Emotion – The Missing Ingredient Of Australian Customer Experience

Australian businesses have the highest level of mediocrity when it comes to customer experience (CX). To move beyond this into something more memorable, we need to harness the most elusive ingredient of great CX – emotion.

Forrester Customer Experience Index

Customer Experience Index
Forrester Global CX Index

Forrester recently announced their latest 2017 wave of Global Customer Experience Trends. The report uses insights from their CX Index which  measures Experience Quality and Customer Loyalty across a range of industries.

The overall out-take of the study is that globally businesses have remained stagnant on their journey to create EXCELLENT customer experiences. The challenge being that customer expectations are out-pacing the ability of brands to provide all the ingredients needed for an outstanding experience.

At first glance Australia compares quite well, with 76% of brands recieving a score of OK. However, before we get too excited, let’s consider that Australian’s are not exactly known for demanding high levels of service. Particularly compared to the US and France where their greater levels of dissatisfaction are likely a result of higher expectations.

If you are a CEO or CMO the Australian score should be alarming. Ultimately if Australia is indexing OK on the Quality measures of Ease, Effectiveness & Emotion – this means that Australia has the highest global levels of mediocrity when it comes to customer experience!

With Amazon’s entry into Australia looming customer expectations are going to rise and the gap between OK and EXCELLENT is going to widen.

Moving from ‘meh’ to memorable

To move beyond ‘meh’ into a more memorable customer experience, brands need to look further than the reduction of pain points. The Forrester research shows us that Emotion has the biggest influence on customer loyalty. Far greater than that of Ease and Effectiveness.

In today’s world Ease & Effectiveness are simply a cost of entry. For marketers, building the right emotional out-take is the hard thing. It is also the thing that will shift a brand from OK to EXCELLENT.

Over the years I have seen the following three elements be core drivers of positive emotions within an overall customer experience…

1. APPRECIATION. The Forrester research was consistent across all industries and countries. The most influential emotional impact on a customer experience score was that a customer felt respected and valued.

2. ANTICIPATION. Gartner VP Research, Brian Prentice notes that positive emotional experiences occur when a customer feels that a brand “gets me”. The CX holy grail is that we understand our customers so well, we can anticipate their needs.

3. AWE. ‘’Surprise and delight” has long been a strategy for loyalty marketers. However Jonah Berger Marketing Professor and Author of Contagious, has gone a step further. His research proves that positive arousal results in a memorable experience that is more likely to be shared.

Have a think about it, do you build all three of these into your customer experiences? What emotional outcomes are you leaving your customers with and when was the last time you delighted them?

Simone Blakers is a Social CX Consultant. Get in touch to discuss your Customer Experience needs.