Essential Drivers for Creating a Positive Customer Emotion Experience

Date Published: 7/10/18, 10:02 AM

Customer Emotional Response Header

Customers experience emotion when trying to resolve an inquiry or problem using contact channels. Customers’ experiences when using a contact channel have always been emotional, and always will be at some level. The essential point is that a contact channel CX is rarely void of emotion. The customer’s emotional experience when using a contact channel is not well understood in many contact centers because it is a new measurement practice. To understand what a positive emotional experience means, we asked customers, “What is most important to you for creating a positive emotional experience when interacting with a company?” Most managers think it is customer care or treatment practices. However, as Figure 1 shows, while these practices do create positive customer emotion experiences, the essential driver of what matters the most for creating a positive customer emotion experience, is having the customer’s inquiry or problem resolved in one contact.

Figure 1: Practices that create positive emotion experience

Practices that Create Positice Emotion Experience

Every organization needs to understand the customer emotion experience when using the contact center to resolve an inquiry or problem. Customer emotion experience should not be left to chance. One of the ways to improve CX is to measure and track customer emotions when using the contact center to resolve an inquiry or problem. Post-contact surveys can provide insights on what created a perfect, or conversely a totally unacceptable, customer emotion experience for resolving an inquiry or problem when using a contact channel.

Understanding customer emotion experience for resolving an inquiry or problem has become more important than ever due to increasing call complexity. Customers’ emotions before calling the contact center can be varied (e.g., confused, desperate, angry, docile, frustrated, happy). In many cases, given the complexity of calls, customer emotions tend to be more in the distressed state. To further understand the customer emotion experience, we will be sharing our groundbreaking research and best practices for improving customer emotion experience when using a contact center to resolve an inquiry or problem.

Figure 2 shows customer emotion experience for resolving an inquiry or problem using a contact channel. To measure customer emotion experience, we use a 5-point rating scale anchored with the perfect rating describing the best, and totally unacceptable rating describing the worst. The data reveals for customer emotion experience, 32% of customers would rate their experience as perfect. Conversely, 9% rated their emotion experience as frustrating, and 2% as totally unacceptable. Most managers underestimate the impact that emotions have on Csat, referrals, and retention. Many managers think that customer emotion experience is about soft and fluffy feelings. The reality is that customer emotion experience can be about the journey feelings (e.g., soft, fluffy) and/or the outcome (e.g., inquiry or problem resolution). For example, if a customer representative showed empathy while resolving a tough and important issue, a customer’s emotional experience will likely be based on both the journey and outcome. Thus, most customers who had this type of experience for resolving an issue would likely rate the customer emotion experience as perfect because of the positive journey and outcome.

Figure 2: Customer emotion experience using a contact channel

Customer Emotion Experience Using a Contact Channel

Another great question often asked of SQM is, “What makes an interaction a perfect customer emotion experience for a customer using a contact channel to resolve an inquiry or problem?” Figure 3 shows what creates a perfect customer emotion experience when using the call center channel. The key finding is that for FCR, OCR, and contact resolved metrics, the ratings are way above world class levels. Therefore, providing FCR, OCR, and contact resolution is fundamental to having customers rate their emotion experience as perfect. In other words, without resolving the inquiry or problem, a perfect customer emotion experience is unlikely even if the customer representative was fantastic. In order for a customer representative to make an emotional connection resulting in a perfect rating from a customer, they need to deliver on being able to resolve the inquiry or problem, as well as demonstrate that they care about helping the customer resolve their issue. When a customer representative delivers a perfect customer emotion experience, the average Csat rating (top box response) with the representative is a whopping 99%. The bottom line is that it takes great people, process, and technology practices to achieve FCR/OCR in order for customers to have a perfect emotion experience when using a contact center to resolve an inquiry or problem.  

Figure 3: What creates a perfect customer emotion experience

Customer Emotion Experience Using a Contact Channel

Figure 4 shows what creates a totally unacceptable customer emotion experience using the call center channel. The key finding is that for FCR, OCR, and contact resolved metrics, the ratings are at rock bottom levels. Clearly, if FCR, OCR, and contact resolution are not achieved, then customers rate their emotion experience as totally unacceptable. Many organizations think they need to improve customer emotion experience by focusing on improving the customer representative’s skills to connect with a customer. This focus is helpful, but the focus needs to be on more than just the customer representative; it also needs to be on the process and technology practices that are hindering FCR/OCR. Put differently, improving customer emotion experience needs to be a comprehensive approach. The source of error (SoE) for not achieving FCR/OCR is 52% for the organization, 35% for customer representatives, and 13% for customers. Given the percentage breakdown, taking a comprehensive approach to improving customer emotion experience is a best practice. If you focused on improving only customer representative SoE, you would miss the bigger opportunity for improving the organization’s SoE.

Figure 4: What creates a totally unacceptable customer emotion experience

Totally Unacceptable Customer Emotion Experience

Again, customer emotion experience should not be left to chance, and every organization needs to understand the customer emotion experience when using the contact center to resolve an inquiry or problem. Although, most managers think it is customer care or treatment practices that are most important to customers. However, while these practices do create positive customer emotion experiences, what really matters the most to the customer when providing a positive customer emotion experience is having their inquiry or problem resolved in one contact.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve your customers’ emotion experience, please contact SQM.

About the Author: Mike Desmarais

Mike DesmaraisMike Desmarais is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SQM Group. Mike is currently an MBA Candidate at Athabasca University. Mike has over 25 years of customer experience (CX) measurement, benchmarking, and consulting. As a consultant, Mike has experience working with leading North American organizations on improving CX. Mike has developed several key best practices that are fundamental to providing world class contact channel customer experiences. He uses his best practice knowledge to assess contact channel operations and to pinpoint the 3-5 pivotal changes that will drive real and significant CX improvement. Mike is a pioneer and visionary in contact channels’ CX measurement of first call resolution, one contact resolution, omni-channel, CX greatness, customer emotion, and retention metrics. Mike has written five thought-provoking contact channel CX research books (i.e., World Class Call Center, First Call Resolution, FCR Best Practices, One Contact Resolution and most recently One Contact Resolution 2nd Edition). Mike has conducted best practice case studies with organizations such as American Express, FedEx, and VSP Vision Care. In addition, Mike is a popular contact center industry thought-leader with over 20,000 LinkedIn followers and is one of the top 10 most influential contributors in the contact center industry based on a recent Fonolo poll. Mike is a sought-after speaker for contact center conferences and has a world class satisfaction rating for speaking at those events.