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Emotions are the Best Customer Metrics After All!

It’s Day two at the Next Generation Customer Experience conference.

(You can catch up on my takeaways from day one here!)

Consider emotional feedback as part of your vital customer metrics.
Jeannie Walters and Kathryn Churches


Today I was asked to share insights around emotional feedback, along with Kathryn Churches from American Family Insurance. It was a great discussion, and I think the emphasis on emotions underlines one of the biggest themes from this CX fest.

“Customer experiences need to be more human.”

It’s really that simple, and yet that complex.

Author Jeanne Bliss, who is publishing Chief Customer Officer 2.0 very soon, discussed how companies have to earn the right to grow. They earn this right by creating desire, not loyalty. It’s a great distinction. Desire is an emotion. Loyalty isn’t.

 Customer emotions matter in the C-suite.

David Mingle, Executive Director, North American Customer Experience for General Motors, shared how CEO Mary Barra visits GM’s call centers and social command center to get a better sense of how customers are feeling.

Little things have a huge impact.

Rachel McCarthy, Vice President of Inflight Experience for JetBlue Airline, mentioned how a full can of soda can be seen as inspiring. It’s about the little things that make people feel valued. And how surveys tell them about how personal connections make the experience, especially when they hear about specific crew members more often than not.

 Emotion trumps data.

Throughout these discussions, emotional connections are seen as both the holy grail of experience and the burdensome metric to explain. Emotions do matter.

I shared how I believe we have to get over ourselves. Our customers don’t obsess about our brands. They don’t care about our moments like we do. Until they do. Or don’t. That’s what shows up on surveys.

My hope is that when analyzing customer metrics, we will start recognizing that emotions don’t always need data to prove themselves out. We know what’s right and what’s not. And yet too often we sing the refrain of “let’s wait for the data.” There’s no need to wait.

Being human shouldn’t be this hard, but truthfully it is in many organizations. My hope is that “the right thing to do” becomes a metric enough to cause action.

About Jeannie Walters, CCXP, CSP

Jeannie Walters CCXP CSP small square photoJeannie is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker, and sought-after business coach who is trailblazing the movement from “Reactive Customer Service” to “Proactive Customer and Employee Experience.” More than 500,000 people have learned from her CX courses on LinkedIn Learning, and her insights have been featured in Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and NPR

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