Emotional Connection vs Convenience – what do today’s consumers really want?
In this episode we debate CX delivery and the trifecta of effectiveness, ease and emotion assessing each component and its impact on the overall customer experience
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Guest Speaker - Amy Scott
Amy Scott is the director of Sedulous a consultancy focused on customer informed business led transformation. She has worked for numerous blue-chip international organisations and brands (Toyota, Optus, Western Union, Aegon) on how to improve their service and deliver better experiences to their customers. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.
People will never forget how you made them feel. And the one thing we remember when all is said and done is how we felt about the experience. In the end, it all boils down to the people you deal with and they type of emotions they elicit in you. It’s fabulous if the experience was great, but even when a situation is bad the way it is handled will determine how you feel about a company.
- What do we mean by ‘emotional connection’ and ‘convenience’.
- Is emotional connection subjective?
- How do you measure it?
- Disruptor companies seem to be focusing on ease and simplicity, is it possible to achieve both?
- Are there big profit wins to be had when companies tick the ease, effective, emotional trifactor?
- Start-ups vs 100 year old business. How do established businesses achieve emotional connections and convenience?
Simon Thorpe – Welcome to CX Chat with Matt and Simon, our first weekly podcast on all things customer experience. Now during our podcast series, we’ll be taking a broad look at some of what we think are the hottest topics and biggest issues faced by customer experience professionals right now. And we’re also going to be inviting some of the people that make this industry tick into our pod booth to join the debate. If you want to check us out, we’re on LinkedIn. My name is Simon Thorpe. And I’m joined by my colleague, Matthew Dyer. And I think the best way to describe us Matt is two blokes with bags of enthusiasm for customer experience, both with big opinions and lots of passion for the industry.
Matt Dyer – I love that description. Simon. Yeah. And I’m actually really excited that we actually managed to get this off the ground. Like any good cx project, I’m sure there’d be a lot of tests and learn, but that’s what it’s all about. Isn’t it improving the experience? I’m personally I’m massive fan of podcasts. So hopefully between us, we can uncover some great guests that we get on some silver bullets that give our listeners a lot to think about and challenge themselves on.
Simon – Yeah, Matty you’re very much our podcast expert, you were you, you you listen to a lot of these, don’t you so? We’re, we’re gonna learn from you and your, your expertise on this as we go.
Matt – Yeah, I don’t know, I think the pod booth I think you’re calling it like that actually, I’ve not thought of that
Simon – Oh, have I coined a phrase, have I?
Matt – I think so actually, I think you’re going to be pretty good at this.
Simon – And I think it’s probably worth saying that we don’t claim for one minute to be the most qualified or the biggest experts. I mean, you know, if you check us out on LinkedIn, Matt and I have been in the in the industry for many, many years do lots of different roles. But, you know, what we do have is lots of passion for the industry. And, you know, as we said, we’ve got some some opinions. And we also have between us, there’s lots of connections of people that we think has got interesting things to say about some of the subjects that we’re going to be covering off.
Matt – Yeah, and I think just from working at Sabio as well, we can come across a lot of companies, a lot of different verticals, all have similar challenges, different challenges. So hopefully we can discuss some of these themes as we progress the podcast series. So I’m really excited to hear people’s thoughts.
Simon – Yeah, and I think that’s, that’s key. Actually, we really, I mean, this is our first one, we’re going to be doing these on a weekly basis. And we’re going to try and record every Friday, we really want to try and create a bit of a community so so you know, when you’re listening to these, you might be screaming down the airways going, you know, Matt, Simon, your wrong, you know, this is what I think, you know, let us know, either get in touch over social media, we’ll let you know how to do that at the end of the, the podcast, and then and through some of the promotion. And if you want to come on and have a chat with us and join the debate, we’d love to hear from you. If you’ve got a theme that you know, we might not have thought of that you think would make for some compelling listening or that sort of thing. You know, we’d love to hear from you so, so do get in touch and we’ll give you all of those details at the end. Right, should we get our guest on today? Our guest is someone that I have been friends with and worked very closely with for nearly 15 years now, the very wonderful Amy Scott has agreed to jump on the podcast, and discuss and debate with us the theme of emotional connection versus convenient, what do today’s consumers really want? And I’m going to go back to the theme in a minute. But Amy, a big welcome, thank you very much for joining us on our first podcast. Do you want to tell the listeners a little bit more about your background before I start dropping in anecdotes from our drunken evenings together?
[Introducing our Guest Speaker Amy]
Amy Scott – Hi, Simon. Yeah. Hi, Matt. Thanks for asking me to come on board and there’s some this initial launch podcast. Yes, as Simon says then I’ve worked with Simon for about 15 years.
