Which is the purpose of this article? To explain the importance of managing clients’ emotions correctly in times of crisis.
We are currently sailing a wave of emotions that we have never felt before. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, we have not experienced something like this since the Second World War and, as a consequence of how the demand has changed for everybody worldwide, we are all in a continuous crisis management mode.
Nowadays, we are going through a completely different market than we had just a few months ago. Companies of essential products, such as supermarkets and delivery platforms, are receiving an unexpected increase in demand. At the same time another group of companies, such as sellers in physical stores, are reducing their demand to practically zero by the closure of such establishments.
The worst of all is the uncertainty upcoming. Everything depends on the management that each government and its citizens have and also the leadership that each company and its collaborators have.
It's difficult to stay calm this time but as decision makers, we have to. We need to make the right decisions and do it quickly. The bureaucracy is not the best friend in times of war and the processes must allow us to generate the greatest possible impact on our clients. That is the opportunity we have in this crisis.
How to prevent your business from sinking?
How can I keep my business afloat? The answer is clear, we must think and act in favour of the client and collaborators´ needs before my own as a company. In other words, I need to have a positive impact on how my client is handling the situation, which is a bigger priority than ending in red numbers because we are betting on the long term.
The Uncertainty of Future Experiences
What happens after strong shared experiences in society? Maybe our lives will return to normal. Maybe they will go back to the way they were before. What happens is that after negative experiences, we are left with certain fears as a result of what we live together. The reason is that we do not want to live it again. The experiences that we are living with this global pandemic will generate new habits of behaviour and consumption.
How can I generate a strategy that takes into account these shared experiences with my company and my clients? While managing customer emotions it’s said that each point of contact with the company generates an interaction. Each interaction has a different level of experience. And finally the level of experience is divided into 3 groups:
1) Positive experience – Experiences that generate emotions that last over time in a positive way. An example would be the birth of a child or receiving a scholarship to study abroad.
2) Neutral experience -Experiences that do not generate good or bad emotions. When we generate this kind of emotions in our clients, we are just meeting their expectations, not surprising them. For example: every time we board a flight and they give us the safety guidelines in a monotonous way we have the expectation that this will happen and only if they do it in a funny or amusing way do they exceed our expectations and generate positive emotions.
3) Negative experiences: they are those associated with strong negative emotions. For example, I lost my source of income due to the pandemic and my bank requires me to make mortgage payments that I am not capable of. This is going to create negative experience level where before he could have been simply neutral.
CEM (Customer Experience Management), not all the emotions I generate in my client must be positive. This depends on what we want to design as a company. It all depends on the industry and the design that we are proposing.
In the previous world with less changing conditions, the monotony in our daily basis makes any interaction that was WOW at the time, becomes basic. For example, the first time you were able to send a message from one country to another instantly at no additional cost was incredible, but today we assume it has to work. Thus, the interactions go from WOW to basic as they normalize in our lives.
The issue with a global pandemic is that the context has changed. What previously guaranteed us to fall into neutral emotions can shoot us "WOW" (positive experience) or "I HATE" (negative experience) instantly if we do not handle it with care. Today it is important to manage the emotions of our clients. Everyone. Absolutely all clients are hypersensitive. With the minimum gesture of empathy, we can generate a WOW experience. But with the minimum gesture of continuing to operate "business as usual" we can generate negative emotions of hatred towards our company.
Things will never be the same
Autor: David Samudio.