Emotion Detection Brand Loyalty Customer’s Emotions Customer Experience Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle Consumer Feedback Artificial Intelligence Customer Retention Computer Vision

It’s no secret that emotions drive behavior. Happy people whistle. Angry drivers crash cars. And now, with the help of emotion detection and analytics, more companies are tuning into their customers’ feelings in an attempt to learn what makes them tick.

This customer’s emotions will eventually determine their brand loyalty and likelihood of churning. That’s why monitoring customer sentiment through emotion recognition is becoming an increasingly important way to improve customer experience. As you’d expect, it’s all about the data.

What is emotion detection?

Emotion detection measures an individual’s verbal and non-verbal communication in order to understand their mood or attitude. The idea is to evaluate a customer’s experience with a product or their interaction with a representative of the company and to uncover any weak links that cause negative reactions. Also known as emotion analytics, the ramifications of implementing this technology into customer support systems are endless.

Limitations of current feedback systems

Many popular KPIs – such as NPS and CES – are single questions, with or without a free text option. At best, they provide a narrow snapshot of likelihood to recommend or level of effort. Such feedback is collected at the end of a customer interaction and is biased by the outcome – it doesn’t tell the story of the ‘ups and downs’ of the episode.

Emotional language is limited – is there a material difference between being happy and elated, frustrated and dissatisfied, or surprised and confused? Then there’s Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle – the idea that the evaluation itself will impede upon the system being evaluated in unpredictable ways. In other words, it’s essentially unscientific to ask a customer to evaluate their own emotional reactions.

That’s why emotion recognition represents a ‘secret weapon’ for any business looking to get ahead by getting inside the heads of their customers.

How Does Human Emotion Detection Work?

Emotion detection is an effective and objective measure of consumer feedback, which uses artificial intelligence to detect and analyze data, without requiring customers to take any additional action. In other words, you can’t fake your feelings. Examples of technological methods for analyzing emotional data include:

Text (Sentiment) analysis:- uses algorithms to analyze text and determine whether the writer’s perception of a specific topic is positive, negative or neutral. Sentiment analysis has become a key tool for making sense of the multitudes of opinions expressed every day on review sites, forums, blogs, and social media.

Speech analysis:- refers to the process of analyzing voice recordings or live customer calls using voice emotion recognition software to find useful data, such as stress in a customer’s voice. For example, smart speakers can measure your mood and select music to match it. The technology can also be used in fraud prevention, analyzing the unique vocal characteristics that may indicate dishonesty or concealment of information.

Facial Analysis:- uses facial emotion recognition technology to analyze a person’s expressions within a photo or video, such as raised eyebrows, smirks or wide smiles. By setting specific parameters around different facial reactions, educators can spot struggling students in a classroom environment, while security forces can detect individuals with malicious intent at public events.
While these are exciting uses of algorithm-based technology, the goal for enterprises is to apply the lessons learned from recognising and analyzing emotions to improve their relationship with customers.

Business Applications of Emotion Detection

Leading B2C providers are now taking these lessons “to heart,” holistically combining the various technologies to optimize customer assistance at every stage of the journey.

1. Emotion-based call routing

Emotion analytics can be used to pick up on a customer’s tone of voice and mood, and to classify the call with the right priority to the right agent. For example, an angry customer might be routed to the customer retention team, while a happy, satisfied customer might be routed to the sales team to be pitched a new product or service.

2. Powering customer personalization

When an agent is in tune with a customer’s feelings, the conversation can be tailored to ensure empathy, thereby enhancing CX. For example, emotion recognition software can ensure that a frustrated customer might be greeted differently than a happy customer, and a sad customer who might appreciate a few warm words at the start of the conversation will be greeted appropriately.

3. Tracking emotional reactions over time

Data provided by emotion analytics is multifaceted and can provide information on every aspect of the interaction at each moment of the episode. For example, contact centers might tweak their processes when emotion analytics indicates that while a friendly introduction is effective, the follow-up identification process is seen as intrusive and annoying.

4. Delivering corporate-level analytics

Decision-makers benefit from a goldmine of data that helps them understand at the macro level which of their products or services elicit specific emotions. For example, a perfume manufacturer might rely heavily on emotion analytics to finetune its formulas based on customer reactions to specific notes of fragrances, or an ad campaign may be pulled when analytics detect that a specific percentage of people grimace when they see a particular image.

The ability to read a customer’s emotions is clearly a game-changer when it comes to improving CX. And the introduction of computer vision has upped the ante, as new advanced technologies enable computers to both see and interpret the customer’s facial emotions simultaneously, creating unprecedented possibilities for intuitive service.

