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Right now, all businesses understand the importance of offering a great user experience (UX). A positive UX means that when people interact with a website, an app or other virtual platforms, it is easy, enjoyable and efficient. This boils down to designers and researchers executing a multitude of techniques and applying advanced technologies to create a seamless digital experience.

The other component that affects people to an even higher degree is customer experience (CX). Besides merely enjoying the end product thanks to a seamless UX, the idea of CX is all about being with the person throughout their journey. This ranges from fair prices and top-notch customer service to cleaner brand image and better privacy policy.

However, having an amazing UX and CX is no longer sufficient. For starters, users and customers are simply two facets that comprise an individual. Users are the people who use the ‘thing’ while customers are the people who buy the ‘thing’. This is why interface design is beginning to take a huge leap forward to a more intimate interaction: Human Experience (HX).

Earlier this year, Deloitte described HX as “the next stage of human-machine interaction, in which a growing class of AI-powered solutions — referred to as ‘affective computing’ or ‘Emotion AI’ — is redefining the way people experience technology. It will be able to recognize a person’s emotional state and the context behind it, and then respond appropriately.”

The definition stipulated that we humans are more complicated than merely our interactions with technology. Therefore, in the coming months, HX will rewrite the rules of engagement as it shifts a company’s motivation from profit to purpose. This means adding EQ into technology’s IQ.

Typically, conventional AI technology requires quality data, hard facts and accurate statistics. None of these have any human variable built into the equation. The advent of Emotion AI is a result of new digital technologies that leverage neuroscientific research, human-centered design, and focus on human values and ethics. This combination will help companies better understand the needs of people, recognize sensory triggers and develop experiences that resonate.

In terms of the application of affective computing, there is no doubt that emotion is a powerful instrument that catalyzes the formation of intimate connection between brand and customer. By becoming a business that evokes emotional responses, the business becomes a part of a person’s life, and not just a cash-grabbing organization. This connection evokes and establishes stronger brand loyalty as the person remembers a company based on how its products and services make them feel, not the numbers and data produced. Given enough time, brand loyalty evolves into an emotionally rich bond and companies can shape their offerings, communications and services to meet specific demands and requirements.

Moreover, Emotion AI’s usability will shine the brightest when it comes to customer service. With many companies employing one-click self-service solutions; chatbots, digital assistants and automated options are dominating the scene thanks to their efficiency. Yet, a survey conducted by a CX group revealed that 70% of customers would rather speak to an actual human being. The problem wasn’t efficiency but the lack of a human touch. By empowering it with affective computing and the predictive capabilities of AI, customer service will be infused with human-like qualities across all customer touch points. As a result, a balance between efficient service and meaningful engagement can be struck.

Big Data Analytics will also stand to benefit greatly from HX platforms. Despite having cutting-edge technologies, human sentiment continues to remain a giant puzzle, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma, cloaked by a mystery. While data analytics can put a number on it, the accuracy of that number is questionable. This is simply because much like snowflakes no two individuals humans are alike and no two relationships are the same. With a HX platform that understands nuances such as subtle habits, hidden desires and subconscious concerns, brands will be able to develop emotionally intuitive and context-appropriate experience for their customers.

In a way, AI-powered technologies are working in reverse or backwards in order to leap forward. TV commercials, for instance, are no longer screaming about a product’s features to its viewers but appealing to their emotions by crafting content that zeroes in on what entices them. This strategy creates a more personalized drive that encourages those who saw the commercial to head out and purchase the product.

With HX platforms supported by Emotion AI or affective computing, companies will be creating something more than just a great product, more than just an impeccable service and more than a marketing campaign. It is fostering a bond between people and brands. Through this technology that is intelligent, integrated and interconnected, companies have the potential to produce unique experiences that understands and respects the humanity of each and every one of its customers.

Customers are not only valuable, they are also valued.