As a business owner you no doubt understand that emotion plays a key role in your customers overall experience with your business, and you no doubt take this into consideration when mapping and planning your customer experience… because let’s face it, the journey every customer takes with your business is emotional.
Why Emotions Are Important
The reason emotion is such an important issue, is that it’s a vital part of our decision making process. We live in a complex world, that seems to me to get more complex day by day and we all have many things to consider when we make a purchase. In order to make a purchase decision rationally, you would need to carry out a detailed cost-benefit analysis taking into account everything.
But who has time for this, most people instead make decisions based on emotions, which provide a kind of shortcut. Often, a purchase decision is made because it just feels right and I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “follow your gut.”
Emotions also play a key role in customer motivation. How does a customer know when the time is right to finally make that purchase? If you are like me, what drives us to act is the emotion we feel about a purchase decision.
Emotions Come from the Customer Experience
When making purchase decisions, the emotions used are based on everything that has transpired between the customer and your business. In other words, these emotions are shaped by the total customer experience.
In other words, the sum total of how a customer feels about your business, is derived based on the sum of what happens at each touch point they have with your business and how it makes them feel.
Emotions Also Create the Customer Experience
The fulfillment of these emotional expectations is also important for the customer experience. The customer expects to feel a certain way at different stages of the journey. After purchase, for example, they want to feel fulfilled and confident that they made the right purchase.
Subtle changes can have an emotional impact on your customers. In Paco Underhill’s book “Why We Buy,” there is a case where the feel of the carpet in a department store affected customer buying behavior. Small things like this can work on a subconscious level, it also explains why car sales people always want you to test drive a car.
Different Emotions for Different People
Which specific emotions drive decision making in your customers varies from person to person, or in this case, from target market to target market.
Exactly which emotions are most critical depends on many things, including the type of products or services you’re offering. The need for peace of mind is important for people buying software security packages. Meanwhile, feelings of excitement and self-expression may be more important for car buyers.
The key is to conduct research in order to discover which emotions are important in the experience for your customers. Throughout the experience you offer your customers, you should identify these emotions and identify them. This is part of maximizing the experience.