顧客情感新科學

The New Science of Customer Emotions
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它們可以成為競爭優勢和成長的來源。改編自史考特.馬吉迪斯、艾倫.佐法斯與丹尼爾.李蒙合撰的文章

尋求成長的企業愈來愈關注顧客,因而大手筆投資,以提升顧客體驗在各階段的滿意度。但研究顯示,只有滿意的顧客還不夠。企業若是與顧客建立情感連結,回報會更大。以顧客對營收和獲利的影響來看,對品牌產生深厚情感連結的顧客,其價值比僅是高度滿意的顧客高出52%。

本文作者馬吉迪斯、佐法斯與李蒙,研究了數百個品牌,涵蓋數十個產品類別,以呈現為何有情感連結的顧客非常有價值。他們向你購買更多產品和服務、更常光顧、對價格較不敏感、更關注你傳達的訊息、聽從你的建議,並向其他人推薦你。

例如,有情感連結的飯店顧客,入住次數增加41%。賭場顧客的支出比只有感到滿意的顧客多23%。居家清潔劑顧客的購買次數增加103%。

但對想要建立情感連結的企業來說,了解真正驅動顧客行為的動機,主要靠猜測而非科學。因此,作者利用數據分析建立一套語彙,其中包含近三百種情感動機。這些是人們內心深處、不常說出口的情感需求,像是渴望成功的人生、安全感或歸屬感。深入探索情感動機,企業就能收穫情感連結的好處。

例如,如果顧客想在人群中脫穎而出,企業就應設法協助他們展現獨特的社會身分形像,或被視為與眾不同。如果顧客的動機是要保護環境,公司就應確保自家品牌能支持顧客的信念,並鼓勵他們採取行動。企業應努力將這些動機連結到具體的購買行為,以找出最有價值的需求。但首先我們要更仔細檢視一些研究,以了解不同顧客的情感連結可能有什麼差異。

情感動機因產品類別而異。例如,家居用品店「協助我發揮創意」的感覺,會鼓舞消費者更頻繁在此購物,但也許要透過不同的動機,才能促進顧客對速食店的忠誠度。每個品牌可能必須從不同的動機著手,以增強情感連結。動機也因顧客區隔而異。以信用卡為例,研究指出,對千禧世代來說,想要「保護環境」和「成為自己想成為的人」,是銀行業類別的重要情感動機。

但對較年長的群體來說,「安全感」和「成功的人生」的需求,會建立更強的情感連結。動機甚至可能在某個區隔市場內有不同,這取決於人們處在顧客旅程中的位置。在銀行業的例子中,「渴望安全感」是在較早階段吸引並留住消費者的關鍵動機。但在交叉銷售產品方面,追求成功的人生變得更重要。你如何建立這些情感連結?讓我們看看一個真實世界的案例,作者曾與這家公司合作過。

一家美國時裝零售商,難以應付產業裡普遍存在的挑戰。它擁有知名的品牌和強大的市場地位,但同店銷售額停滯不前,利潤也持續縮減。傳統上用來改善情況的工具,如成本管理和物流,都沒有效。因此,這家零售業者改弦易轍,設法改善獲利能力和成長,做法是與顧客建立情感連結。這個過程的基石就是,弄清楚誰已經建立了情感連結和為什麼。

仔細檢視顧客群裡最佳顧客的前四分之一(根據年購買量、參與度等來衡量),尋找他們不同於其他顧客的特性。這些顧客的人口統計特性有什麼不同?他們是親自購買,還是上網購買?他們向你的競爭對手買了多少東西?我們分析這家零售業者之後,找出一組特別有價值的顧客,公司標記他們是「時裝活躍顧客」。購買時裝,會連結到他們對尋求刺激、社會接納與自我表達的深層渴望。他們的終身價值很高,經常光顧商店,每年平均消費額是其他購物者的兩倍。

他們更願意付較高價格買最好的產品,在數位方面的參與度高於其他顧客區隔。下一步是挖掘出這些情感連結顧客的關鍵動機。你或許已有一些基本資訊,是有關他們最看重和嚮往的東西,但再看看還能添加多少細節到其中。

例如,運用線上調查提出問題,像是:你更看重當下的生活,還是未來的目標?你更重視社會接納,還是個人獨特性?

