According to behavioral scientist and customer experience (CX) expert Morris Pentel, business people need to get in touch with their emotions and learn how to talk about them.
This isn’t a way of cleansing one’s chi or finding Zen in the boardroom, but rather a way of reconnecting with customers and in doing so, building your brand.
“It’s a problem we have in business,” says Pentel. “It’s not that we don’t understand emotions, it’s that we don’t like to talk about them.”
Because it’s not normal to have these discussions, when it comes time to talk about customer emotion and how they impact CX, we don’t have the vocabulary or structure. As a result, “We discuss [customer emotion] in really complicated ways,” Pentel explains. “We don’t talk about emotion as a value, but it’s a huge value. I’m here to convince you this is the case.”
The chairman and founder of the Customer Experience Foundation, Morris Pentel, has dedicated his career to quantifying emotion in order to understand, measure and optimize both CX and employee experiences for the benefit of brands.
During his address at the third annual European Customer Day (ECD) hosted by Sitel Group, Pentel demonstrated how using emotional values to measure CX can provide a greater and more accurate insight than a host of existing metrics which involve asking customers to provide a score or yes-or-no answers.
“When I compare net promoter scores (NPS) to voice of the customer, they don’t match,” says Pentel.
It’s not because some types of survey are flawed and others are not. It comes back to vocabulary.
“They don’t use a simple, common language that people can all understand,” he explains. “What’s the opposite of recommend? I can only recommend to you or not recommend to you, but that’s not how our minds work. We do not think in this way.”
Indeed there are a host of emotional positions that aren’t reflected in the dialogue that companies have with their customers when attempting to assess performance.
“I can be more than satisfied; I can be more than dissatisfied; something can be more than difficult – it could be impossible,” says Pentel by way of example. “We can be more than happy, more than not happy.”
e-score, the system he and his associates have developed, can be applied to any channel, can record these feelings and give what Pentel believes is a much more accurate understanding of how well a brand is delivering CX.
While revolutionary, for businesses to get into this mindset does not require a complete transformation.
“You are already measuring emotion,” says Pentel. “Satisfaction is an emotion, effort is an emotion – you’re just not asking about enough emotions.”
This, in turn, means that the data companies have on their customers is incomplete.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this approach is the way in which it manages to quantify literally hundreds of words and phrases – the English language is full of rich and descriptive vocabulary when it comes to expressing how one feels – and filter them into a set of clearly defined positive and negative emotional states that tell you if, “Your customer is active or not; emotionally engaged, or not; and if the emotional engagement has importance or not,” Pentel explains.
In doing so, the system helps companies discover the emotional DNA of their brand and to see their current strengths, major weaknesses, plus best and worst practices.
“Each brand has a different emotional journey or experience but all emotions can be quantified as active or passive forces,” says Pentel. “And they can be used to calibrate your customer experience and to make it easier to improve it.”
You can watch Morris Pentel’s full keynote from ECD 2018 in the video below: