Customer Experience Is a Game of Memories and Emotions

The answers to improving customer AND agent experiences lie in your sentiment data

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Customer Experience Is a Game of Memories and Emotions - CX Today News
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Published: June 29, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

Remember the last time a friend asked: “Let’s go to a restaurant. Where would you suggest?” 

At that moment, you think back to previous dining experiences, adverts/reviews you’ve seen, or a time you walked past a fancy-looking eatery.   

That concept evokes a quote from Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman: 

“We actually don’t choose between experiences; we choose between memories of experiences.”

Apply that to customer experience, and brands will realize that loyalty is a function of positive memories – an idea cultivated by prominent CX thinker Colin Shaw.  

As such, brands must consider how they can provoke those positive memories, and this is where sentiment data comes to the fore.  

Emotions At the Heart of Customer Experience

More brands are thinking about how they can create memories to drive loyalty and reflect on Kahneman’s research to do so.  

That research introduces a concept known as “The Peak End Rule.” This suggests that a person remembers the peak and end emotion they feel within an experience.  

Recognizing this, some CX design leaders now ask themselves: 

  • Where is the peak emotion in our customer journeys? 
  • What is the overriding emotion at the peak and the end? 
  • What emotions do we want our customers to feel?  
  • Which emotions drive value? i.e., an increase in NPS, customer spend, revenue. etc. 

Unfortunately, most businesses cannot answer these questions. Yet, there is a process to follow. 

That starts with a sentiment analysis exercise to spot which emotions drive value.  

Then, roll out the customer journey map and uncover which emotions the business currently evokes at the peak and end of the experience. 

From there, the business should consider how they can influence the journey so customers instead feel the emotions that drive value at those critical touchpoints.  

Applying Sentiment Research to Customer Experiences

To understand the emotions customers feel during their experience, businesses often rely on feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, customer interviews, and focus groups.  

Unfortunately, these methods are often unreliable. As Shaw recently told CX Today:  

“What customers tell us and what actually drives value can be very different.”

In doing so, he discussed how Disney recognizes that when it asks customers what they want to eat at a theme park, people say they’d like the option of a salad.  

Nonetheless, Disney also knows people don’t eat salads at theme parks; they eat hotdogs and hamburgers. 

As such, businesses must be careful when listening to their customers, as they can’t easily articulate what they want. More prudent techniques are necessary to get under the skin of the emotions that drive customers.  

For instance, conversational intelligence tools are much better at getting to grips and quantifying the specific customer emotions that drive value. 

Moreover, they allow businesses to identify which emotions customers feel at critical touchpoints, why they feel them, and give insight into how to amplify the feelings that drive value. 

Such specificity is imperative. Businesses cannot fall into the trap of separating positive and negative into buckets. The detail must be there – pulling particular keywords like in the image below. 

This is a screenshot taken from MiaRec’s sentiment analysis tool. 

“Do we want customers to feel trust, cared for, or valued?” Organizations must go to that more granular level to make all this more actionable.  

Applying Sentiment Research to Agent Experiences

Just as positive memories can make customer loyalty, negative ones can break it.  

Those negative experiences often happen during contact center interactions, when contact center agents feel stressed, rushed, and unhappy. 

In these scenarios, they also rush customers off the phone, ending the service experience on a sour note – which clashes with The Peak End Rule methodology.  

Thankfully, conversational intelligence tools detect customer AND agent sentiment.  

As a result, contact center supervisors can spot when agent sentiment appears low over a sustained period, jump on a quick one-to-one, and offer the support they need.  

After, the agent will likely feel better, offer better service, and avoid passing on their displeasure to customers – which may create a negative memory that displaces those positive peaks.  

Yet, sentiment data has many other use cases in the contact center. For instance, it can inform break optimization, quality assurance, and channel optimization strategies. 

Paired with intent data, it may also highlight critical agent frustrations, broken processes, and where additional training is necessary – as MiaRec’s John Ortiz recently told CX Today.  

Kickstart a Sentiment Analysis Initiative with MiaRec

Sentiment analysis now lies at the heart of many customer experience design and workforce engagement strategies – offering many benefits to businesses.  

Yet, traditional, survey-based approaches have limitations, churning out less articulate and sometimes incorrect insights.  

That is where conversational intelligence solutions – like those offered by MiaRec – move the needle, helping brands win the game of memories and emotions. 

To find out more, visit:    

Digital TransformationSentiment Analysis

Brands mentioned in this article.


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