人們提出為何選擇某些品牌的理由,通常並不符合他們真正的動機,所以別問顧客對你的品牌的感受,這只會混淆你的理解。相反地,你應分別檢視他們的動機與你的品牌。不要根據人口統計特性來建立假設。例如,年輕父母的動機,可能是想要提供安全感給家人,或者是很想要逃避和玩樂。你可能會發現你的顧客群裡這兩種類型都有。

這家時尚零售商使用財務分析和電腦模型,來檢視活躍顧客的四十多個動機,並找出與購買最密切相關的動機。結果顯示,訴求三個關鍵渴望,也就是歸屬感、興奮感和自由感,可望從這群有價值的顧客身上,獲得最高的投資報酬率。顧客資料的分析結果估計,把這個群體中的顧客從「滿意」轉為「情感連結」,可讓銷售額提升5%。

當這家零售商設法把時裝活躍顧客從「滿意」轉變為「情感連結」時,有四個主要的投資領域成為焦點:實體店面、線上和全通路體驗、商品行銷、訊息鎖定。首先來看實體店面。零售商找出旗下七百多間店中,哪些店的活躍顧客最多。分析結果促成了新的策略:把商店設在活躍顧客常出現的地點,以及他們經常光顧的其他零售商店附近。這個改變得到了回報。

那些新店第一年的銷售額,比歷史平均水準高出20%,進而縮短了損益兩平的時間,並提高資本報酬率。為了釋出資金用於新地點的店面,這家零售商開始關閉位於低活躍顧客區的店。它專注於「歸屬感」動機,為此擴大在社群媒體的經營,並鼓勵顧客提交自拍照,展示自己最喜歡的服裝和款式。然後,測試新做法的店在大螢幕上展示自拍照的幻燈片,強化這種歸屬感。

來自測試店的資料顯示,這項實驗提高了顧客的購買意願。最後,使用情感連結語言,每當談到顧客時都要用,而且不僅在行銷部使用,全公司都要用。

例如,以這項成功為基礎,這家零售商設計了一個計分卡,讓執行長和高階主管團隊從一頁紙,就能看到顧客的情感連結水準,以及情感連結顧客的增減。它也顯示顧客情感連結分數,與終身價值衡量指標的相關性,指標包括顧客年度支出、流失率和資歷。

這家零售商的業績說明一切。服務活躍顧客的店面,銷售額成長了3.5%,相較於整體的年平均成長率僅1%。庫存週轉率提高超過25%。市場占有率和顧客推薦也有提升,進而讓顧客終身價值創下歷史新高。當然,想取得這家零售商的這種成就並不容易。一些最知名的品牌誤以為該做的工作都已完成,因為有很大比率的顧客認為它們是好品牌。

但就是這一點,導致這些品牌沒有與顧客建立情感連結。這種落差,對這些公司是一大機會。同樣模式出現在許多類型的公司,從咖啡連鎖店到汽車製造商都有。他們錯失了很多價值,也錯失一大機會,可以把滿意的顧客轉化為情感連結的顧客。企業發現這一點時,就會找到一個新的成長來源,有待開發。

(劉純佑譯)


They can be a source of competitive advantage and growth.

Based on the article by Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon

Companies seeking growth are increasingly focusing on the customer, making major investments to improve satisfaction at each stage of their experience. But research shows it's not enough to have customers who are merely satisfied. The payoff is much greater when companies connect with people emotionally. In terms of their impact on revenue and profitability, customers who form an emotional attachment to a brand are 52% more valuable than those who are just highly satisfied.

Authors Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas and Daniel Leemon researched hundreds of brands in dozens of categories to demonstrate why emotionally connected customers are so valuable. They buy more of your products and services, visit more often, are less price-sensitive, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you to others.

Emotionally connected hotel customers, for example, had 41% more stays. Casino gaming customers spent 23% more than those who are merely satisfied. And household cleaner customers made 103% more purchases.

But for companies that want to build those emotional connections, understanding what really motivates their customers is more guesswork than science. So the author's used data analytics to create a lexicon of nearly 300 emotional motivators. These are people's deep, often unspoken emotional needs, such as the desire to succeed in life, to feel secure, or to feel a sense of belonging. By tapping into them, companies can reap the benefits of emotional connection.

For example, a company whose customers share a desire to stand out from the crowd should look for ways to help them project a unique social identity or be seen as special. Firms whose customers are motivated by the desire to protect the environment should make sure their brands support customers’ beliefs and encourage them to take action. Companies should strive to link these motivators to specific purchasing behaviors to figure out which needs are the most valuable. But first, let's look more closely at the research on how emotional connections may vary between

Emotional motivators differ from category to category. For example, the sense that a home furnishings store “helps me be creative” inspires consumers to shop there more often, but different motivators may drive loyalty to fast-food restaurants. Each brand may need to start with a different motivator in its effort to strengthen emotional connections. Motivators also differ by customer segment. Take credit cards. Research shows that for Millennials, the desires to “protect the environment” and “be the person I want to be” are important in the banking category.

