So tell me what you want, what you really, really want...

Posted On by Fredric Joos

A recent study by Steven Van Belleghem, SSI and No Problem (you find the slides here) shows that meeting today’s customer service expectations, requires delivering an emotional (answers 1 & 4) and rational (answers 2,3 & 5) experience. (Not exactly the ‘zigazig ah’ you were expecting from the title, I know.)

These are the top 5 answers to the question ‘What is important when you have an issue with a company that needs to be resolved?’:

  1. That my problem is taken seriously (92%)
  2. Speed (90%)
  3. Transparent overview of next steps (89%)
  4. Friendliness of my contacts (89%)
  5. Problem solved in one interaction (88%)

It is especially interesting to find out that emotions top the expectations list; above all, customers want to feel valued and respected. In other words, if you would solve my issue immediately (fast) and in one step (transparent & one interaction), you would not have met all my expectations. You would have met my rational expectations, not my emotional expectations. As a result, I would not be fully satisfied and I would probably not promote your brand to others. At best, I would be one of the “passives” on the NPS scale: a customer at risk, open for competitive offers and not contributing to a positive word-of-mouth.

You can hardly over-estimate the power of emotions in today’s age of the customer. Nor should you too easily, consider any of your customer’s experience drivers to be purely rational. Often also the more rational feedback, such as the importance of “Transparency” in the example above, has an emotional undertone. Whenever you do not feel at ease with a situation or do not fully trust the person helping you to solve an issue, you want to gain more control over the situation or problem at hand. Access to insight in the next steps, is one of the ways to expand your sense of control.

Do you know which emotions create or destroy most value in your industry? And, more importantly, do you know how to consistently manage these emotions in all your customer interactions?