And as well as working with him for five years on the top 50 programme that I became involved in helping companies improve the experiences they offer to customers. It was something I developed a passion for and when I moved to Sydney I basically reinvented myself as a service designer. And while I was in Australia for four years, I had the privilege of being the lead service designer on the largest project ever in Australia CX project for telco operator Optus, and I also worked with Toyota to help their dealer network become more customer focused and I know customer focus car dealers are kind of an oxymoron a bit. And basically, I set up Sedulous and its consultancy really focused on customer informed business lead transformation. And I’ve worked with a variety of blue chip customers and brands on how they can improve the services and deliver better experiences. It really it’s not rocket science it really all boils down to helping organisations identify what customers want, how they’re currently delivering against these expectations, where the customer pain points are, what causes them, and then how you can design them out of the service leading to better journeys. Since I’ve been back in the UK I’ve worked for a variety of companies in a variety of sectors and people like Aegon, Western Union, Nuffield Health, Abel and Cole, The Mid Counties Co Op, Cabot Financial Five Housing, and all of these companies encounter similar issues in terms of really understanding the voice of their customers and what causes them problem and pain and how you get rid of them permanently from the systems.
Matt – Yes, interesting to know you spend some time down in Sydney, actually I spent with Sabio couple years working in Singapore. So from a CX perspective, and the experience that I guess customers expect out there is in some ways a lot different to what is the experience we kind of typically talk about in the UK. So maybe I don’t know, maybe that could be another topic we could talk about in a podcast in a later date.
Amy – Yeah. And Optus, by the way, is part of Singtel
Matt – Indeed, which is interesting. Yeah, I kind of didn’t realise you’re behind that but yeah, they are the kind of ones that people talk about from a customer experience so hearing the you were the person that kind of drove that, that’s very impressive.
Simon – It was very cool Matty, yeah you guys should go out have a when we get out a lockdown go for some lunch and get Amy to tell you all the all the juicy details that isn’t you know, secrets and you know, part of the project. It was really interesting what you told me so talking of lockdown how are we finding it folks? We are obviously you know, living in weird times at the moment. You know, anything surprised you about being in lockdown so far?
Matt – Well for me how much money I actually spend with Amazon.
The best thing the best thing that we’ve actually bought though is for the little one, two year old. I think I saw somebody posting on or Georgie saw someone posting on Facebook, a trampoline. So I straight away bought said trampoline, and to be honest is the best 60 pounds I’ve spent. So yeah, I’m enjoying spending time with my two year old on the trampoline.
Simon – I got I got told yesterday by my daughter and this is genuine. She said to me, daddy, it’s a really good job you’re not my teacher. Because I would learn absolutely nothing if you were, so I’m only I’m trying to do my best home schooling and in between trying to do work. I’m getting critiqued by my daughter at not being very good at it. But apparently I do get bad snacks. Apparently I do good snacks. So so you know I’m leading the way in that sense. What about you Amy?
Amy – For me, I’m fortunate I live in a rural location so I can go out on a three mile circular, walk and see the dog walkers and cyclists. And so every day that’s been part of my routine. I think having a routine during this time is helpful about when you you know, certain things you’ll do during the day. I belong to and run a book group. So we had our first virtual book group meeting last night.
Simon – Nice.
Amy – And we didn’t talk about the book at all because we missed each other. So we just chatted while we were all drinking a glass of wine together, which was lovely.
[The debate, emotional connection versus convenience, what do today’s consumers really want]
Simon – Okay, folks, shall we shall we crack on with this week’s topic? So just as a recap, what we’re going to debate today is emotional connection versus convenience, what do today’s consumers really want and the origin of this debate really came from from some of the Forrester Research. I’m a huge fan of Forrester. We did a lot of work with them and they talked a lot about this trifecta of effectiveness, ease and emotion and how emotion is one of the biggest differentiators and drivers. And those companies that are really, you know, creating emotion as part of their CX delivery are seeing some big, big material wins both for profit, competitive difference and so on. So I want us to talk about, you know, what does that emotional connection look like? And, you know, consumers actually want it and, you know, it’s convenience more important, you know, that’s the general flavour of the topic. And so just to start us off, let’s start with, guys… what do we mean by emotional connection and convenience? You know, if I say those words to you what what jumps out at you, Amy? Amy, let’s start with you.
