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Unforgettable Episode 23: The Emotional Component of Customer Experience

Samantha Hausler
February 15, 2019

3 minute read

Unforgettable is a customer experience education program, focused on delivering fresh content weekly to give business leaders what they need to succeed in a customer-driven, digitally-disrupted world. The program brings together the expert minds of Jay Baer, Shep Hyken, Jeanne Bliss, Ian Golding, and Blake Morgan to spotlight modern customer experience excellence. Get the latest content by bookmarking smartercx.com/unforgettable.

In episode 23 of Unforgettable, Ian Golding, global customer experience specialist, explains that there are three components to customer experience, with the most important being the emotion alone. Ian shares his recommendations for strengthening the emotional connection with customers to create truly people-centric organizations, including how to tap into not only the emotional state of customers, but employees as well. After all, the way businesses treat employees is very often a reflection of the way they’ll treat customers.

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Hi, this is Ian Golding, global customer experience specialist, bringing you episode 23 of Unforgettable, the series all about delivering great customer experiences.

All experiences are made up of three component parts. The functional, the accessible, and the emotional. The functional component represents your product or service. The accessible component represents how easy it is to access your products and services. The third component is the most important of the three, which represents the way an experience makes you feel.

The reason it is important to understand this is that the emotional component is the only one of those three that you as a customer, or an employee, are most likely to remember about out of all of the experiences you have.

With all experiences, we will remember one of three outcomes. We’ll remember very good things, we’ll remember very bad things, or we will remember nothing at all. Actually, remembering nothing at all happens often, especially for a customer, and it is the worst of those three emotional outcomes because it means there has been no connection between you and your customer.

But the reason I’m sharing this with you is because if your organization is going to become more sustainably customer-centric and more sustainably people-centric, it is critically important that we understand how we’re making people feel. Both the customer and the employee.

When was the last time you experienced what your customers experience as a customer yourself? Very often, people will say to me, “But I’m in a business to business environment. I can’t experience what the customer does.” Why can’t you? Why can’t you spend time with customers? Talk to them about what they’re experiencing and even replicate what they do. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Hear what they hear.

I used the word ‘people’ when I was talking about emotion at the beginning of this video, because if we are going to become sustainably customer-centric, it is important to recognize that the way we treat our people is very often a reflection of the way they will treat our customers.

So if we want to understand how the customer feels, it’s equally as important to understand how our employee feels. When was the last time you sat with a colleague of yours to find out what they do and how they do it? When was the last time you went out with a delivery driver to see what they do, how difficult it is, what the challenges are, or what could make their lives easier? When was the last time you picked up a telephone and spoke to a customer in a contact center?

If we are going to change the nature of the way organizations work, it’s critically important that we tap into the emotional state of people, our customers and employees, and we are constantly aware of the way we are making people feel.

If our people are feeling negative about the experiences that they’re having, either as a customer or as an employee, what can we do to change that? Because if your people are feeling negative about their experiences, then that will have a knock-on effect on the way your customer is going to feel.

So, take away this thought: Do you know how it feels to be a customer? Do you know how it feels to be an employee at varying levels at the organization? And don’t forget about your leadership, because very often it’s very easy to say negative things about leadership, but do we know how they feel in their role in trying to drive a customer-centric organization?

Empathy is a key attribute in driving sustainably customer-centric organizations, and empathy is all about applying a consistent understanding to the way we make others feel. Consider that as you go back into your workplace having watched this video.

Samantha Hausler
Samantha Hausler is a bit obsessed over digital tech trends, coffee, travel, brunch, and reality TV. Samantha is a Marketing Strategist for Oracle CX with over 9 years of experience in the industry.
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