Customer obsession is defined, simply, by being obsessed with customers’ experience with your brand. Not to be confused with the other obsession of turning up outside their house, screaming through their letterbox kind of obsessed.
“By 2020, the overall customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.”
Daniel Newman | Contributor, Forbes
But why is customer obsession so important? Why are we obsessed with customer obsession? Largely because our customers dictate everything we do with our brand. This doesn’t mean we respond to every whim, request, and recommendation customers may have but rather we use customers as a guiding point when it comes to making decisions for the business.
In this blog post, we’ll outline a sure-fire way to become customer obsessed, so you can align your journey, sales pitches, and even feedback sessions to work in coherence with your customers’ feelings.
Being emotionally intelligent is a concept introduced almost two decades ago, but was made popular in 1995 by Daniel Goleman. Emotional intelligence starts and ends with being aware of our own emotions and other peoples. In business terms, it's understanding, predicting, and relating to our customers’ emotions during their journey.
This, in turn, helps us to understand how to market to them, tailor their experiences, and share better relationships.
We live in a golden age of marketing whereby smart technology allows us to access huge amounts of data. This data helps us identify journeys, interactions, impressions, and so much more. However, without an application of emotional intelligence to this data, it’s just that. Data.
The real change we can make to our businesses is by harmoniously uniting both data and emotions to discover the best solutions to help customers have a euphoric experience with our brand.
The 3 step guide to becoming emotionally intelligent
Thinking about our customers' emotions is a different ball game. We’re not in their heads. We’re not experiencing the same problems as them. We have quite a task ahead of us.
As explained previously, big data sets mean big information. This information can start the brainstorming of what emotions our customers are experiencing when they interact with our brands.
For example; If your data shows you that 56% of customers abandoned carts at the point of sale. That’s hard data right there. But, if there be an emotional reason behind this? Were they frustrated they couldn’t apply the right discount code? Were they angry they couldn’t log in successfully and gave up hope of purchasing altogether?
To begin to create a streamlined experience for your customers, start thinking about which emotions may have impacted their behaviour online. Applying easier log in processes and automatic discount code applications are just some of the small ways we can begin to use thoughts and data to implement real change to our customers' obsession goals.
Probably one of the most important aspects of becoming emotionally intelligent; feeling. We need to become our customers. We need to experience their journey by putting down the big data for a moment, and embarking on their journey.
Try becoming a customer to your brand for the first time. Buy something from your brand, from an anonymous account. Explore all the different options you can. See how easy it is to get to the point of sale, to navigate your site, or to get through to your call centre.
Only then will you really see the difficulties that lie within your customer journey and feel what your customers are feeling when they interact with your brand.
Being emotionally intelligent really means walking the walk, and talking the talk.
During meetings, calls, and first-touch appointments it’s crucial that your sales team are able to identify their customer’s emotions quickly. We do this by reading gestures and phrases the customer uses to express their thoughts on your business or your pitch.
A bad sales person is one who blathers on through a pitch, regardless of how people are reacting to it. They continually chat through a dull script, not pausing to see what sort of expressions people are exhibiting in response.
A good salesperson is one whose ability is to easily “read the room”. Are people reciprocative to the pitch? Are there any noticeable signs that attendees are confused, or have questions they may want to ask. Can the salesperson pick up on when the meeting is at its peak, and when it’s time to wind down the discussions?
Identifying these non-verbal communications will help your sales team identify when to ask the right questions, elaborate on points which may have confused the audience, or even ask for feedback on how they feel about the product so far.
Having this ability to identify potential client’s emotions is crucial to being able to sell successfully, and also to create stronger relationships with customers.
“In a job that requires the ability to break down barriers with total strangers, overcome objections, build relationships and make connections, it's easy to see why the ability to control emotions and respond appropriately is important.”
Richard Stevenson | Head of Global Communications, Pipedrive.com
Your quest to customer obsession.
Customer obsession can mean a lot of things, to many different companies. However, the factor that should unite companies in their quest to become more obsessed is emotional intelligence. Plainly speaking, our customers are humans with real human problems, emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Responding to these along their journey will be the key in creating harmonious and loyal relationships for years to come.
“Ultimately, emotional intelligence is one of the most important drivers of retention and satisfaction for employees and customers.”
Joel Makhluf | Contributing writer, BizJournals.com