For older groups, however, the needs to “feel secure” and “succeed in life” create greater emotional connections. Motivators may even shift within a segment, depending on where people are in their customer journey. In the banking example, the desire to feel secure is a critical motivator when attracting and retaining these consumers early on. But when it comes to cross-selling products, the wish to succeed in life becomes more important. How do you build these emotional connections? Let's look at a real world company that the author's worked with.

A U.S. fashion retailer was struggling in the face of common industry challenges. It had a well-known brand and a strong market presence, but same-store sales were stagnating, and margins were shrinking. Traditional levers to get back on track – such as cost management and logistics -- had fallen short. So the retailer changed course, setting out to improve profitability and growth by building emotional connections with its customers. The cornerstone of this process is figuring out who's already connected and why.

Closely examine the top quartile of your customer base (according to annual purchases, engagement, and so on) and look for traits that set it apart. How are these customers different demographically? Do they buy in person or online? How much do they buy from your competitors? Our retailer’s analysis revealed a set of especially valuable customers, who the company labeled Fashion Flourishers. Buying apparel connected to their deep desire for excitement, social acceptance, and self-expression. They had a high lifetime value, visiting stores more frequently and spending about twice as much per year as other shoppers on average.

They were much more willing to pay a premium for the best products, and they were more digital engaged than other segments. The next step is to dig into those connected customers’ key motivators. You probably already have basic information about what they value most and what they aspire to, but see how much detail you can add to that picture.

Use online surveys, for example, to ask questions such as: Are you more driven by life in the moment or by future goals? Do you place greater value on social acceptance or an individuality?

The reasons people give for their brand choices typically don't match what truly motivates them, so don’t cloud your understanding by asking customers how they feel about your brand. Instead, look at their motivations separate from your brand. Avoid making assumptions on the basis of demographics. Young parents, for example, may be motivated by a desire to provide security for their families -- or by an urge to escape and have some fun. You might find both types in your customer base.

The fashion retailer used financial analysis and computer modeling to examine more than 40 motivators for Flourishers and identify the ones that had the strongest relationship to purchases. Results showed that appealing to three key desires – feeling a sense of belonging, a sense of thrill, and a sense of freedom -- would probably yield the highest ROI for that valuable group of customers. An analysis of customer data estimated that moving people in this group from “satisfied” to “emotionally connected” could increase sales by up to 5%.

When the retailer looked for ways to move Flourishers from “satisfied” to “emotionally connected,” four major investment areas came into focus: stores, online and omnichannel experiences, merchandising, and message targeting. Let's look at stores. The retailer identified which of its more than 700 locations had the most Flourisher customers. That analysis led to a new strategy: siding stores near Florishers and near other retailers they frequent. The change paid off.

First-year sales at the new stores were 20% higher than historical averages, leading to shorter break-even times and higher returns on capital. To free up capital for the new locations, the retailer began closing stores in low-Flourisher areas. Focusing on the “sense of belonging” motivator, the retailer also expanded its social media presence and encourage customers to submit selfies showing their favorite outfits and styles. Test stores then displayed selfie slide shows on large screens, reinforcing that sense of belonging.

Data from the test stores suggested that the experiment increased customers’ intent to purchase. Finally, use the language of emotional connection everywhere you talk about your customers -- not just in the marketing department but across the firm.

For instance, building on its success, the retailer developed a scorecard that gave the CEO and the executive team a one-page view of customers’ emotional connection levels, along with the increase or decrease in connected customers. It also show the correlation in of customer's emotional- connection scores with lifetime value measures such as annual spending, churn, and tenure.

The retailer's results speak for themselves. For stores serving Flourishers, sales grew 3.5%, compared with the annual average of just 1%. Inventory turns increased more than 25%. Market share and customer advocacy also grew, contributing to record-high customer lifetime values. Of course, achieving what the retailer did is not easy. Some of the best known brands mistakenly believe that their work is done simply because they have a large percentage of customers who consider them a good brand.

But here's where these same brands fall short in emotionally connecting with their customers. The gaps represent a big opportunity for these companies. The same pattern holds across many types of companies, from coffee chains to carmakers. There's a lot of value being left on the table -- and a huge opportunity to transform satisfied customers into emotionally connected ones. When companies discover that, they’ll find a new source of growth just waiting to be tapped.



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