By Jeff Wilson
Whether it’s the decision to buy a vehicle, go on a date or do business with a company, in every instance, every decision we make is governed by both emotion and logic. In fact the proper interaction of the two can lead to better conversions, more leads, better quality of leads and more loyalty and share of wallet from customers.
The focus of the YinYang methodology is based on a simple, powerful truth about how we make decisions; every person, without exception, makes decisions based on emotions and then justifies those decisions with logic. In everyone, this process is so buried in the adaptive unconscious that we are never aware of how much we are governed by it or affected by it when it is out of balance. All we get is a feeling; an inexplicable emotional response.
The reason for this according to Timothy D. Wilson, Chair of Psychology at University of Virginia and the author of “Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.”, “People can no more observe how they are unconsciously categorizing their environments, setting goals, and generating intuitions than they can observe how their kidneys work.”
So if we are unaware of many factors and processes governing our decisions, it seems prudent to assume we will also be unaware of many of the emotional and logical factors we experience, including an imperceptible lack of balance between the two.
When it comes to a customer experience, the creation, balance and timing of emotion and logic then becomes critical to sustainable success otherwise how can we expect our customers to tell us about something where they may be completely unaware?
What happens when either emotion or logic are missing?
Is it wrong to have just emotional or logical in a customer experience? Not necessarily, although the risk needs to be understood of creating or delivering that imbalance.
In both cases, the result will always be the risk of a negative emotional outcome to your customer experience and ultimately the brand. This is not to say there are times when a polarized experience is valuable or even necessary, but I believe this is the rare exception and not the rule.
Striking a balance with every interaction
Taking this a little bit deeper, individual interactions within the CX don’t necessarily have to follow the same rules. You can have an almost entirely emotional interaction or entirely logical interaction but in the end, they must contribute to achieving the overall balance of the two within the customer experience.
Looking at the illustration above, you can see how individual interactions can range in balance between both emotion and logic. As the overall experience changes, the interactions help adjust the ebb and flow within the experience.
While a CX may vary wilding, underneath it all is a fairly strong natural pattern which sees us using more intense emotional experience at the beginning to establish rapport with a customer and engage them to a much more logical experience in the middle to help them justify their decision and then end on an emotionally high note to secure the transaction and reinforce the logic.
More advanced thinking on this suggests methodologies whereby we can actually shorten decision making cycles and improve profit in every sale. A topic for another post…
How do you make me feel?
In the end, what secures that transaction or loses that sale is how we make the customer feel. Creating balance is not an easy thing to do, particularly in a B2B enterprise organization where so many people may interact with the customer. The biggest question for you is what is the balance of your CX now? Are you too polarized one way or another? The answer to this could help explain why there may be difficulties in conversion or expanding your brand within existing customers.
Next week, we look at how a CX is your best form of manageable influence on the customer decision. Designed and managed correctly, a CX can be a powerful force that goes well beyond the individual and into the target organization, family or social network.
The Socratic End…
I am always left with more questions than answers. Hopefully we can find answers together or at the very least, ask better questions!
You can also read the rest of this Customer Experience and Influence series: