Manage emotional trust to win

Managing the emotional trust (ET) of customers offers the best experience of customer service. ET is the heart of customer-centricity. When a restaurant fails to know the likes and dislikes of its patrons, it fails to win with them.

Who are my key customers? What meal do they love most? What meal do they hate most? imagine a customer of over 10 years coming to his favourite restaurant, and being served meat when they are vegetarian? It would show that they are not valued and of course welcome.

Beyond talking about customer service, customer centricity, organisations must be deliberate about winning with customers through understanding their specific needs and expectations and consistently delivering the same.

Take a case of a financial institution whose primary focus is on the Islamic community. If during Salat al-zuhr or the midday prayer, such a bank has not dedicated spaces where Muslim patrons at the banking hall at that time could go and pray, such a financial institution fails on the key expectation of many of its customers. However, if clients are informed that in case they wish to pray, come upstairs or go somewhere, the bank would be addressing the emotional expectation.

But emotional trust is about consistently delivering the expectations. For example, if one day, the bank decides to cancel the prayers due to a short meeting or function in the banking hall, some customers might think the bank values business over praying, and that could be an issue and be seen as breaking an emotional trust.

The same example would apply to a Christian financial institution.

The Christian would expect a banking experience that aligns with the gospel and or Christian values. One of such is starting a meeting with an opening prayer. Now imagine, a priest patron being part of the meeting at the bank, and the Chair gives no regard to prayer, saying, “Prayer just wastes our time, let’s head into the real agenda directly.” Such a statement could hurt the patron’s emotional trust and cause a change of choice of the bank.

However, understanding the client’s function or minimum service expectations as well as their value system or emotional values helps to exceed the client expectations. Any institution that nurtures emotional trust, wins.

As we say, sell to brains (product features) and influence the heart (how the product gives great life). Know your customers and continue exceeding their expectations. Understand their emotional values and create trust by being consistent.

And that is where big data, machine learning and business intelligence comes in. Who are the top customers by value, and also years they have been loyal to the brand? What are their interests and likes?

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2021 All rights reserved.

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