Amy – Um, for me, convenience is all about ease. Can I do what I want to do quickly and easily, but emotional connection is about relating to a brand makes you feel something positive. It reassures you and it helps you feel that you can trust the company you’re dealing with. In the words of the late great Maya Angelou, I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. And the one thing we remember all is said and done is how we felt about an experience. In the end, it all boils down to the people you deal with and the type of emotions they elicit in you, and if the experience was great, well, that’s fabulous. But even when the situation is bad, the way it is handled, will determine how you feel about a company. And it’s not what you do, but it’s how it’s perceived by the people going through the experience and the multitude of ways it actually influences their decisions are dependent on emotions.
Matt – Yeah, it’s quite an interesting point actually, I really like the kind of the finance sector, especially what the kind of the new banks have been doing in terms of kind of, I guess, changing the market or changing the landscape in finance, and they really have gone through the kind of the emotional connection. I think initially, there was plenty of hype around the cards you could probably get from them. And what you’re starting to see from the likes of Revolut, in a way to try and connect with the people is like an example is the charity where you can kind of donate to charity, and they do take a cut of that kind of payment that you make. These sorts of initiatives in my mind, makes you feel more loyal to a brand and you get the positivity from it. Whereas the emotional connection, if I think about my parents, they probably have an emotional connection to the likes of Marks and Spencers and John Lewis, but that’s born out of what they’ve always, always done. Where’s from my perspective, the emotional connection is around I’m open to new brands, so long as kind of aspirationally it’s what I can myself can identify with. And when I look at the convenience side of things, I think of probably likes of Asda and Uber, where this is really more behaviour loyalty from my perspective, because I’ve always used those brands and I find it convenient. And that that loyalty really is driven by my habit rather than a genuine connection. And so yeah, it’s kind of really interesting topic. Dunno Simon, what do you think?
Simon – I don’t know. I, I’m very, very on the fence with this topic, I must admit, I mean, like, when I was first thinking about it, I was thinking, you know, what, which companies do I have an emotional connection with? And I was struggling, if I was honest, whether that’s because I’m just a cold hearted, grumpy Northerner, or, you know, I just couldn’t think of, you know, any brand that I would, you know, solidly say, you know, felt part of my DNA. But then when I was reading up on the topic a bit more and just refreshing myself and you know, what Amy was talking about, about the fact that it gives you the confidence and sharing the values, I totally get that. And that starts to speak to me a bit more. I mean, I’m quite passionate about the environments and, you know, corporate responsibility, you know, mental health issues. So, so I’m quite, I’m starting to find myself being a bit more aligned to companies that maybe showcase you know, some connection with the things that I’m interested in. So I get I get that emotional connection bit. But then to play devil’s advocate with it, I’m not sure whether those things would be enough if they were, you know, really annoying to deal with. You know, if I think of it, you know, Amazon, spend my life and my wife certainly spends a life on Amazon, everything comes from Amazon, because it’s really, really easy. I’m thinking you know, if there was another brand that, you know, was aligned to my values and connections, but wasn’t as easy as Amazon, would I flip, I’m not so sure. And that’s that juxtaposition.
Amy – Well, picking up your point about Amazon, you know, thing about convenience, is that when a brand is convenient, you have no emotional attachment to them. So yeah, Amazon, eBay, Argos, there’s no emotional connection to any of them. If somebody else came along and offered a similar service at the same, or a cheaper price, I’d be happy to go to them as long as it was convenient for me. And if we’re talking Amazon, well, I’d rather go to somewhere which treats their warehouse workers better than Amazon.
Simon – Indeed, indeed, I think, that makes a really good point.
I think that was one of the things that that came out of this conference I went to was that actually, you know, the Amazon’s as much as you know, the, the biggest company in the world right now. There is some real material threat to that, that position because people are starting to push against those values and, and because of that emotional connection, but can you can you guys, give me a brand, give me a company that you feel kind of emotionally connected to Matt, you touched on on a couple. What about you, Ames?
Amy – Um, well for me, I can give you see three global brands and a local one. Yeah, the NFU, they’re not the cheapest insurer on the market, but they treat me like a loyal customer. Every year, they give me the loyal loyalty discount. So I’m not being penalised for being loyal when I resign. And when they make a mistake, they totally take responsibility for it and they go above and beyond to make amends. Or Apple I use Apple because even though they’re more expensive, because I run a small business without any IT support available, so they provide me with an emotional peace of mind. If I have a problem, I can ring them up, they call me back within a minute, and they spend as much time as necessary to help you fix that problem. And if it isn’t possible, I can go to Genius Bar and get it resolved. A subject that will be appealing to you, Matt and Simon Lego. I loved playing with Lego as a child and I enjoyed building things with my children when they were younger. And I will never forget my son’s face every time he got his Lego magazine in the post. You know, he made him feel so important and special and grown up in a game. And yeah, there are cheaper imitations. But they’re not with they don’t have that emotional joy that Lego provided. And so, for me, those are the things that people are willing, and all those items are more expensive than competitors, but they need emotional needs. And the thing you were talking about before, Matt, is that people get attuned brands because they begin to feel it reflects their values and they’re part of they’re part of this tribe, if that makes any sense.
