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Interview Let's build a truly emotional connection with our customers: Q&A with Duena Blomstrom

Let's build a truly emotional connection with our customers: Q&A with Duena Blomstrom

For a history graduate I’m always looking forward – tomorrow never dies right?

Consumers are frequently migrating to brands who promote a purpose and vision above and beyond the mere exchange of goods and services. The most recent example we've seen was Nike's campaign for their 30 year anniversary of "Just Do It." They chose to be represnted by the face of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked controversy by kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. 

Duena Blomstrom, with over 22 years in technology, has pioneered the Emotional Banking concept after realising the industry was struggling to build the relationships consumers crave.

After working with 50+ top tier banks, the emotional banking concept has quickly spread across every single industry.

Duena visited Speakers Corner to elaborate on the emotional banking concept and we caught up with her afterwards to ask a few probing questions!

Your background is financial, but can the concept of emotional banking also be applied to any other industry?

The concept of Emotional Banking is specific to Financial Services, yes, but the basic premise which is "to succeed, you have to create truly emotionally connected customers and that can only be accomplished by intensely caring about their feelings" is applicable to any industry at all. In some arms of retail, in aviation or even in automotive there has been a serious push over the last years towards Human Centred Design and its methods to deliver intensely pleasant experiences, in particular when it comes to digital as the medium, nonetheless some other industries, chief amongst them Finance are much behind and that is outrageous seeing how they deal with one of the most important aspects of our lives as consumers.

We spent some time talking about how brands need to think about their customer’s feelings. Why is this so important?

The short answer: there is no other way. Any time a brand tries to create anything at all in a void, without honest exploration of the current feelings of their consumers, they fail to deliver to the full potential of Design. Furthermore, it is only the organisations that intimately know their consumers and are eager to learn about their deepest inner feelings that consistently manage to get those consumers to love them. Getting consumers pleasantly surprised and even delighted while keeping them well served on a consistent basis is what creates long lasting, deep, good will towards an organisation and that's the essence of brand and what any commercial entity should strive for. 

Are we asking employees to fundamentally change the way they go about their daily roles?

Yes. Absolutely. Well, provided that we want to have success with our customers. I'm a big believer in the new Ways of Work and the fashion in which they make the magic of technology accessible to be employed in the Design work I mentioned above. The new WoW are undoubtedly a stark departure from what employees everywhere used to practice. By employing these theories and methodologies everything is more accessible but also faster and more intense as it implies a degree of personal responsibility and passion for one's work that most employees have never had to demonstrate in large enterprises before.

There’s a lot of talk about agile transformation within businesses. What do businesses need to focus on to be more agile?

Businesses need to transform to respond to digital exigencies and ever raising customer expectations. The most efficient way to do so is by changing their DNA to reframe the way the organisation functions and their people think, around Agile principles. What they need to focus on is their own employees and their relationship to the work environment, the company's brand and the end consumer. That has to come first.

This is why I believe in "People Not Tech" because to use the latter as the wonderful experience creation lever it can be, an organisation has to first start by taking a look at their own people. Can the really embrace change? Can they truly adapt and adopt the new methodologies so that they become strong beliefs that are deeply ingrained and give them a strong sense of purpose or will they remain at the process phase? Can they transform their employees into people who are courageous, knowledgeable and deeply passionate or will they simply lose the competitive race to those who are prepared to do that work?

If there was one key takeaway or learning experience that you would want your audience to leave with, what would it be?

Business as usual doesn't exist anymore. To gain and retain happy customers one has to build addictive experiences while offering them their services and products. To build those addictive experiences they must employ technology; embrace Human Centered Design and an honest exploration of the consumers' emotions; and last but absolutely not least, they must embrace the new Ways of Work and empower their people with new Ways of Thinking.

And if you could give one motivational or inspirational comment to our audience out there, what would it be?

It's all about making sure your people have courage, knowledge and passion in unprecedented ways as only then can they create emotionally connected customers.

That's wonderful, thanks so much Duena for popping into see us.

For further information or to book a speaker, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk.

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