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Does the customer experience need more emotion? How customers feel about the experience they are having with us is important. It is in fact, a very big deal.

Customer are individuals not demographic groups to be managed and exploited. The customer experience is owned by the customer, not our company. There is a difference between customer engagement and the customer experience.

Customer experience efforts need more of a focus on emotion and less on manipulation.

Bruce Temkin and his team are onto something. There are at least 3 core pillars to the customer experience. Many have documented this. Forrester has done some great work on it as well.

They generally follow this model from the customer’s point of view:

  • Did it meet my needs (goal)?
  • Was it easy to do?
  • Did I emotionally connect? For example, was it fun?

According to Temkin:

  • Only about one in 10 companies is very good at proactively designing for any aspect of customer experience.
  • More companies are good at designing for success (completion on interactions) than effort or emotion, but less than half of companies consider themselves good in this area.
  • Emotion is the weakest link, as only about one-third of companies think they are good at proactive emotional design.

This complexity, along with the lack of understanding what customer-centricity really means and the fact that in reality it often remains a promise (let alone, siloed effort), has been creating the famous customer experience gap. Of course, customer experience management is about more than what we just mentioned here, we used the ‘management’ part of it to make a point – strictly speaking customer experience management is about “design” for the kind of experiences you (no, wrong: your customers) value and want, from the most obvious low hanging fruit to the more sophisticated parts of the puzzle and always emotional.

Even if customer experience is about emotions and individual parameters, there are many commonalities in the ways people experience things, fulfil a task and value experiences.

Still, there’s really no substitute for actually spending time with customers, and with employees who serve customers.

Chip Bell of Chip Bell Group:

“You can pretend to care,” wrote Tex Bender, “but you cannot pretend to be there.” The key action is to spend time with customers and with the people directly serving customers.

Ian Golding:

Continually citing examples of Disney, Amazon et al to try and convince senior leaders to become personally engaged in CX is not an effective strategy – nor is regularly evangelising about CX and repeating theory over and over again. In my experiences, there are a number of things that CX professionals need to consider when trying to engage senior leaders – and they are not complicated. Get them to TALK about experiences of their own as consumers, and … experience the customer and employee experiences for themselves.

Erich Dietz of InMoment:

The customer must be present in all decisions and discussions, regardless if they are about product, finance, operations, marketing, HR, etc. I mean that both figuratively and literally. Not only in all internal company communications, but to the point of having leaders actually sit down with the customers that buy their products or services over a meal. Consistently humanizing the customer in the eyes of leadership and the employee base is critical to long term success.

Jeanne Bliss of CustomerBliss:

When I worked at really large companies, we’d find a leader of a country and would work with them on embedding this stuff and showing it in a more closed environment, if you will, and work it through. You go back and you can present that information, show the results and show what happened. Their people are happier. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we find that when you’ve got a frustrated CCO, finding an early adopter can help.