The experience you create for a customer is important, but how they feel about that experience is critical. Welcome to the emotionl economy.
In my new book, The Intention Imperative, I explain how to design and deliver for positive emotions. Happiness isn’t the only emotion to focus on but it is primary.
In designing how you deliver emotion, consider what you can do to make customers:
• happier they chose you
• happier when the leave than when they came in
• happier overall with their lives because of you
In short, do your customers feel happier doing business with you than your competitors? The answer determines loyalty, longevity, spend and willingness to refer.
We think happiness is only about making people feel good about the good things they experience, but happiness also results from mistakes. No company is perfect and you should be aware that how you handle a mistake also plays into a customer’s happiness. Too many leaders just stop caring after their company makes a mistake. Sure, they’ll do what they can to make it right, but it’s almost like they would just rather move on. Wrong. Making a mistake is an opportunity to generate a huge swell of positive emotion in your customers.
• Make ‘em happy when you make a mistake..by solving the mistake and giving them a little extra.
• Make ‘em happy when they don’t buy anything…so that they’ll come back.
• Make ‘em happy when they are mad at someone else…by solving problems you didn’t create.
Producing happiness after a mistake is an ideal way to exceed your customer’s expectations. Once the mistake is made, the customer now has a negative opinion. The bar is low. Propel yourself over that bar and you just might make a loyal customer.
And sometimes the happiness or lack of happiness has nothing to do with you or your company. Nevertheless, the opportunity presents itself. A friend who works at an extraordinary restaurant related that the hostess comped a woman who was unhappy even though nothing she had experienced at the establishment warranted her attitude.
“So why did you comp her meal?” he asked.
“To help her deal with her miserable life,” was the response.
While this sounds harsh, it is often the reality in dealing with the people who come into your place of work, order from you online or call you for help. You inherit unhappy, negative customers. You didn’t create the negative emotion, but it is rich with opportunity. By displacing the bad with the good that can come from doing business with you, you’ve created real value.
Mistakes–whether they are the ones you make or the ones your customer makes–can create happiness if you handle them well.
The full story is available in my newest book, The Intention Imperative: Three Essential Changes that Will Make You a Better Leader Today, available October 15, 2019.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.