To what extent are companies convinced that making their customers happier by strategically managing their emotions generates significant benefits? At the moment of truth, do you design your products, services and experiences taking as a point of origin and destination the emotions of the client? Or is the design of its internal processes still the basis that governs everything?
Throughout my experience collaborating with companies to redesign the experience of their clients, I have seen how most of them, while arguing the explicit desire to redesign the relationship with their clients focusing on the effective management of their emotions, the reality is that still today, they continue to take the process as the point of origin of any redesign. In this sense, as Carlos Molina (VP Experience & Think of IZO) says, "we know that most companies promise emotions but design transactions".
However, it is worth noting that the business opportunity is huge for those companies that decide to really commit themselves to the strategic management of the emotions that their customers experience when interacting with them. In this sense, it is worth mentioning which are the 5 key steps that a company should follow to carry out this Experiential Redesign based on Emotions.
Key Steps for an Experiential Redesign based on Emotions
- Step 1. Diagnose the emotions of the client in each interaction: this diagnosis must always be done not only "with" the client, but also "from" the client. For this, it is essential to use qualitative techniques of exploratory or projective nature (eg observation or contextual interviews), and not so much quantitative confirmatory nature (eg: surveys) that would serve to validate insights at a later stage. Thus, we must look for ways to indirectly investigate what customers feel and experience in their interaction with brands, instead of explicitly asking them what they would like to improve, because in the latter case, the most probable thing is that we only obtain Obvious solutions (eg, in the case of a bank that charges less fees.) In this aspect, for example, the "5 whys" technique is very useful, although there are many techniques of a similar nature that we can applied in the diagnosis of the experience.
- Step 2. Identify the key interactions for clients: once the complete diagnosis of the customer experience has been mapped through the Customer Journey, the next step will be to select those interactions that are key to the client or moments of truth, these being those that are of greater relevance for the client in their relationship with the company, and therefore those that have the greatest potential to link or dissociate emotionally changing their perception of the relationship model with us.
- Step 3. Prioritize the moments to be redesigned: on the other hand, we all know that the resources of the companies are not infinite, which makes it impossible to be able to redesign 100% of the moments that are key for the clients at the same time. In this sense, it is essential to be able to prioritize those moments that are going to be redesigned, focusing on the emotions based on two fundamental variables: on the one hand, the potential impact on the improvement of the client's experience, and on the other, the effort that would imply for the company to carry out the redesign (including here the economic, temporal, technological, etc.).
- Step 4. Define the promise of experience or objective experience that you want to make the client live: once you have decided on the key moments or interactions to be redesigned focusing on the emotions that you want to generate in the clients, you should Co-Create first with the clients themselves (innovate), and then with the employees (design), to define, on the one hand, the experience that the former want to live, and on the other the one that the latter are willing to deliver. Fantastic examples of well-defined promises of experience are those of Pepephone and HolaLuz.
- Step 5. Redesign the internal processes of the company to achieve delivering this objective experience: Only at this point, and once identified the key interactions, the emotion of departure of the client, as well as objective experience and emotion of departure that we want to generate, we would go into the detail of analysing the invisible part of the company (processes, people and support systems), with the sole aim of seeing what we can do in the internal scope of the company to deliver the desired objective experience in the selected moments for the redesign of the customer experience. For this last step, the Blueprint tool is very helpful.
Final reflections: emotion-centered design
In summary, if a company or brand is truly committed to improving the experience of its customers, it must always take as a basis a redesign approach focused on emotions, where they always constitute the starting point preceding the processes, and not the other way around
And why is this? Because in a commoditized world, in which competing on the basis of the product or the brand is no longer differential, working on being exceptional in the experience that the client perceives in interactions is an essential element for survival in the medium and long term. On the other hand, because customers are increasingly better informed, we are more demanding, and above all we hope that brands will provide us with relevant value in our lives beyond their offer. Thus, we can conclude that the profit potential is enormous for companies, since it is more than proven that customers that are more emotionally linked to companies will be more predisposed to stay, recommend, buy more or even pay a higher price for products and services offered by the company. In this way, I consider that perhaps the 5 steps described above can be very useful.