Now that your customers are stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re engaging with you more digitally. They’re also in a more fragile emotional state.
So your digital channels must be more emotionally attuned than ever.
After all, emotion is the most important dimension of customer experience (CX) quality — even for digital. Our Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) data proves it. What’s more, digital channels can provide more emotionally resonant experiences than face-to-face channels. For example, digital beats nondigital on emotion right now in the US auto manufacturing, US health insurer, and UK multichannel retailer industries.
So here’s some simple advice about how to create emotionally relevant experiences in your digital channels:
- Get the emotion right for this moment. Contrary to what many companies think, the right emotion is not necessarily delight — it might be confidence or trust, for example. Delight may be way off-key at a time like this. And emotions vary widely in nature, strength, and frequency. That’s why you have to think about what spurs each emotion and what customers will do as a result of each one.
- Apply the peak-end rule — adjusted to the crisis. Two moments dominate people’s memory of an experience: the most emotionally intense moment (the peak, whether positive or negative) and the end. If your CX lacks a significant natural peak, look for opportunities to create one that suits this time of crisis. If the experience already has a natural peak, hone it for maximum effect if it’s appropriate — adjust it if not. In either case, be sure to end on an emotionally positive note that, again, is not tone-deaf in the context of a pandemic.
- Communicate more simply and clearly than ever. It’s hard for people to focus when they’re stressed, so dense language annoys them and drives them away — even more so in the current situation. And clear communication drives trust throughout the customer lifecycle — and that’s especially important now. There are two easy ways to get started: 1) Turn on your word processing software’s readability statistics and 2) check out the communication guidelines at plainlanguage.gov and Monzo.com.
Get more in-depth actionable advice about this in these Forrester reports:
- Designing For Emotion
- Your App Evokes These Emotions, But You Don’t Know It
- Read My Lips: Clear Communication Can Mean Billions In Revenue
And for our perspective on delivering better CX overall, in this historic time, see Three Steps To Improving Customer Experience In The Middle Of The COVID-19 Pandemic.