It’s Time To Get Emotional About Your Customers
July 28, 2017
By: Colin Dean, UK Account Director, Clarabridge
Being a customer is naturally a very emotional experience. We are bombarded with advertisements, recommendations, reminders of memories, sights, sounds and even smells.
You only have to play a certain piece of music and your emotions are fully engaged, transporting you to a certain time or place, along with the associated positive or negative feelings. In the same way as the music conjures up positive or negative feelings, our emotions also play directly into our ability to make purchasing decisions and, importantly, our recollection of the experience we received.
So, it makes sense that Customer Experience (CX) professionals need to make emotion a key part of a customer experience strategy. We must make customer experience more than just satisfaction scores and more than rational decision making. CX is more than just buying things. Great CX is about creating emotionally riveting experiences by including your customers in a shared narrative.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you add emotion to your CX strategy, you also should make it a key part of your customer experience analysis.
Digging Into Customer Experience Analysis
Okay, so what’s wrong with satisfaction scores? Nothing really, but they tend to be an unfair and incomplete measure of your customer’s experience. As customers, we all answer many surveys, but do we identify with a single number? I always find myself debating between two or three numbers thinking in my head, “yes, well maybe it was a 7 or was it a 6?”. Satisfaction scores are a helpful gut check for whether an experience was exactly that, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. But it is an incomplete way to gauge the full experience.
There’s no beginning and end to emotion. Emotions flow naturally with one often leading to another. If we look back at the history of the CEM space, technologies such as BI tools have given this industry a certain comfort working with numbers. They’re logical. They’re concrete. And they’re non-negotiable.
A number doesn’t portray the annoyance, anxiety or how confusing a process was for our customer. We are doing ourselves and our customers a disservice by not analysing how they feel during specific interactions, understanding the emotions they convey in their direct or in many cases, unsolicited feedback.
But it does not end with emotion.
Effort and Emotion
Our research indicates that effort is also a continuum. However, unlike emotion, effort is a linear continuum. You could potentially place a dot on a scale to indicate how much effort it took to complete a task. The puzzle here is what are the bounds of the continuum? The answer to that question likely varies for each of us. It is dictated by your data, your industry, your use case. For example, if we are looking at complaint data, the spectrum might shift more toward high effort.
Intelligent data analytics – Natural Langue Processing (NLP) – enables accurate confidence levels of expressed sentiment to be extracted from direct or unsolicited feedback. Most importantly, it can be done at enterprise scale, providing businesses with powerful insight in to the “what and why” of their customer’s experiences. With the advancement of a whole new breed of data categorization based upon Emotion and Effort, we are now able to combine both tangible and intangible expression, producing a far greater and rounded holistic understanding of the end-to-end customer experience.
By obtaining this more granular level of insight, CX professionals can aid their organizations to focus on designing solutions that break down challenges associated with high confusion/high effort, and the resulting customer frustrations, whilst preserving and promoting aspects that are low confusion/low effort.