Emotion is at the Heart of Effective Customer Service

The emotional aspect of customer service is critical, as one in three global respondents surveyed preferred being treated well over having their issues immediately resolved, according to a recent study by AchieveGlobal, a global workforce development firm.

"Understanding that emotion, the human connection, is at the heart of the customer experience is key to building customer loyalty and advocacy in today's socially-connected and ever-evolving world," said Sharon Daniels, CEO, AchieveGlobal, in a statement. "While slashed prices and special promotions may get consumers in the door, an inability to connect on an emotional and human level while delivering service will hamper any business' customer engagement efforts. 

The study, "Why Your Customers Stay or Stray: Insight From Global Customer Experience Research," found that the behaviors most irritating to customers stem from detached emotional awareness and connection. Almost half (46 percent) of global respondents noted that being rude, short, nasty, unhelpful and impatient was the greatest customer service mistake that they have experienced. Using a canned script in dealing with issues (17 percent) and saying "no" or "I don't know" (16 percent) also ranked amongst the top customer experience failures.

A negative customer experience not only threatens that particular sale, but also the reputation of the brand. Given the rising power of social media as a tool for brand advocacy, nearly 40 percent of respondents worldwide admitted to posting a negative review online after a poor customer experience. With so many retail and brand options available, customers are also quick to defect once they have been wronged, with half of respondents noting that they would try out a competitor after one bad experience and 93 percent defecting after three or fewer poor customer service experiences.