What motivates a person to buy something? It’s a simple enough question, but virtually every brand on the planet is still working on the answer.
For brands to win customers over, they need to focus on measuring and impacting the way people feel.
The most obvious conclusion is that buying behaviour is driven by practical needs, but this raises another, more complex question: What makes people buy one thing over another that is comparable in both price and quality?
Behaviour may drive results, but it is a buyer’s attitude that drives their behaviour. For brands to win customers over, they need to focus on measuring and impacting the way people feel.
We see it every day. Nike continues to dominate the sportswear market even though competing brands offer a similar set of products. Starbucks remains the world’s most popular coffee chain despite countless imitators trying to replicate its formula, occasionally at a lower cost to customers.
Brands today need to better understand their audience’s emotions, and this comes down to sophisticated measurement . Some try to capture customer attitudes through satisfaction surveys or Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and these tactics are helpful. However, they only scratch the surface.
“Brands today need to better understand their audience’s emotions, and this comes down to sophisticated measurement.”
People are often less self-aware than they think, and their response to satisfaction surveys can easily be coloured by how they perceive themselves rather than being true to their feelings.
The key to tapping into shoppers’ emotions lies in a brand’s data.
Results from NPS and satisfaction surveys become infinitely more telling when combined with data on how people have reacted to your customer experience. When merged with text mining data, brands also get insight into how shoppers have been discussing them via email and chat. Throw in social analytics and they can factor a shopper’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts into their sentiment analysis.
Most importantly, combining and applying deep analytics to all these data streams together allows brands to uncover patterns in their data that will help them understand customers’ true attitudes, and tailor their CX accordingly.
Measuring attitude doesn’t have to be a complex exercise. Even the simplest forms of feedback can be hugely valuable.
“Combining and applying deep analytics to all these data streams together allows brands to uncover patterns in their data that will help them understand customers’ true attitudes, and tailor their CX accordingly.”
Consider the elegant solution some airport security companies use to determine how their service makes travellers feel. Most of us would have seen the survey points after walking through security asking us to click on one of four buttons representing a spectrum of emotional responses. This approach is simple and user-friendly, which is why many of us are happy to respond. Most importantly, it gives security companies an accurate impression of whether they need to rethink their customer experience.
Taking this approach several degrees further, Oracle is working with a Dutch customer to see how facial recognition software can help virtual assistants deliver a more personalised experience to customers based on the nuances of their facial expressions. The software developed for this programme can detect 26 distinct emotional responses in each person’s face – just imagine how much more effective chatbots would be if they could pick up on all these subtleties.
It’s important to note that appealing to peoples’ emotions isn’t just about making people smile. However, happy customers are more likely to make a purchase and seek a repeat experience next time they need to buy something. In this way, hard metrics like income and churn are directly impacted by customer attitudes.
The way brands approach marketing and sales metrics needs to evolve. Forrester’s latest CX index found that while 73% of companies say improving their customer experience is a priority, only 1% actually deliver this to an excellent standard. This is largely due to an outdated approach that makes it impossible to answer the simple question of what drives someone to make a purchase. Only when you understand the attitudes that influence a person’s behaviour can you hope to actually influence their decision-making.