Everyone wants your Customers’ attention. These bids for attention surround us, in the form of advertisements to street signs to the clothes people wear or, in some cases, don’t wear! These ubiquitous pleas for attention can be overwhelming and crowd out your bid for your Customers’ attention. So it’s up to you to cut through the clutter and reach them. But, how?
Simply put: You have to appeal to their reptilian side.
You might be thinking, “What’s a Reptilian side?” It’s a fair question and one I might not have been able to answer before I read this article on how to engage your Customer’s Reptilian Brain. To summarize, the reptilian side of a person’s thinking represents the area that processes attention and decision-making at an instinctual level. It is the area deemed to be responsible for instinct and survival. Essentially, it is the part of your brain that helps you avoid pain.
Pain takes many forms. There is, of course, physical pain, the boo-boos of life, as it were. However, there is also emotional pain. Both kinds are important to avoid, and both are avoided by decisions made by people’s reptilian brain. So when you can demonstrate that you help your Customers avoid pain, physical, emotional or otherwise, you are appealing to their natural instincts, or their reptilian side.
This concept has obvious connections to branding and marketing. However, marketing and branding are only part of the overall experience a Customer has with you (albeit an important one, particularly as it pertains to attention getting). Appealing to the innate need to avoid pain has enormous implications for the remainder of your Customer Experience as well.
Your customers want no pain in their experience with your product or service. They want it to be clear what they are getting, affordable from a time and money perspective, and simple to do, among other things.
When you design your Customer experience, you need it to appeal to these instinctual avoidances of pain. You need to ensure that your offer is clear, fair, and fast. You need to streamline the purchase and logistics process, too. Many of you are likely thinking, “No problem! We did a journey map last year and took care of all of these concerns.”
While I have no doubt that the journey map did an excellent job of identifying many elements of your experience that touch on these areas, I have much doubt that if you only did a journey map that you “took care of all of these concerns.” Why? Journey maps only outline the process, the rational parts of an experience. These elements are necessary. However, they are not the whole experience; they are not ALL of the concerns.
Emotions play a large part of the Customer Experience. They are also what triggers the reptilian brain. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty strongly emotional about avoiding pain.
Journey maps do not address how the process, how the whole Customer Experience makes your Customer feel. Because of this, you need to do more than a journey map. You need to address the emotional journey of your experience.
Designing a Customer Experience that appeals to the emotions requires a process we call Behavioral Journey Mapping. Just like the name is different, the outcome is different. When you undertake a behavioral journey map, you see the customer’s journey through their emotional lens. In other words, you can see how the moments in your process make your Customer feel, including the pain you cause them, usually quite unintentionally. Examples of pain points could include
- An awkward transition from one department to another during a call transfer
- A verification process that is too complicated to handle on a mobile device
- An unreliable shipping partner that doesn’t inform your Customer adequately about their package’s whereabouts
- A frontline team that comes across as abrupt or rude
All of these pain points will result in your Customer feeling disappointed because of their expectations based on the brand promise they associated with your product or service, leaving them feeling…well, snake bit! Whatever you uncover during the process, you will understand how that translates to how a Customer feels. You will feel their pain.
A behavioral journey map can show you why your Customers do what they do and what you are doing to make them behave that way. Best of all, it helps you identify your priorities for designing a better emotionally engaging experience than the one you have right now. You can make a deliberate plan to shed those painful points in your Customer experience like a snake shedding its old skin.
Avoiding pain is instinctual for all of us. Our reptilian brains help us avoid painful situations, physical or otherwise. This part of our brain makes decisions that keep us safe it—even the cold-blooded decision to take their business to the competition. Remember, when it comes to your Customer Experience, it’s pretty simple: No Pain? All Gain.
Do you know if you are causing your Customers pain with your experience?
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the following blogs:
Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX