Theory is one thing. Implementation is another. Ideas are useless if you can’t apply them.
The idea I often share is that customer emotions influence over half of your Customer Experience. However, just knowing customers are emotional doesn’t help your business… .unless you know how to use this information to improve your business outcome.
How your customers feel about your experience is the most significant factor to your Customer Experience success. What’s more, certain emotions result in the achievement of your business goals. But how do you determine which emotions you want your customers to feel? The Emotional Signature® helps you find the answer.
The Emotional Signature is the level of customers’ emotional engagement with you. You have an Emotional Signature right now. Chances are, however, if this is the first time you heard of it that you left it up to chance. People feel emotions in your experience whether you planned for them or not. However, the most successful Customer Experiences put deliberate effort into what customers feel and when.
The Emotional Signature works on a Three Stroke Model: Stimulus, Response, and Effect. With this model, we see what motivates the customer and how customers act as a result. We then look at the subsequent outcome for the organization. The hidden variable we uncover with this model is how the customer feels, an area to which most organizations don’t pay enough attention.
Here’s how it goes:
Stimulus: The organization encourages the customer through interaction, or, in other words, they do something. These are the attributes of the experience the company controls.
They present a consolidated view of my activity with the company.
They encourage a customer to use the website.
They send offers that are pertinent to customers.
Response: Then, the customer reacts to this interaction, i.e., he or she feels something about what the organization did. It is the internal emotional response the customer has, which can be conscious or subconscious.
The customer trusts the organization to communicate to him.
She is annoyed that the website is confusing.
The customer is pleased that the company anticipates his needs.
Effect: Next, it has an effect on the “value” the organization enjoys. These are the aspects of business that the company wants to impact.
It can result in an attitude toward the brand, for good or ill.
It can result in “claimed behavior,” e.g., commitment, recommend the organization to a friend or colleague, improved statement of customer satisfaction, etc.
It can inspire actual behavior, e.g. getting a new sale or gaining a new customer, keeping an existing customer or losing a customer, etc.
The Three Stroke Model translates into our advanced statistical analysis to find the cause of customer behavior. Emotional Signature uses Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to show how business stimuli drives customers’ emotional response, which in turn has an effect on business performance. We can use SEM to find what the company is doing and what customer emotion that action evokes and how that specific interaction results in effect on the business. All that to say, SEM looks for hidden patterns.
An example of SEM in action is the 800 number you provide customers. When someone sees the company provides an 800 number to call when troubleshooting (Stimulus), customers feel “comforted” and “relieved” (Response), and these feelings make them likely to recommend the company to another person (Effect).
Empty talk about customer feelings doesn’t do anything for your business.
The Emotional Signature exercise shows you how to use the customer’s emotions to improve your Customer Experience. It helps you cut through the philosophy about emotions and customer behavior and shows you what to do that will improve your bottom line.
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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 @ColinShaw_CX