It’s Tuesday and that means you need a fun fact in your life, so here’s one: did you know that according to a recent study emotion is the #1 driver of great customer experiences, beating out ease and effectiveness of the product or service?
Yep, as biz owners we’d all like to think that our product matters. And no doubt it does, but the experience of working with us matters so so much more.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you feel that emotions have no place in your boardroom or think tank, think again. If you’re selling to humans, you’re selling to emotional creatures who think more with their hearts than their brains, despite efforts to do otherwise. Don’t believe me? Check out my recent blog post about the three human brains (yep, there are THREE!) here.
So okay, emotions matter. Fulfillment, joy, excitement, entertainment, satiation — these are all emotions that we as small businesses would love for our customers to feel. No matter what vertical you’re in, you want to make your customers feel AMAZING. But did you know that when consumers were asked to rank a positive brand experience, the emotion they most often identified was satisfaction? Greater than relaxed, important, reassured, the #1 driver of a positive interaction with a brand was satisfaction. In fact, 38% of consumers surveyed associated satisfaction with positive experiences, and 40% associated the same emotion with brands to which they’re loyal.
Bottom line: customers are pleased with and feel loyal to brands that provide them a sense of satisfaction.
What’s the simplest way to deliver satisfaction? Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it…or better.
That’s it! Apparently, we’ve all been working our tails off trying to find the next greatest thing to make customers enamored with our brands, when really our efforts would be much better spent by putting more energy into creating a seamless and amazing experience with the processes and products we already have in place.
Yep, I just gave you permission to stop innovating, and start making the most of what you already have.
For instance, I love Anthropologie. This is no secret. And my Anthro gift cards from Christmas have been burning a hole in my pocket. Every Sunday afternoon I pop over to their site to check out the new goodies in hopes of finally making a purchase.
And every week, what I want is out of stock.
Anthro has me, hook line and sinker. I’m ready to buy. I’m already a loyal fan, but I’m not satisfied. Not because of some complex marketing issue or incorrect brand positioning. It’s simply because they never have anything in stock. Anthro is not delivering on the most basic and simple promise they can make by offering a product that I can’t actually buy.
Anthro falls into a trap that many of us have fallen into: we want to go after the stronger, sexier emotions. We want customers to feel special, we want clients to feel a part of something big, but if we don’t have a foundation that leaves them feeling satisfied firmly in place, we will miss the opportunity to create a truly amazing brand experience.
So, how do we get started in perfecting the art of satisfaction? Well my friend, the road to satisfaction is made up of many steps along the way. Do you truly know and understand all the things your customer has to do to find your business, to contact your business, to go through the buying process? Once you’ve truly understood the customer’s path of travel, you can identify opportunities to make things better, you can see where the ball might be getting dropped, and you can streamline processes to increase efficiency.
If you don’t already have this info handy, I highly recommend going through a Customer Journey Map. Here’s an excellent step-by-step guide on how to produce one. Once you’re done, you’ll thoroughly understand the hoops your customer is jumping through to get to you so that you can clear the path and make it easier to do business with you.
In the age of the internet, there are so many resources out there showing you how to innovate, how to be on the cusp of the next thing, and how to reach farther and wider. But as the research shows, sometimes the best thing we can do to increase our effectiveness is not to do more, but to do less…better.
Are you measuring up or missing the mark? Sometimes, when it comes to your brand, what you really need is a second opinion. If you’re in need of a third-party perspective, check out my brand auditing services.
I offer the objective perspective you need coupled with customer interviews to help you learn everything you need to know about how to satisfy your audience. Click here to learn more.