Matt – Yeah, totally agree with you. I think there’s a big kind of movement. If you look at the likes of what giffgaff have done, I guess from a telco perspective in terms trying to get the community to run the support, and kind of, I guess, kind of promote the brand, that’s a great example of kind of getting an emotional connection to something that I guess you could argue is just a commodity. So it does pay to kind of try and build those emotional connections to disrupt the market.
Amy – And even on a local level, you know, it’s a current moment my local shops are in Malmesbury, and we’re fortunate to have two bakers there. One of them shut down. And the other one hops house is still supplying bread and flour to local residents. So you can order it at any time. So it’s convenient, you can get it delivered, again, convenient. But it fills an emotional gap because I don’t really want to go into the supermarket’s that often great social distancing outside inside, not so great. And when life gets back to normal, which one of these bakers do you think I’ll be using, the one that was there for me in my time of need, or the one who wasn’t?
Matt – That’s a very good point, actually. Yeah.
[How are we measuring emotion]
Simon – It is good point and actually on the on the whole theme of COVID. And you know how these brands are treating people at the moment, whether you’re an employee or a customer, it’s going to be very interesting when we come out the other side of whether customers will really push against some of these these companies that have not exactly covered themselves in glory during our times of need. So, yes, I absolutely agree, and let’s jump on to the next theme in this topic, because I’m interested in the science behind this, so, Amy, Matt, how, how are we measuring emotion? So, Forester come out with some really and it’s not just Forester I should say there’s, you know, there’s lots of clever folk talking about how important emotion is, and some brilliant, you know, examples and some really good financial benefits that we’re seeing, but how, how do you go about doing the measurement process Amy? I mean, you talked about Voice of Customer before, I’m a strong, strong believer in the power of that, but we can’t just be relying on Net Promoter and Customer Effort and see CSAT surely.
Amy – No, absolutely not. I mean, many companies will carry on using NPS and customer effort as a measure. But there are lots of new ways to measure emotional connections with customers. For example, instead of sending a customer an NPS survey, why not incorporate emotional questions? Such as how did you feel about that experience on a scale of zero to 10? or Why did you give it that score? I run some workshops with Martin Hill Wilson, Automotive CX, and they’ve been going on for the past year. And we’ve had people in these workshops from British Gas, John Lewis, Adam Bank, Northumbrian Water, Sky, and they’re doing some amazing things on there two versions of it most of course you know, it’s aimed at focusing on contact centres. And that’s a six month course which has been running, we are in our third cohort of that. But we’re obviously moving that into a virtual world it was running face to face over six months. And we’ve just done a two day accelerated course before locked out for British Gas for CX professionals. Um, and so, for example, one of those companies is doing something really innovative in terms of measuring. They’re asking customers to describe in one or two words, how they felt at the start, and at the end of the interactions, they also asked their contact centre staff to tell to say how they thought the customer felt at the end of their interactions, so they can see how emotionally intelligent their frontline staff are when you compare their answers to those given by customers. And the results of that work, which has been phenomenal. They had like a 96% response rate to the survey because people were never asked to tell me how you felt about something. They found that they the biggest NPS gains were made when they turn people from a negative state, unsurprisingly, into a positive state. So those are some of the ideas and different ways that this can be done.
Simon – That’s really cool, I really like Ames. It’s that, that idea of marrying up customer emotion with what the agents are saying that must have come up with some really interesting data. I mean, I was I was reading something the other day, which is bang on that, isn’t it? Isn’t there a stat kicking around that 80% of CEOs think that they deliver exceptional service, but only 8% of customers actually think they do. So, that’d be a really compelling piece of data to be able to take to CEO and go, you know, this is what our advisors think we’re delivering. This is actually what customers think we’re delivering and that that that kind of connection between those two hugely important groups would be really fascinating to see.
Amy – And also, sorry, sorry, Matt, and also the thing that Martin Hill Wilson from Brainfood and I doing in this is we’re helping the organisations, we’re there to develop proof of concepts and business cases to test and pilot these things. And all the people who are on our first course of now rolling this out, so you’ve proven the ROI on measuring emotions.
Simon – Wow, I’d love to see that, Matt what do you think?
