Customer Experience News & Trends

How customers’ emotions affect the experience

Look beyond satisfied and dissatisfied. There are the four emotions that seriously impact the customer experience.

  • Joy
  • Anger
  • Sadness, and
  • Fear.

Researchers recently looked at how those emotions affect call time and satisfaction levels based on Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Joy is most frequent

The good news: Joy is the most frequent emotion felt and relayed during calls, and it usually intensifies throughout the conversation, Temkin Group researchers found.

“What does this mean?” asks researcher Bruce Temkin. “That customers aren’t necessarily joyous when the call starts, but over the course of the call, something happens to spark that emotion.”

Customer service pros most often are doing the right things to turn problems/concerns around for frustrated customers or build on positive experiences with other customers.

Each emotion’s factor

Here’s how all of the emotions factor into customer experiences:

  • Joy leads to the best calls. The positive emotion resulted in the highest NPS and fewest transfers. Interestingly, the joyful calls were slightly longer than average calls where no distinct emotions were detected. One reason, researchers suggested, is that customers and employees tend to talk more when both are happy.
  • Fear leads to the most expensive calls. Reasons: Call time is 87% higher than the average and transfers happen 3.5 more times. What kind of fears do customers have? There’s an array of them — a fear of losses, mistakes, changes and anything that they can’t control.
  • Anger is associated with the lowest NPS — almost 20% lower than the company average. When anger is detected, the conversations are longer and more likely to be transferred, which only increases the anger.
  • Sadness also leads to low NPS scores, researchers found. Their frustrations usually result in dissatisfaction.

How to bring on more joy

Customers will run the gamut of emotions, even changing throughout one conversation. But joy is clearly the emotion you want customers to experience the most during any contact with your company.

Try these four tips to infuse more joy into customer experiences.

  1. Give a sincere compliment. Go beyond telling them they ordered a good item. Tell them why it’s a smart choice. Compliment a customer’s intelligence, upbeat attitude, loyalty or personality.
  2. Thank them for something that’s often taken for granted — perhaps it’s patience for a wait, a kind response to you, a pleasant demeanor to work with or a willingness to let other customers go first.
  3. Encourage them. If customers mention something they’re struggling with — perhaps a decision, a professional worry or personal quandary — ask if you can offer a different, positive perspective. Give it, if granted permission.
  4. Share something funny. When the timing is right, share a link or message that’s funny and appropriate.

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