercial action, providing every sales and service interaction with the means to explain customers’ emotional tone and attitude – indispensable context for delivering customer experiences. exceptional”. In addition, business professionals can review sentiment data to gauge the overall customer experience and journey effectiveness – providing the means for continuous improvement in serving and exceeding customer expectations.
Using empathic AI solutions that mimic human empathy is visibly helping frontline employees who work directly with customers to better understand and respond in context to the breadth and depth of customer behaviors and emotions to ultimately serve them better.
the recipe for success
The CX journey needs to be memorable and one that also recognizes and addresses the emotional needs of customers. On many occasions, customers will want a self-service interaction that is quick, easy and makes the best use of their time. However, at other times when there is a problem or they want to understand how a product or service will best meet their needs, they will want to be truly understood, felt and heard through a human connection.
Organizations are currently focusing on utilizing AI to improve the customer experience by understanding and meeting their needs. Customer-facing professionals can produce the right answers and results quickly and confidently using AI solutions. For the customer, this shows that their needs and emotional state are satisfied to help build authentic connections with customers that bode well for continued loyalty.
Leveraging AI-powered solutions using sentiment analysis provides the critical insights businesses need to recognize customer emotions and deliver a high-definition experience at scale.
This use of AI is becoming critical in the realm of customer experience to increase customer satisfaction and improve results. While emotional intelligence may vary from one employee to another, with empathic AI capabilities, our own human emotional intelligence can be augmented and intensified to elevate the organization’s overall emotional intelligence.
This article was originally written by Chris Pennington and published by Ben Dickson in TechTalks, a publication that examines trends in technology, how they affect the way we live and do business, and the problems they solve. But we also discussed the evil side of the technology, the darker implications of new technology, and what we need to watch out for. You can read the original article here.