2018 Trend 4: Emojis Make Digital Conversations More Emotional, Expressive

By Lauren Kindzierski, Vice President of Product Marketing, HGS

As digital conversations overtake voice in 2018, and tone of voice becomes absent from interactions, the customer care industry has to find new ways to gauge and measure emotion and sentiment. The answer lies in the emojis, images, and videos that can all be used in messaging for a more emotional, expressive, and personal communication mode than phone. The emoji, in particular, became accepted and praised as part of the customer care communication mainstream in 2017 and this will expand in 2018—as a means to add lightheartedness or a personal touch and show humor and happiness. This week, on July 17, we celebrated World Emoji Day. This is the fifth year to honor the emoji, which has evolved from a gimmick to making its mark as universal communication. Everyone understands these expressive icons. In fact, according to research by AdWeek, emojis being used in marketing messages has increased by 775% every year.

With widespread acceptance of emojis in customer service, they are fast becoming a means of adding much needed emotions and empathy to customer interactions. Emojis are adding the missing element in customer interactions. Emojis can help define and set the mood for a conversation especially on channels like text and chat where it is very easy to read incorrectly and misinterpret the conversation with only text to refer to. This is even more true when it is an interaction with a bot.

As evidenced by NPS spikes when emojis are used by HGS agents, customers are more comfortable sharing issues with agents when encouraged by empathy. Emojis bring this essential empathy, adding positive emotion to a transaction. Today it’s more common for agents to personalize a customer experience with an emoji—a smiley face or thumbs up, for example—to respond to chat or text messages. And it starts on the front lines of product advertising. Increasingly, today’s brands are using emojis to catch their customer’s eye on advertisement. . According to SocialBakers, emoji usage with brands increased 777% from 2015 to 2016.

In terms of employee engagement, emojis are also a benefit. Feedback from HGS agents using the emojis has been positive. Comments include, “The smiley is simple so it is easy to remember and it conveys and reinforces engagement, especially when customers answer back with a smiley of their own.” And, “The emoji leaves a lasting impression on customers.”

So this week, as we celebrate the smiley faces and other icons that bridge gaps, including customer care, we wish a Happy Emoji Day to all!

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