• Emotions: driving force in customer experience
    Emotions: driving force in customer experience

Customer experience consultant and print industry veteran Scott Telfer says emotions are set to play a bigger part in business than ever before.

Talking to a number of my cycling friends over coffee (that’s what we ride for) they queried me on what are some of the biggest trends we will see this year in Customer Experience. So I decided to do some research. Not surprisingly, emotion is the big one.

Isabelle Zdatny, from Qualtrics XM Institute, one of the leading companies in the field says, “Thanks to rapidly evolving technologies I expect to see more companies measuring and discussing customer emotions. Emotions play an essential role in how we make decisions and form judgements, and consequently, they significantly impact our experiences with and loyalty to different companies. And yet companies have historically ignored emotions – dismissing them as too squishy and unquantifiable.”

As we know, emotions play a huge role in our everyday life. We all experience ups and downs; however, nothing ticks us off like poor experience with a company. Our emotions are major.

Recently I had to deal with a leading Australian car insurance company. I can tell you from my experience the pain of dealing with them means I will not be rushing to use them for my car or house insurance. My claim was complex, however not totally unusual. To be on hold for at least four and a half hours was a bit unexpected. I was transferred from one department to another, then to another, at least six times over the duration of the call. On three occasions when the call was transferred it dropped out, and I had to start all over again. I was emotionally drained at the end of it all. So when I read that emotion was a key factor that people identified as pivotal for 2019, I was not surprised. I am sure we have all had similar experiences like this.

Imagine if your customers had this experience in dealing with your company? I often talk about the emotional piggy bank we have to build with our customers. We need to be constantly making deposits, because one day we may need to make a withdrawal. If we have no emotional credits in the bank and we need to make a withdrawal then the relationship will end. That’s why so many first time customers do not return if the experience is routine and not exceptional.

Dynata conducted a survey in late 2018 using 150 leading organisations from the UK and Europe. This identified the top five customer experiences for 2019.

  1. Emotional Customer Journey – 88 per cent of those surveyed said managing customer emotions is very important.
  2. Emotional satisfaction – 67 per cent said having confidence in a brand was important, and 57 per cent indicated simple stress free information was key.
  3. Key online CX strategies – 54 per cent of organisations surveyed said fast and effective customer response was a priority for an online customer (think W2P) in 2019. Some 51 per cent said using customer experience to help drive revenue was a key strategy.
  4. Measuring Customer Emotions – do you really know how your customers feel about the various experiences with you? As the saying goes “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.
  5. Barriers to success – With 88 per cent of companies identifying emotion management as key to their customer experience strategy for 2019, what are the real barriers for success? Lack of internal expertise and understanding was a significant online customer experience barrier.’

Mouthing the right words are easy. It’s a bit like when I had finished speaking to the insurance company consultant and I was clearly aggrieved, they asked me the inane question, “Is there anything we can help you with today?”

Clearly it’s not words, it’s changing people’s mindsets. So how do you start? Training staff in a real customer centric programme is a great starting point. Customer CX has developed a training programme based on the award winning book called the Customer Culture Imperative. The training programme starts to develop a deeply embodied customer experience/culture program that reaches into the heart of a business. If endorsed by senior leadership this will place customer culture as fundamental to your business performance as breathing is to living.

Questions are raised such as, how do we know what our customer culture is? Do we know if everyone is on board with our thinking? Does our thinking align with our strategy? Do we understand what our competitors are doing?

In applying this thinking to our customers we need to ask how valuable they are to – as the saying goes, they can hire and fire us. It is as simple as that.

There is always a lot of talk within businesses about the customer, and how they are the most important part of any business, but how many people really believe this?

It becomes easy to talk about how the customer is our prime focus, yet putting this into action is sometimes a lot more difficult. Doing the action part is what it really matters and this is where most companies fail. Considering when speaking to a customer how they may be feeling emotionally would appear to be an underrated area in business.

Do you want your business to stand out and survive, to be known as a true customer-centric organisation?

For a free one hour consultation please contact Scott Telfer about how you can improve your internal culture on +61 413 382 528 or scott@customercx.com.au. Member of CXPA.

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