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Behavioral Science Can Reveal Your Customers’ True Feelings

Insights Come Hand and Hand with Listening

There is no feedback more important for companies to utilize than the candid, true thoughts and feelings of employees and customers. In fact, having a detailed understanding of your brand’s emotional connection to consumers can produce positive financial results and retain valuable customers, while even attracting new ones.

Behavioral science is the study of human behaviors; the causes and the effects. There’s much we can learn from people’s actions and decisions that can help businesses to draw conclusions and make predictions that ultimately impact them financially. From product development to sales and services, every person in the journey and every step that’s taken by an organization will contribute overall to the emotional trust that consumers have for a brand.

According to an article published by The Harvard Business Review, on average “fully connected” customers are 52% more valuable to businesses than those who are just “highly satisfied” with the brand or service. Any company, from any industry can forge powerful connections to their customers by properly identifying and aligning themselves to the specific emotions that drive profitable behaviors. The first step is to identify how your customers feel and find the places to fill the gap between general satisfaction and full-on loyalty.

Be Aware of the Brain and How It Works

As humans, our brains are always working around the clock. Everyone has motivators, expectations, and experiences that influence how we feel and react. We will all bring to the table different elements and can’t change how our brains are wired. Constantly, our brains are taking in information and even making quick judgments or decisions on a moment’s notice. A huge number of daily decisions are made intuitively, and most decisions rely on feelings and emotions more than rationality. Especially when it comes to “gut feelings,” something we trust within ourselves more than any outside logic or mental analysis.

And unfortunately, although our brains are quite amazing, the constant stream of brain activity actually deteriorates the quality of our decisions over time, leading to an irrational trade-off in decision making. This is called decision fatigue.

For example, after a long day, do you want to go home and cook a meal, or just simply get takeout? Earlier in the day, before mental exhaustion kicks in, going home to cook a nice meal might sound healthy and cost effective. But by the end of the day, one might lean towards take-out instead because it’s easy and quick. Neither decision is necessarily good or bad, it’s just all about the condition of our minds prior to making decisions, that determine the amount of concentration delegated to certain choices over others.

Another factor that drives perception is the “peak-end” rule. This is whether an experience is remembered as pleasant or not, based only on the peak moment, or the end of the experience. Instead of a “general” overall recollection, it’s only what is remembered most, that drives the perception.

In order to manage and control perceptions, organizations need to pay equal attention to the emotional side of their customer experiences, as well as the operational processes. When customers don’t feel like their concerns are being heard or met, they will go where they will be addressed, and that doesn’t guarantee that you keep their business.

Learning to leverage behavioral science will give companies the ability to identify customer emotions with financial impact and provide them with a “neuro” road-map for maintaining loyalty. Because being aware of the brain, and how it works, can bridge the gaps in any customer and employee experience; if only you are willing to listen.

The Emotional Insight That Awaits You

Lots of emotional insight is waiting to be unlocked, but where to begin? In order to maximize opportunities from emotional connections, companies must examine every customer touch point and find opportunities where they can enhance the emotional motivators. It’s important to understand what you need to measure, and where.

The following questions can be helpful to begin with:

  • What promotes consumer behavior, and what emotions contribute to decisions?
  • What type of personas are being interacted with?
  • Who is interacting with who?
  • What is trying to be accomplished overall?
  • What are customers going through, and how do they feel along the way?

A great way to collect answers to these questions are through customer journey maps. Journey mapping helps to interpret what your customer will go through, and what they are actually feeling.

Throughout the customer journey, there are places to keep tabs on what consumers are thinking and feeling during certain moments. To find crucial touch and pain points, Quantitative surveys with open ended unstructured data, analyzed with text analytics, can detect in customer language a variety of topics that stand out. Creating and understanding a range of feelings and experiences from the collected data, especially the intense ones, closes the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience. These customer insights can determine where damage is being done and allow for prevention of future occurrences.

All the right experiences can be designed to reach the right touch points when you acknowledge the brain and determine the proper “feelings” for your employees and customers.

Set the Bar for Proactively Understanding Your Customers

A recent MaritzCX study revealed that 80% of the companies who proactively gather, analyze, manage and use insights into customers’ feelings have better financial performance, year-over-year.

Whether you have a pre-existing customer experience program for your business or are jump-starting a new one, first ask yourself, “Do you know how your customers feel about their experiences they are having with your brand?

Emotional connections are no longer a mystery and can be utilized by businesses in-tune with their customers, as a competitive advantage to growth. At MaritzCX we work with businesses to prioritize and focus on what elements have the biggest emotional impact.

Listen to, The ROI of Feelings webinar to learn more.