Matt – Yeah, no, just interested to understand, I guess the micro moments in real time. So obviously a lot of stuff you’re talking about is getting to ask questions. Are you seeing any organisations using I guess, sentiment analytics or whatever as part of that conversation, to allow them to kind of hone in on what the emotion is rather than asking them?
[VOC, social media speech or text analytics, NPS & CSAT]
Amy – Absolutely, absolutely. What we see is that people are using VOC, social media speech or text analytics, and then they’re mining it and going through it and analysing it for sentiment.
Matt – Okay, just just on that piece as well, so a lot of times when we talk to customers, we kind of get a theme from the NPS or CSAT of where their specific problems, are organisations then starting to move to use the emotional metric, as the kind of deterministic factor of what they prioritise from a projects perspective, rather than the NPS, which is probably more of an overall view of the customer experience, but probably doesn’t drive the change necessary.
Amy – Well, part of the reason NPS was developed as a relationship measure, and it’s, it’s a transactional measure, which was never designed to be done. And secondly, a lot of companies do their NPS. They see the score they high five themselves when it’s going up or they panic when it’s going down, but they don’t ask trawl through all the rich verbatim surveys, because if you go through you’re verbatim, somewhere between eight and 22% of your nines and 10s have a but statement in them. And there are customers who want you to succeed, they like you, but they’ve given you constructive feedback on how you can improve. Um, and so is it worthwhile concentrating on these guys? Or is it worth while concentrating on your detractors who are never going to like you anyway?
Matt – Yes, interesting point. And I think just from a perspective of the way organisations are working, that definitely needs to be an approach where based on the feedback, they implement the change, because a lot of what we see is they’re getting the feedback and they’re still not acting on it. I don’t know if that’s something that you’re still experiencing.
Amy – Yep and it’s so true, it’s so true. You can lead a horse to water as they say.
Simon – Ames I spoken, so Sabio does a big event called disrupt every year, and I spoke there last last year, and I did a little experiment with my family, who you knew well, and I asked them, so my Mum and Claudia’s Mum and Dad, and you know, the wider family to fill in as many surveys as they could over the course of a month. Just fill them out as they would, you know, from pizza companies, utility companies, phone companies, whatever they might be, but in every single one of them to leave a statement in the comment section of I’d really like someone to call me because I have something to discuss or I’d like to ask a question or I have a problem. And I think they ended up filling out about 40 or so of the surveys over the course of the month, and only two came back to them. So 6% I think it worked out of actually closing the loop was just just a staggering number and a staggering waste of time. And you know, the amounts of positive emotional goodwill that could have been generated. I mean, it’s still I mean, we advise our clients all the time closing the loop is one of the most powerful ways of surprising and delighting people because it still just doesn’t happen, it blows people’s minds.
Amy – Well you remember the lovely late Paul Cooper, yeah?
Simon – Yeah, yeah.
Amy – He used to say the complaints were gifts. They’re gifts because you had an opportunity to put things right. And actually, if somebody complains and you put the situation right, you actually gain more loyalty than if they never complained at all.
Matt – Yeah, actually, that’s interesting. I saw something on LinkedIn today from somebody were complaining about Sainsbury’s and I think they were in a difficult position in terms of getting food delivered. I think they had leukaemia or something like that. I think without anything Sainsbury’s sent an email and it kind of said, right, we’re going to get your delivery sent to you, etc, etc. And then the feedback on social media from that person was I’m now a customer for life. So that kind of micro moment in terms of that engagement is obviously kind of massive kudos to Sainsbury’s for what they’re doing there.
Amy – Yeah, it’s it’s so true, and many companies just don’t do it or don’t do it well, and as Simon said, they just don’t close the loop. So people feel like you’re you just completely not valuing me, you’re ignoring me, I’m trying to be positive with you or give you some helpful feedback. And therefore, if you don’t answer me and don’t value me, then you don’t really want my business do you?
[Emotional connections, and convenience connections]
Simon – So so just just taking a step back a second because Matt, you touched on something that I thought was really interesting. So when we were talking about emotional connections, and convenience connections that you have versus your Mum and Dad, and to me, emotional connections and you know the values and you know what make people feel happy or confident. It’s hugely subjective for one person to another, that must be really difficult for companies to manage. Because, you know, your generation ‘Z’ will arguably be looking for certain things versus, you know, other groups of customers may be looking at very different levels of sentiment and emotional connection. So, how’s a company is meant to tackle that, do you think, Matt, what do you think?
