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Highlights from the IIR Total Customer Experience Leaders Conference

Posted by Julie Kurd on Wed, Apr 16, 2014

At the IIR #TotalCEL conference this week in Miami, behavioral motivations fueled the majority of presentations. In 2014, the economics of behaviors are getting quantified. Marketers and their peers in Operations are gently guiding their companies to a deeper understanding of the emotional drivers behind their problems. 


CMB, behavioral economics, emotional measurement

7 of the Emotional States Presented at #TotalCEL: 

  1. Neutral: “People prefer to be at a neutral state emotionally,” says Daryl Travis, the CEO of BrandTrust and author of Emotional Branding – How Successful Brands Gain the Irrational Edge.  However, the customer journey is far from neutral. For example, customers who go to a department store might have emotional peaks (e.g. found a product on sale) and emotional valleys (e.g. had to wait in a long line). No matter the actual journey, Travis states that the customer’s end state and how problems are resolved are the two aspects of the journey that matter most. 

  2. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Kassandra Barnes of CareerBuilder noted that Millennials are seeking promotion, advancement, training, and mentorship opportunities when searching for a job and are less concerned about benefits. Unlike their older counterparts, Millennials are casually, but continuously, looking for another job due to this primary emotional motivation: FOMO. In fact, 83% of full time Millennials are actively looking for new job opportunities, and 49% of Millennials search for new jobs while at work.

  3. Let’s Bond: Moms today experience the lofty emotional attachment of bonding when they pick up the bottle with the orange ribbed cap, pristine curves, and the chalkboard image on the package of the glue that cements a relationship during play. Elmer’s Michelle Manning elaborated on parents, emotions, and the perfect packaging.

  4. Forgiveness: According to Dr. Mark Ingwer, author of Empathetic Marketing, leveraging empathetic emotions is “the buried treasure of customer service.” The question he says is where to drop anchor? After working with Allstate, Ingwer conducted the fuzzy front end discovery research he calls “psych ethnographies” and this research yielded the insight about creating empathy in the product, hence Allstate’s Accident Forgiveness and Your Choice Auto. Both products have appealed to the audience and have dramatically ramped up revenues, increased customer satisfaction and staved the churn rate.

  5. Eliminate Worry: Emotional and behavioral goals vary widely, depending upon the degree of trust each consumer has. One critical consumer obsession is to eliminate worry. You can see companies responding to that obsession in the mobile payment space, where we found security is a primary concern. While it’s still unclear which companies will win over the consumer mobile payment market, it will be interesting to see how and when these competitors adequately address the primary emotional and functional needs of the mobile payment user—worry free transactions. CMB’s Brian Jones presented the Future of the Mobile Wallet where he shared which industry (and which companies) may be best positioned to eliminate worry. Will it be a bank, a credit card company, an internet service provider, a technology company, or a retail store like Starbucks?

  6. Belonging: Every time I hear Keith Ferrazzi speak, he’s written a new book, and I learn something new. He says that people don’t want to change so we should focus on which of the fewest people can change which narrowest set of practices and behaviors that can accelerate our results.  The key is to dig deep into the willingness to change.  Change is an emotional journey, and the highest order of the emotional food chain is “belonging.”  From childhood (“I said so”) to reason (“that makes sense”) to being "mission driven" and then focusing on “your stuff” we end up with belonging—our  basic need to relate to other people.

  7. Look at me: What does your brand offer that your customers need?  The key thing that a lifestyle brand like Starwood gives is experiential currency for their social life.  The affiliation—you’re in their physical world gaining experiences—creates that sharable moment that is currency for us all. In contrast, other hotel properties don’t make it easy for you to take that perfect picture of yourself and your loved ones from a design standpoint.  When I go to an Aloft or a Westin, I have that very cool picture in their design inspired context. Starwood’s Stephen Gates, VP and Creative Director for Global Brand Design, talked about all of their brands, about the rain room at the MoMa, Starwood’s presence on stage at 3 of the last 5 Apple keynotes and their being featured in Apple’s advertising as well as “on the phone.” He says the work is king. The work dictates everything. The work runs his department. The work sells the brands and hotels. The work is what matters. His design thinking begins with some basic tenets—keep it simple, sweat the details, build a lifestyle or a visual personality that reflects the consumer, be relevant and authentic, break new ground, push innovation, think globally and go with swagger.

What are you doing with respect to emotional or behavioral economics? Continue the dialogue on Twitter with @julie1research using hashtag #MRX.

Julie is an Account Executive, she loves to connect with innovative big thinkers on topics ranging from emotion to complex choice modelling.

Topics: emotional measurement, conference recap