Visual Assistance is the Key to Holistic Emotion Analytics

Visual Assistance is an emerging technology that enables agents and product experts to visually guide customers using augmented reality during live video sessions. With the introduction of dual camera recording, companies can leverage split-screen snapshots taken simultaneously with both front and rear smartphone cameras, providing a glimpse of both a customer’s facial expressions and their environment.

The Potential Role of Emotion Detection in the Call Center

Real-time insights into customers’ emotions can help agents engage with them in a highly personalized manner and deliver empathetic service, a vital quality in today’s customer-centric business environment. For example, agents providing instructions for setting up a smart TV can see confusion registering on a customer’s face, enabling them to repeat or simplify the steps.

Voice analytics may help an agent detect high levels of frustration and provide personalized service that addresses the customer’s specific issue. When there’s a language barrier or a noisy environment, a voice-to-text app will enable agents to benefit from sentiment analysis, providing insights into a customer’s mood when speech or facial analysis is not possible.

Emotion Detection    Brand Loyalty    Customer’s Emotions    Customer Experience    Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle    Consumer Feedback  Artificial Intelligence  Customer Retention  Computer Vision

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Customer Experience, CXREFRESH, CX, Brand Loyalty, Customer Service, Customer Experience Strategy

Today, businesses across the board-from agile e-commerce companies to those in the traditional manufacturing industry are realizing the importance of delivering a memorable customer experience. This can be evidenced by the way companies have been increasingly using their social media accounts to respond to customer requests for product prices and even address customer queries and disputes. When there are millions of things requesting your attention all at the same time millions of songs, millions of films, millions of books, millions of platforms to buy products from-delivering an experience that will help you stand out and be found is non-negotiable.

So how do you define and measure something as intangible as customer experience? It isn’t easy because it’s subjective and depends entirely on something as unpredictable and random as human behaviour. But as long as you’re asking the right questions about your customer experience strategy, you’re moving in the right direction:

  1. Ease of access- Is your target customer easily able to access your product? How soon can your product be delivered to him/her?
  2. Personalisation-Are you offering an experience that is tailor-made to your customer’s needs and preferences?
  3. Guidance-Are you educating your customer to make the right choices and offering them continuous support along the way?
  4. Quick dispute resolution-A customer has had an unpleasant experience on your site or with your customer service. How soon can you address this and ensure that he/she returns to your site in the future?

Needless to say, the best way to win a returning customer is to offer them a differentiated experience that goes beyond the transaction. Emails and calls with sales pitches that push your products will definitely turn them off. Instead, educate them about your products and services and present them with information that leaves the choice open to them. Placing power back in the hands of your customer will earn you their loyalty and trust and that counts much more in the long run.

Consistency in Delivery

There’s no reason to think that delivering an extraordinary customer experience is seemingly impossible. Technology has acted as a great enabler for consistently raising the bar for customer experience. Constantly improving your website and mobile user-experience in order to make them more customer-friendly and responsive plays a crucial role in defining a great customer experience and thanks to technology, all this is possible with quick fixes today.

Consistently delivering a positive customer experience can yield dividends for the long run. Returning customers are much less likely to drop off and are likely to convert better. You may call it the pitfall of the ‘attention economy’ but customers are no longer as brand loyal as they used to be. A 2013 study by Dimensional Research revealed that 59per cent of customers said they’d leave for good after having a bad experience. More than half said they’d go to a direct competitor. So no matter how many crores you spend on TV and newspaper ads, strong word-of-mouth is more likely to act as a better endorsement of your product and perhaps, even rake in more customers.

Delivering a positive customer experience should not be the KRA of your customer service team alone. It should be at the forefront of your thinking in all spheres of your business. The best way to get a sense of what your customer needs is to have your ears to the ground i.e. listen to your customers and map the journey on your website/mobile app from their point of view. Think of ways you can improve the user journey by way of refinements in content and design if the customer is encountering hurdles during the user journey.

Staying in sync with the ever-changing needs and preferences of customers may seem like an endless process, but if you’re in it for the long run, constantly evolving your business to offer a more personalized and positive customer experience will help your business to sustain and scale. With tumultuous changes like digitisation that have marked the financial landscape in the last couple of years aided by changes in the regulatory framework, delivering an unparalleled customer experience is now more important than ever. Putting your customers first in every business decision will go a long way in building not just your customer base but also brand loyalty.

Customer Experience    CXREFRESH    CX   Brand Loyalty   Customer Service   Customer Experience Strategy


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