Matt – Well, yeah, it’s totally subjective in terms of what kind of is emotional for me and what’s transactional for you. So I guess an example you talked about, is you’ve got an affinity to a brand that thinks about the environment. From my perspective, whether I get my gas and electricity from Npower or over who actually do go with at the moment, who prides themselves on being green. To be honest, it doesn’t really have any emotional attachment to me. So I find that very transactional, whereas you might find that a different experience, but then on the other hand, my local clothes shop where I have built up an emotional connection over the years is the first thing I think about if I’m going to buy clothes. So I would say while emotional connection is fairly subjective, I think it is important for customers to kind of go out there understand what kind of makes their customers tick, what they want to kind of get from that brand. And then they just need to hone in and focus in on those people to keep them advocates of those companies.
Simon – Ames, do you think it’s, do you think it’s because we’re, you know, customer groups particularly I’m thinking for the big brands where they’ve got so many different groups of customers, you know, is it as simple as just trying to hire people to do the right thing, you know, to, you know, to, you know, do the basics really well? Or does or does do these emotional connections come more from you know, clever marketing and branding and you know, the sorts of things
Amy – Well, I don’t think emotional connections are subjective. Actually, behavioural economics has shown how dependent we are on emotions. When we’re in decision making mode, even big decisions where we think we’re acting totally rationally, yeah. And in, in we know the positive customer emotions being listened to. And that’s part of the thing listening to what customers are saying, not assuming you understand, but truly active listening, which again, is this thing we’ve been doing and these emotive CX workshops myself Martin been feeling people that are empathised with you know, people feel or empathise with their happy if they’re delighted. Those frequently result in feelings of trust, which is a key driver of loyalty. And conversely being disappointed, frustrated, ignored, angry result in other actions like bad word of mouth negative social media coverage, bad press coverage, or fails, so I think in terms of emotional connections, it’s just trying to be empathetic and understand the perspective that somebody’s coming to you from. And I can go through lots of proof points in terms of neurobiology, that will talk to you about emotional connections and why they happen. So there’s no doubt in my mind that emotion is the thing and convenience and making it easy. That’s the baseline, you know, everybody’s got to do that, because you’re difficult to deal with. I’m going to find somebody who’s easier to deal with. But emotional connection to brands is the real key differentiator. It’s where brands will be made and sustained.
Simon – In my head, the convenience bit is the thing yeah, it might switch me but it’s not gonna keep me loyal. And I think those companies that are just going down the convenience route, I get it and it does seem, you know, for a short period of time is something highly attractive, but it’s not, it’s not necessarily going to mean me skipping on to the next kind of company. But you’re talking about that because Matt and Matt, you’re a massive, massive, you’ve got lots of interest in the kind of FinTechs and these these kind of emerging financial services businesses. Is it easier? And I think I have a view on this myself. But is it easier to create this when you’re starting from scratch, you know, rather than trying to turn, you know, this vast steam steamer of a boat, you know, that’s got legacy customers and legacy journeys and tech and structure, you know, surely it’s easier for some of these, these disruptive brands to create this kind of emotional slash convenience process from the off rather, than if you, you know, you’ve been kicking around for 100 years and you’re changing every thing.
Matt – It’s a good question.
Simon – Is that? Is that just an excuse? I don’t know.
Matt – I’m not sure I think FinTech space specifically is a good example. I’m an RBS customer have been for a long, long time. And they’ve been going for God I think since about the 1700s basically, but they’ve been feeling squeezed by the kind of the Neo banks who can basically from a low tech footprint perspective spin up new capability that people potentially want to use. And, and while I guess RBS in their app, you can look at it and a lot of the functionality is probably there now. They can’t shake off the legacy image and nobody will ever go to RBS to think that the are kind of an upstart brand, they’ve got new innovative stuff, to the extent that they have launched themselves, a kind of a new bank startup called Bo, which basically is them holding the hands up to see well, we cannot compete with Starlings, the Revolutes, the Monzo’s, etc. And ultimately, they’re actually even sunsetting, the RBS name to your point kind of business flip. They’re sunsetting in the RBS name to go under, Natwest, so I think I’m not seeing that’s the kind of one example I’m sure Amy’s got examples where legacy brands have managed to turn it around. But for me, that’s quite a good example where they realise that probably that brand no longer fits, let’s kind of come at it from a different approach. So it comes back to the challenge. When there’s an expectation from a customer when my view when there’s an expectation from a customer around about a brand, it’s very hard to then alter that perception, even if you try and put the wow factor or change kind of what you’re doing.
Simon – Hmm, what do you think Ames?
