As any business or organization will tell you, customer retention is crucial to long-term success. The connections made, relationships developed, and services provided all play a critical role in a customer’s overall experience and impacts their loyalty. Think about it: If you, as a customer, have a positive experience, you’re more likely to return and repurchase, whereas, if you have a less-than-desirable experience, you may look for a better deal, service, or provider. The truth is, customer experience and retention is deeply rooted in emotion—an incredibly powerful but often-overlooked aspect of the customer experience (CX), especially in B2B, that, if not measured and understood, could lead to undesirable business outcomes.
The power of emotion in the customer experience and retention journey
In my nearly two decades of experience as a CX expert and change maker, I’ve come to learn just how powerful emotion is in the customer journey. As one of the world’s leading human capital management (HCM) cloud companies, UKG is hyper-focused on providing exceptional support and services experiences for our customers. We know they have choices. We also know their decision to partner with us is based, in large part, on our deep knowledge of their industries, unique business needs, and our ability to provide technology and expertise that can help solve complex challenges and create great workplaces. But customers also want to be seen and heard, feel confident in their decision to partner with us, and know how to easily leverage our solutions to be successful. That’s why we pay particular attention to which emotions impact their decision-making and technology utilization, and why we’ve made listening a pivotal part of our customer experience and retention strategy.
We’ve made listening a pivotal part of our customer experience.
USpeak, we listen
One of the ways we listen is by keeping a constant line of communication open with our customers through every step of their UKG journeys. As part of our reimagined voice of the customer (VoC) program—called USpeak—we regularly engage our customer base to solicit feedback, then provide actionable insights and execute enablement strategies to ensure their wants and needs are met and their feelings validated. In our engagements with customers, we ask about their challenges and goals, how UKG helps solve or achieve those, and how they feel about their overall experience with UKG along the way. Over time, as we’ve analyzed these responses and integrated them with additional information—including financial and operational data, as well as our overall satisfaction (OSAT) and CX quality scores—a clear distinction between loyalty-weakening emotions such as frustration, and loyalty-building emotions such as confidence, emerged. Simply put: If a customer isn’t confident they can use our technology successfully or they’re not confident in the support and services we provide, that can quickly lead to negative consequences. But, by instilling confidence through specific actions and behaviors, outcomes such as loyalty and retention increase significantly, as well as the quality of our relationships.
Instilling confidence through actions and behavior
So how, exactly, do you build and instill confidence in customers? Clear communication is paramount. If an issue arises, it’s important that customers know you have their backs. When you communicate clearly what happened and outline steps to resolution, they come to trust you as a knowledgeable source, which boosts their confidence in you as a partner, as well as their confidence in your products and your ability to deliver. In fact, at UKG, we’ve seen a fifteenfold improvement in confidence and a twelvefold decrease in frustration when we communicate clearly and effectively with our clients. Of course, none of this matters if you don't also clearly communicate the role of emotion—specifically confidence—in the customer experience to the rest of your own organization. After all, CX is a team effort. It needs to be embedded in everything you do. Everyone plays an important role, and every team must be aligned to this specific goal.
At UKG, we’ve seen a fifteenfold improvement in confidence and a twelvefold decrease in frustration when we communicate clearly and effectively with our clients.
Customer confidence: our emotional north star
For UKG, confidence has become the defining emotion by which we measure our customer experience and retention—our emotional north star. We will always prioritize efforts to strengthen our customers’ confidence and reduce any unnecessary frustration. We’re also aware of the predictive power of emotion. The happier and more confident our clients are, the more likely we are to retain them, boosting the longevity of these critically important business relationships. Finding our emotional north star took time, but the results have been remarkable and rewarding. Organizations that put in efforts to find their own emotional north star—by considering what motivates their people, their clients, and their customers’ decision-making—will reap similar benefits that come with aligning their team around a shared goal.