Magazine article CRM Magazine

Emotion and Management Are Key to CX Success; Companies Need to Deliver Emotionally Positive Experiences and Use CX Management

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Emotion and Management Are Key to CX Success; Companies Need to Deliver Emotionally Positive Experiences and Use CX Management

Article excerpt

There is a customer experience (CX) leadership gap that hasn't closed in a number of years, Forrester Research reported in its 2017 U.S. Customer Experience Index, because companies haven't been making the vital emotional connections their customers want.

The report ranked 314 companies across 21 industries and found that most are stagnating when it comes to CX: Scores for the top 5 percent of companies in the entire index--identified as elite brands--stayed flat.

Companies simply haven't been spending enough time thinking about consumer emotions and how they tie into the overall customer experience, says Rick Parrish, Forrester's principal analyst serving customer experience professionals and author of the report.

In the report, Parrish identified emotion as essential to CX success, with elite brands delivering an average of 17 emotionally positive experiences for each negative experience, and the lowest-performing 5 percent of companies providing just two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one.

"We identified three dimensions of every customer experience: emotion, ease, and effectiveness; and emotion is the most important," Parrish explains. "You can have the easiest, most effective customer experience in the world, but unless it has the right emotional quotient, people won't think it's great. Companies don't get that, and even the companies that do don't focus on it. You have to focus on emotion or you won't have a good customer experience."

An emotionally positive customer experience is one where the customer feels good about the experience, but "it's not just as simple as like or not like, happy or sad," Parrish cautions. "There's much more nuance to it than that. Positive emotions differ depending on the industry, the touch point, [and] the customer's goal. When you walk out of Disney World, you'll have a very different emotional reaction than you do when you walk through a really good TSA checkpoint--both positive emotions, but very different ones." To succeed at CX, companies should also focus on what Forrester calls CX management, according to Parrish. That involves the following six competencies:

* Research--developing an in-depth understanding of customers and communicating it to employees and partners. …

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