Social media expert Anna Farmery (pictured) is founder of The Engaging Brand, and was a speaker at AM's digital conference. Here she gives her views on the power of emotion in customer relations.
"Loss has made me a better person and a better business person. Why?
Feeling emotional helps you understand emotion. It helps you value emotion.
Leadership and management try and shy away from emotion because it scares them. They attempt to take the emotion out of decision-making; they think acting professionally means not being emotional.
But here is the key.
People who work on their emotional intelligence, people who seek out emotions, people who add the emotional element, people who engage employees or consumers through emotion, they are the ones doing a professional job.
Business is about creating action so it is important to understand that emotion contains the word 'motion'.
(E)motion is the trigger that turns a passive browser into a paying customer. Emotion lies within the heart of your business and it is your role to use that emotion as a trigger to purchase.
Emotional triggers can be both negative and positive.
It can be highlighting a problem; showing that you truly understand and then offering a solution.
It can be focusing on an enjoyment that everyone needs in their life.
It can be fulfilling a need that you recognise in the life of your consumers.
It can be making each consumer feel like a million dollars.
The issue is that businesses can be so afraid of alienating part of their audience that they attempt to appeal to all. They write professionally, they sanitise the message in their desire to appeal to the general audience.
Words matter. I am reminded of an advert for a pair of baby shoes which had the caption.
"Baby shoes. Never worn"
Four words. Just four words. Not marketing speak, no sales jargon. Yet, I would be amazed if those four words do not affect you, like they affect me.
We often wait until we lose someone to feel pain, to feel the strength of memories, to feel the love and to feel the loss. This week don't wait for life to shock you into feeling emotion. Feel it today. Be clear what is the emotional angle of what you do and don't hide from it. Embrace it. Feel.
Because rest assured your customers will be feeling and they buy from those who understand and appeal to those emotional triggers."