Emotion: It’s Not Just Personal

By: Kate Zimmerman

June 22, 2015

Customer Feedback
Sentiment Analysis
Social Customer Care
Voice of the Customer

Whether they realize it or not, your customers’ emotions play a dominant role in their purchasing decision. However, emotion is inherently difficult to understand and even harder to measure. This concept was at the forefront of the Forrester CX Forum East, held in New York City last week. Fully understanding the role that emotion plays in customer experience will enable you to not only please your customers and improve their view of your brand, it also can drive revenue and increase profitability.

Happy customers are not only likely to buy more—they are also likely to recommend your brand to others. For example, I recently lost my FitBit. After a busy day of running around town, I realized that it had fallen off my wrist. I was very distressed, especially given the upcoming Clarabridge Steps Challenge, so I tweeted at FitBit. They immediately responded with a way to contact them and within a week, I had a new FitBit waiting at my door step.

I was so pleased with this customer experience that I told many of my friends and family members, and now I’m even sharing it here! FitBit successfully understood my negative emotions, and worked quickly to turn them around. They took an opportunity where I was upset, but not expecting anything, and turned it into a very positive experience.

Understanding emotion is important on the flip side, as well. A customer is much more likely to remember a negative experience than they are a positive one. Knowing that, it is extremely important to know when your customers are upset and have a plan of action in place to remedy the situation. Even if this customer simply leaves feeling satisfied, that should be considered a success. 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. Expanding on that, it is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. Failing to understand when your customers are upset or dissatisfied can cost you.

But, how do you know when your customers are happy or unhappy? Many brands think that they know what their customers think, and maybe they do, but without a formal customer experience management program to measure sentiment, businesses can’t truly be sure.

  • Surveying your customers before and after purchases or during the buying process is the most straightforward and commonly used way to do this.
  • Your call center is also full of insight; using voice analytics on the call center recordings and then text analytics on the call center notes and transcribed recordings will ensure that you really understand what is causing your customers to call in and not having to rely on best guesses by various agents.
  • You also need to make sure that you are monitoring your brand and your customers on social media and engaging with them. FitBit would never have known that I was unhappy if I hadn’t tweeted, but they had a plan of action in place that ended with a very happy customer.

Emotion may seem like a personal, intangible part of your customers’ experiences, but it is a critical piece to understand. Make sure that you aren’t being emotionally unavailable and missing opportunities to create happy customers!

Kate Zimmerman is a Product Marketing Associate at Clarabridge. Kate focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.