The opportunity to build more emotionally intelligent platforms to recognize and use emotional data at scale is one of the biggest, most important opportunities for companies.

How to gain loyal customers with emotion-driven engagement

To illuminate the scope of that opportunity, Deloitte conducted a research study examining the role that emotions play in consumer engagement. Beyond marketing, emotional and contextual data can foster deeper emotional connections across all key moments with customers to increase their lifetime value while also decreasing their likelihood of switching brands. The research yielded insights that expand, deepen, and—in some cases—challenge conventional wisdom about the role of emotions in the relationship between brands and consumers. Four key themes emerged across the research data:

  1. Emotional factors inspire brand loyalty, while rational influences play a key role at the beginning and end of relationships.
  2. Emotional connection requires developing two-way relationships between brands and customers that mirror human relationships.
  3. Knowing what (and when) data is okay to use is vital to building and maintaining trust with customers.
  4. Customers expect a consistent, contextually appropriate experience of brands across all interactions.
understanding customers' emotions

Finding the balance

Deloitte’s research uncovered the balance between three defining factors that drive consumer behavior: emotional connections, rational connections, and value-based connections. The research showed that each factor is significant at distinct moments. To build strong connections with customers and inspire long-term loyalty, brands must tap into the right factors at the right moments by putting human needs at the center.

Understanding customers’ emotions and responding contextually and automatically requires an emotionally intelligent technology ecosystem that adapts to the moment at hand. It means looking beyond customer experience, or CX, to the broader, deeper connections that make up human experience or HX.

Download Exploring the value of emotion-driven engagement for full research results.


About the research: The research study “Exploring the Value of Emotion-Driven Engagement” was conducted by Deloitte Digital to examine the role that emotions play in consumer engagement. The study integrated data from a survey of 800 consumers and an online panel of 112 participants, plus analysis of 91 million social posts and meta-analysis of results from 2,090 completed VOC surveys in two service-focused industries. These cohorts are collectively referred to as “consumers,” or simply “people,” in the report.

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Operational Customer Experience Practice Leader
Deloitte Digital

Customer Experience Insights Leader
Deloitte Digital