CX Insights Series: I Second That Emotion: The Role of Emotion in Customer Experience (Part Six)

Customer Experience


June 1, 2016


I recently attended the 2016 CXPA Insight Exchange on its 5th Anniversary, my third time attending. I always take away several ideas and new friendships. This year, what is sticking with me most is the topic of emotion in customer experience. The understanding of emotion, the metrics of emotion, the avoidance of emotion and the power of emotion.

Jeannie Walters, CEO of 360 Connect, shared an incredibly emotional story of her patient experience as a result of a serious family car crash and how mostly ill prepared the medical system is in dealing with people on a human level. They might be able to heal you physically, but leave you feeling cold and still hurting emotionally. This was contrasted by a visit to retailer PIRCH on Day 3 of the conference where everything from the physical space to the staff exuded emotion that won over each of us on a personal level (and caused most of us to open our wallets before leaving).

In a panel discussion on the CX Metrics of Emotion (with Rob Sherrell from Sparks Grove participating), folks wanted to know where to start, how to prioritize, how this is different for B2B, and how to design for emotion. What struck me about the line of questions is the search for a silver bullet – a tool or some definitive process that must be followed. While tools and processes are important and there are many options, they will never replace the maniacal commitment of achieving customer empathy. On this point, keynote speaker Doug Woodard offered one great suggestion, “You have to taste the cooking.” Meaning get out of the office and put yourself in the customer’s shoes, or better yet, walk alongside them.

But how does this support experience design? Our Day 3 hosts Storyminers offered a brilliant option leveraging the Alliance Theatre, demonstrating the power of acting out your current and future state service designs. Having previously applied a similar technique in financial advisor service design, I can vouch for its efficacy!

CXPA membership is growing, attendance at the Insight Exchange is growing and the number of customer experience jobs is growing. It is clear that customer emotions will no longer go unnoticed and there is hope for better experiences in our future.

Check out our other CX Insights Series blog posts hereherehere, here, and here.

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