Don’t You Just Love Emotional Customers! How to Excel in the Customer Experience – Part 1

In my previous article, ‘The Customer Journey – Evaluation’, I discussed six key elements of customer satisfaction you need to excel in. We highlighted the areas which help Heidi recognize your high value offers, as well as the factors that persuade her to choose YOU. These elements included: In my previous article, ‘The Customer Journey – Evaluation’, I discussed six key elements of customer satisfaction you need to excel in. We highlighted the areas which help Heidi recognize your high value offers, as well as the factors that persuade her to choose YOU. These elements included:

 

– Getting the Job Done

 

– Process

 

– Emotional Gain

 

– Price

 

– Inconvenience

 

– Uncertainty

 

Three Key Messages Stand Out in this List

 

1. The first is that you need to reconsider what you are offering Heidi in order to win her over. We no longer live in a goods-dominant era; but a service-dominant era. Whether you have a shop that sells clothes, food, jewelry or surfboards, you aren’t just selling her a product; you’re offering her the happy experience of finding, using and sharing your service. For instance: if you own a hotel, you aren’t simply selling Heidi a room and a meal, but a suitcase full of memories.

 

2. The second message is this: when you look at that list of six elements, you notice how many of them are directly related to an emotional input. Yes. ALL of them finish with an emotional response.

 

A third message I want to focus on is that Customer Satisfaction should not be your end goal. Customer Satisfaction is temporary—it won’t last much longer than the experience itself. What’s satisfying today is old hat tomorrow. If you stop at providing satisfaction, you will forever be chasing your tail. What you should be seeking is Customer Engagement, because that’s what generates loyalty, word of mouth and positive referrals.

 

Purchasing Intent is Your First Goal

 

A clever group of academics in Malaysia took what we know about customer service to a new level. Using the wonders of scientific social research, they examined the factors that drove Heidi’s desire to purchase. Some very interesting results were discovered. They found that the strongest drivers of purchasing intent were:

 

The sensory experience. This included increasingly important factors such as Feeling Worthwhile, Attractiveness and the Arousal of Sensation. Does your website or shop front provide an uplifting sensory experience?

 

The emotional experience. Ranking upwards in importance again: Hopeful, Satisfied, Contented, Relaxed, Pleased and Happy. Note that ‘Satisfied’ is low on the pole, whereas a ‘Happy’ Heidi ranked high in terms of Customer Engagement.

 

The social experience. These factors included Getting Recognized, Promoting Social Status and the Positioning of Social Status.

 

These academics also found that in a customer’s experience, the sensory experience significantly affects the emotional experience, and the emotional experience significantly affects the social experience. All three play an integral part in shaping the intent to purchase.

 

Let’s look at one of Heidi’s scenarios:

 

The Power of Individual Interaction

 

I watched an owner of a boutique hotel helping Heidi and her friends navigate the town. Many service providers would have simply thrust a map at them. But this boutique owner sat them down and carefully drew a map by hand—all the while telling stories and highlighting key sites to visit. He made sure that Heidi knew on which days particular local ceremonies and dances were taking place, and even mentioned some of his favorites. By sharing his experience and wisdom, Heidi felt valued and special. Her senses, emotions and the social interaction she was a part of were all at play. Her and her friends were given an additional emotional benefit: the benefit of anticipation—something a map in a rack could never offer. By doing this, the boutique owner also helped remove any uncertainties Heidi and her friends may have had.

 

What does this mean to us?

 

Buying things to possess (a goods-dominant philosophy) only provides temporary happiness. What people treasure are their EXPERIENCES.  If you can romance the experience, you’re headed for real growth. This also means training your staff in line with a service-dominant culture.

 

We’ll leave it there for now. But be sure to catch the rest of our discussion later this week, where we’ll be diving into some more of Heidi’s customer experience scenarios.

 

Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy
www.nextepeasy.com

 

neXtep Business Builder Community Pte Ltd
Singapore ACRA Business Registration Number: 201424522Z
80 Kitchener Road #09-09/10 Singapore 208539