Amy – Um, well, you know, disruptors are startups, it’s absolutely true that a startup or disrupter can bake the DNA into their processes prior to launch to make it miles easier for them to achieve emotional connections and convenience. It is so but these disruptive companies have the benefit of seeing pain points that customers experience when they have to deal with the larger, more established companies in their sector. And so they can do things and they can change things. I mean, if you look at companies say, for example, Disney, you know, they, these people can leverage their existing brands, particularly if they have a good history of delivering customer experience, you know, and they can leverage this to build emotional connections. So Disney is a great example in terms of going online, they’ve just launched a streaming channel, talk about timing, you know, and Disney is held up is one of the key brands that people have an emotional connection with, because they’re their children because of the fondness of watching The Jungle Book when I was growing up, you know, you have companies you know, like Lego, they went online, they created virtual Lego, they created Lego that has got motors in it. They have movies, you know, so they can do that. John Lewis has done it quite well in terms of their online brands. They’ve managed to move for retail bricks and mortar to an online environment and they spent a lot of time and a lot of money investing in that. So yeah, I think that if you’re known for doing something positive, you can leverage that and build on it. But again, you know, the converse is true if you’ve got some negative brand you know, like Sports Direct at the moment is a toxic brand people turning that around will be very difficult.
Simon – Yeah, I think you’re I think you’re absolutely right. I mean it’s interesting what you said Ames that the the convenience and the emotional factor if you want to win in CX as you say, that is your baseline that that has to be you’re not almost not what you should be aiming for. That should be what you know, that should be your your base level. That you’re you’re going from, I mean, what what’s over and above that, presumably then it’s consistency, right?
Amy – Well, you know, you talked about Forrester. Yeah. Forrester did this about 15 years ago, and they came up with this mirror experience pyramid the very base thing is, was I successful? Could I do what I needed to get done? Yeah. How to that you may as well pack up now, because you’re not going to have the business. The next step is, was the pyramid going up? Was, was it easy? Was it effortless? Was it simple? And again, at this point in time, if you’re not doing that, I simply find somebody else who is the differentiator is how did I feel about that experience? Yeah. And that’s the emotional connection. That’s the hardest thing for competitors to emulate, because part of it is based on the culture in your organisation. Yeah. And the leadership that your organisation shows, and so it’s much more difficult for companies to emulate that, the emotional aspects of dealing with it. And that really is going to be the new battleground. And obviously, then consistency, your right Simon, you need to consistently deliver that emotional experience across all different touchpoints.
Simon – I’m conscious of time, we’re going to have to wrap up in a second guys. This has been a brilliant debate. I did, just to kind of just to finish and I don’t really want to finish on a negative but but again, we’re giving Forrester a lot of PR out of this, but they are they’re saying that the emotional peace and Ames you’ve just said it as well and through your work with Martin, you know, people are hugely interested in it, but it’s, you know, there’s that’s a tough thing to pull off. You know, it’s it’s the most difficult thing of that trifecta the Forester to talk about. But are we seeing companies I mean, do they do you think that this is really, you know, gone into the headspace of the CEO Board community that emotion is the new battleground. Do you think, you know, the people that are running these big, big businesses actually get it and actually realise that there is, you know, material financial gains to be gotten out of this? Or do you think it’s still you know, being kicked around the periphery like much, much of CX tends to be?
Amy – Well, if you look at the Forrester again, in the US customer experience index, it showed that the best performing brand on average, so there were 17 cognitive experiences for every negative experience, while the lowest performing brands only provided two emotionally positive experiences for every negative one. So companies are now beginning to realise that emotion is critical to their bottom line, and this is backed up by tonnes of work that Temkin has done stuff, yeah. For if we look at how Temkins work um, basically this three bits of research they showed that both how both positive and negative emotions impact on customer loyalty. And they examined, you know, 10 different emotions. And unsurprisingly feeling happy, appreciated, confident, relieved, you know excited, will give you loyalty and being disappointed, frustrated, worried, angry, confused, makes company customers want to do less with companies and increases their likelihood to churn. And unsurprisingly, joy, by the way, lets the shortest calls fear lead to the most expensive calls and anger that’s lowest NPS. And again, you know, is also they did some work with showing how, how companies work in terms of actually meeting customers expectations. So in terms of success, could I get what I needed to get done? Yeah, 71% of customers felt companies are doing an excellent a good job helping them accomplish their success in terms of getting what they wanted to do. get done. Only 6% felt the companies were doing a poor very poor job. When you look at effort, again, ease convenience 65% of customers felt the companies are doing an excellent or good job at making it easy to interact with them. Or only 8% of customers felt that companies were doing a poor or very poor job. However, it’s clear when it comes to meeting customer emotional needs, that they’re not being met, its exact reverse of success is with only 7% of people felt the companies were just doing a good job. Yeah. And 49% of customers felt that companies did a poor or very poor job of meeting their emotional needs, which is really quite shocking.
