There are multiple components that shape a customer's experience. The level of effort required on the part of a customer to interact with a company; whether a company recognizes a customer and can personalize the experience; the knowledge, engagement, and empathy shared by customer-facing employees, etc. As Temkin Group points out, emotion plays a critical part in a customer's experience and has a significant impact on customer loyalty. Yet it's an area where companies are often least adept and don't pay adequate attention to. It seems incongruous, given that emotion drives action and customer choice.
Without question, a best practice for understanding and responding to a customer's emotional state is by listening closely to what a customer shares. Technologies that can capture and analyze human emotion can help companies to respond more effectively to customers and forge a deeper emotional connection with customers.
Cogito Corp. is a Boston-based company that develops behavioral analytics software that can analyze a person's voice in real-time. As Steve Kraus, VP Marketing for Cogito explains, the software can be used by companies to interpret a customer's emotions during a call with a customer service rep or another customer-facing employee and be used to help guide the employee's response.
For instance, Cogito's software can send real-time alerts to a customer service rep to inform them if a customer sounds agitated or if the rep is talking too quickly. The alerts can be used to guide a customer service rep or a salesperson in a conversation with a customer and help deliver an improved experience.
The software can also be used by a company for coaching agents and other employees and to help strengthen their emotional intelligence. This can include an agent's ability to understand a customer's emotions and then make adjustments to his or her own behavior and responses.
Contact center agents in particular need to have solid connections with customers in understanding and addressing the challenge that each customer is facing, including the impact this is having on the customer's emotional well-being. Agents have tough jobs, handling dozens of calls each day, often from customers who are upset about a problem they're having with a product or their account.
With some agents handling 100-plus calls per shift, providing each customer with a high degree of compassion and care can be challenging. Intelligent technologies that can capture a customer's emotional state can help agents to see through the customer's lens and provide the kind of compassionate care that can improve the customer experience.