The Value of Emotional Connection
Generation X expects it, Millennials (Generation Y) expect it. Generation Z expects it. And Relational Shoppers of all generations will metaphorically stand up and leave your online shop if they don’t get it.
We’re talking about The Human Conversation: a real-time, personalized, super-friendly, and effective service interaction which bridges the digital/human divide and creates a strong emotional connection with your customers.
Emotionally satisfying your customers means you get lower attrition rates while encouraging higher spending rates. But you need to do it consistently. It’s that consistency that will get you a sustainable competitive advantage.
The Human Conversation will help you get the advantage. We built our model around the customer service research and findings from (amongst others) McKinsey, Booz, Bain, and the Customer Contact Council.
Although The Human Conversation is primarily about stepping up the soft communication skills of your team. By employing The Human Conversation you can expect to…
Improve conversion and loyalty with Relational Shoppers — your most profitable customers — by more than 20%.
Reduce your number of your repeat queries by up to 25%.
Create customer satisfaction in the most cost-effective way possible.
Exploit your brand values to the max — the source of your single biggest competitive advantage over larger stores.
The first step toward reaping these benefits comes down to you — as a shop owner — in setting very crystal-clear direction for your team. That’s what is called the Commander’s Intent.
The Commander’s Intent
As an owner, you will not reap all the satisfaction, loyalty, and profit benefits from The Human Conversation without first giving a clear overall direction to your team. This is what is called a Commander’s Intent (see Forbes for more).
Developed in the ’80s by the military, the idea of Commander’s Intent is to cut down on needless communication. It saves time and ensures everyone on your team is fully focused on attaining the same goals. In Made to Stick (one of the best books ever), authors Chip and Dan Heath explain why Commander’s Intent is so effective:
“Commander’s Intent aligns the behavior of everyone, at all levels, without requiring play-by-play instructions from their leaders. When people know the desired destinations, they’re free to improvise as needed in arriving there.”
So if you want to start getting those conversion, satisfaction, and loyalty benefits, you should start by announcing you want to achieve three things:
1. Shift from Mechanical to Emotional conversations
Move away from scripted, automated support conversations, toward more personalized conversations focused on creating emotional connections with your customers.
2. Shift from Issue-based to Solution-based conversations
Your team should still keep solving the immediate customer service issue — in one interaction whenever possible — but also uncover and head off their next potential issue as well.
3. Shift from being Product-centric to Brand-centric
Your team should not only have in-depth product knowledge but be brand experts too. Your team should be fully able to articulate your brand values and your manifesto in their service conversations.
Once you have let your team know that this is your intent, you can then follow up with The Ten Steps of The Human Conversation.