Simon – Yeah.
Amy – But it’s really clear, you know, to businesses, you know, from the Forrester work from the Temkin work, you know, but looking at what’s going on in neurobiology and all the rest of it, that emotions and meeting customers emotional needs is good for business.
Simon – Yeah. It’s just such a juxtaposition, though, isn’t it? Because, you know, there is so much evidence out there to suggest that it is the right thing to do and it’s an it’s valuable business sense. But then there are so many, you know, prime examples of companies not listening or looking at customer feedback they’re collecting not taking action. And I think there is a polarised, you know, group of companies where some are getting it and really flourishing from it and some are, you know, just think it’s too hard.
Matt – Yeah, I think, what, yeah, I think what we’ll find Simon in off the back of this COVID experiences, that experience is going to be the differentiator. So I suspect they’ll be a lot of case studies and a lot of boardrooms saying, right, we need to pivot and put emotion front and centre in terms of our approach, because they’re the ones that are going to stand out probably in survive as we move into the kind of the next life so to speak.
Simon – Hmm. Well, this certainly given us plenty of time for us all to think and consider about, you know, what we want out of life and what’s important to us right now and all those sorts of things. So I think you’re absolutely right Matt.
Amy – And actually customers are happier. Your staff are going to be happier, because you’re dealing with happy, pleasant, satisfied customer. So you’re going to have impacts on staff in terms of, you’re going to be able to train them, have less absenteeism, you know, less training and recruitment costs, simply because you’re dealing with the issues for customers that are important to them.
Simon – Yeah, absolutely. Right. Guys, what a fantastically informative debate. I think we’re going to have to stop there. I’m not entirely sure how long the podcast is meant to run. We could probably talk all day on this. But I think we’re probably going to end up being around the 45 minutes mark, which which Matt as our resident podcast expert, that’s about right, isn’t it?
Matt – The contents good, that’s fine.
Simon – Well, the proof will be in the listeners reaction. Well, guys, that for me, given, that was our first podcast, I think was a brilliant debate and discussion and so a huge thank you to you both, um Amy as our invited guest expert today, I’d like to finish with, can you, to summarise what would you think are the top three things that, you know anyone that’s listening to this podcast will take away?
Amy – Okay, top three things. Let me see,
Simon – I’ve put you on the spot.
[Top three takeaway’s from this Podcast]
Amy – First I think you should go through all your unstructured data, such as your call recordings, your survey verbatim, your social media comments, and do some extra sentiment analysis on it using text or speech analytics. Next would be to incorporate emotional questions into your surveys, because they’re going to tell you a whole host of things and also give you an indication as to where the root causes are, that make customers feel negatively emotional about you or positively emotional about you. And then, last but not least, I would set up some time pilots as a proof of concept to prove the value and ROI that measuring customer emotions can have on a business. That’s what we’ve helped the companies do in our in our Martin Martin’s in our my emotive cx workshops. And as a result of the pilots companies have done, they’re now rolling it across the organisation on relevant customer journeys. So those for me are the top three. Concious of time and I really want to thank you for asking me to come on to this podcast. I really enjoy chatting to you and Matt, it’s been a great fun. And if anybody wants to find me, you can look me up on LinkedIn or visit my website at www.sedulous.co.uk. And anybody can feel free to reach out to me if they’ve got any questions, and I’ll give them what the best answer I can.
Simon – Wow, that’s awesome Ames, thank you very much and a brilliantly eloquent way to finish the podcast. Thank you for joining us and being our first expert, I get the feeling we shall be inviting you back for many more discussions. So look out for that invite Matt, what was your perspective for our first podcast?
Matt – I really enjoyed it. I think, from my perspective, I’m just glad we got on and done it. For I’m looking forward to the next one. And I think the theme for the next one.
Simon – Well, that’s a good point, actually, so we are um so we will be publishing this through all of the usual podcast formats. You can find Matt and I on LinkedIn, through all the promotion our email addresses will be there, so same as Amy, if you want to get in touch with us, feel free to drop us a line. We both work for Sabio and feel free to have a look on the Sabio website, sabiogroup.com. And yeah, reach out, let us know what you think, either in the you know the social promotion of this podcast, we’d love to get some feedback. If you fancy joining us, you’ve got something to say, let us know. If you’ve got a theme great, you know, we want to build a community we want to come up with some interesting topics to talk about. So, let us know. Big thanks again for listening. Hope you enjoyed it and tune in for next time.