Why your CX Team Must Measure Emotion

By: Lisa Sigler

March 8, 2016

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The recent Forrester Research report, “How to Measure Emotion in Customer Experience” explains how businesses can start to use emotion metrics as part of their customer experience management program.

The report points out that measuring emotion can be difficult and unfamiliar to customer experience (CX) practitioners. In addition, some executives are skeptical that emotion metrics are even reliable.  However, it is absolutely critical to include emotion in your CX analysis.

  • In 94% of industries studied, customers’ emotional reaction to an experience had more impact on customer loyalty than how effective or how easy their customer experience was.
  • How customers feel about their experiences influence their overall perception of the brand (positively or negatively).
  • Understanding customer emotion—and what is causing it—provides a starting point for you customer experience improvement plan.

Once you’ve decided to measure emotion, where do you start? To get up and running quickly, you should first modify your customer satisfaction surveys to ask specific questions about emotions. These surveys should be delivered as quickly as possible after the customer experience so that customer memories are as accurate as possible.

The Forrester report also emphasizes that “CX pros should also analyze unstructured feedback if they aren’t doing so already.” Text analytics of unstructured feedback reveals customer emotions as expressed in the customers’ own words. The related discipline of sentiment analysis uncovers how positive or how negative the customer feedback is, providing another level of detail about customer feelings.  Emotional information can also be captured by voice and image analysis.

Once you have the emotion data, you can use it to take action. If you discover that a new policy has your customers feeling concerned, you can clarify or change the policy. If you find that long call queues are making customers impatient, you can change your call center procedures. If a product change is making people angry, you can reach out to them to address their concerns.

These changes improve your business results. Some companies use sentiment as an early indicator of some of their KPIs. Others share their sentiment scores internally to get both executive and frontline buy-in of their customer experience activities—because they can see that their efforts are making a difference.

The only way to ensure that you are taking the right actions to make your customers happy, satisfied, and loyal is to understand, measure, and act on their emotions.


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.