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3 Things You Can Do To Start Focusing On The Emotional Experience Of Your Customers

30th August 2017

This article was written by Joe Sejean, CEO and Founder of Activate Experience

During a night flight from Dubai to Paris I happened to be sitting next to a person whom I had a lot in common. We discovered our similarities because none of us could sleep.

While we were discussing –a bit too loud- during a middle-of-the-night stretch session, a flight attendant came and asked us to get seated and stop bothering other passengers. She was right to ask us to return to our seats. The only thing is that she said it in a teacher / bad student way. It became an issue later on when the same person talked to us about our lunch choice as if we were Grade 1 kids.

It may seem small but of the (approximately) 3 interactions I had with the airline staff, 2 were with this flight attendant and here is what happened after my flight:

1-   I told the story to a few friends who asked me how my latest trips were.

2-   I have decided to avoid this airline as much as possible in the future.

Why? Because I felt patronized during a flight where not only I was a Customer – not a student - and also because what I paid for was not a lecture on how to behave in life but a flight to go from Dubai to Paris.

Here are a few elements to take from this story and its consequences:

Perception Is Reality

What matters is not what happened.

Did the flight attendant really patronize my friend and I and talk to us like Grade 1 kids? I imagine not under her assessment of the situation.

But this was our perception. Therefore, it was real - at least for us, meaning for the people who talk about the brand and will decide to fly or not on this airline in the future.

Pay attention to this aspect of the business: what your customers feel is the most important thing even if it is not matching your perception or your reality.

Emotions Influence Two Types of Decisions That Drive Your Business

It is now a scientific fact that decisions we make are emotional.

Whether your decisions are processed rationally or not does not change the fact that when deciding anything, your limbic system fires up and when you feel good or bad, the same system fires up.

Our limbic system processes emotions and decision making (among other things) and this means one important thing: the emotions your customers will feel when interacting with you, your brand and or your employees influence their decisions.

Which Decisions?

At least two important ones for your business:

1-   The decision to talk about your business in a positive or negative fashion.

2-   The decision to buy in the future.

Those are the two legs of Profitable Growth - the idea according to which you can do more with what you have.

Now this is easier said than done.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if your company is focusing on the emotional experience of your customer:

-      Do we have a process-oriented culture rather than a customer-oriented culture?

-      Is ‘product’ dominating in our communication, our annual conventions and similar events or do we primarily focus on customers?

-      Do we have clear emotional intentions? I.e. do we know what we would like our customers to feel at different stages of the experience?

Those questions are a good start and if you feel the answers are not going in the right directions, here is what you can consider doing:

-      Check the purpose behind your processes. If the purpose behind them is just to fill a form, get data, or have the customer choose between omelet and sausages, consider changing your approach of processes. Take the time to look at each process and consider the benefit for your customer, internal or external. Make this benefit the purpose and the process a way to achieve it. This will guide your teams to execute the process with a customer benefit in mind, not the completion of a task.

-      Products are too often dominating brand communications and conventions: focus on creating a solid space for customers, their problems, challenges, feedback, etc. when you communicate as a company.

-      Map your Customer Journey. Not by filling each step with processes (omelet or sausages?) but by defining specific emotions you would like your customers to feel. In my airline experience, if the flight attendant had as an emotional intention to make the transition between waking up and taking my breakfast a pleasant moment, I am sure that the same process (omelet or sausages?) would have sounded different.

Our clients strive for Profitable Growth i.e. want to generate more with what they have and try to find new ways to achieve it.

Customer Experience is the best way to find back the path to Growth and Profit in a sustainable way.

In alliance with Albatross CX and Face2Face, we are experts to:

- Design Emotional Experiences through Emotional Mapping and Staff Feedback;

- Identify and Remove obstacles to Customer Experience implementation (KPIs and Commission strategy, Role of the Managers, Recruitment methodology);

- Evaluate Customer Experience impact on Business Performance and Clients' Recommendation;

- Train Managers to ensure Business Sustainability and Culture Change.Our clients strive for Profitable Growth i.e. want to generate more with what they have and try to find new ways to achieve it.