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The Yin Yang of Customer Experience

Mar 27 2013 Jeff Wilson

By Jeff Wilson (Originally posted in 2012 on Sensei Wisdom)

 

Over the centuries, philosophers, scientists and poets alike have tried to capture the definition of an inexplicable force that governs much of our existence.

 

In theory, formula and verse their attempts to give it some form we could all begin to understand took shape in powerful words to describe a natural force that affects kings and queens as equally as it affects us lowly peasants.

 

Whether you call it Karma, fortune, fate or Yin Yang – its purpose is to bring natural balance. Its definition is elegant, powerful and simple…

 

“Yin and Yang are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects as light cannot exist without darkness and vice-versa, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time.” – Source Wikipedia

 

When we open our minds to the possibility that this forces exists, we must also accept the notion that it is part of and affects everything. For the purposes of this article I want to suspend the notion of a moral dimension (good and bad) to Yin Yang and stick to the Taoist definition of natural balance.

 

Over the past fifteen years I have explored and mapped out this theory into a methodology. During this time I have discovered many sets of balancing forces that ebb and flow through the customer experience.

 

Take the following example set of factors which affect how and what we engage with and what we measure within a customer experience.

YinYang Engagement

Emotion and Logic – The most powerful balance of YinYang in any customer experience. As human beings, we are governed by these two factors in every single relationship and every single decision. Ultimately the resulting balance of these two factors dictates whether they become a customer.

 

Touch – How and when we engage is critical in the overall experience. The balance here is the situation that drives the customer to us and we have enabled them to access us.

 

Reference – How did they come to find about us is determined by a mix of personal experience and the experience of others; the foundation of Word of Mouth Marketing.

 

Measurement – How and what we measure is critical to improving the sustainability and potency of our customer experience. While numbers and scoring tell us much, it is only half the story.

 

While balance may seem easy to comprehend and at times implement, it is the combination of many sets of balancing factors that create a complex, multi-tiered customer experience. Some of the other sets of balancing factors are:

 

Yin

Yang

Technology

Humanity

Communication

Action

Simple

Powerful

Brand

Values

Customer Experience

Employee Experience

Enabled

Controlled

 

Adding to this complexity is the quotient of each at any given stage in a customer experience. For example, when is it best to invest heavily in emotion or logic within a customer experience? Weighted poorly you can drive a customer away, delay a decision indefinitely or even worse create vocal brand critics.

 

CX without Balance

 

So what happens when one of these factors, say a Yin is missing and we only have a Yang? We effectively create a gap in the customer experience, a weakness in the forces that govern the overall experience, determine actions or lack thereof.

 

Take an experience with no emotional design and high logic; a common occurrence for many B2B companies who believe they are selling to businesses rather than people. Without planned emotional design or the Yin of emotion, you have lost the ability to effectively guide your customer fully through the customer experience. Moreover you risk unplanned or negative emotional responses and the delivery of a poor experience.

 

Looking Forward

 

There is much still to discover and share on this methodology. I will be continuing to explore this methodology in a series of articles over the next several months. The next stages of our journey will delve into…

  • The YinYang of emotion and logic in the CX and how we can design to promote faster decisions and higher conversion.
  • The role of influence within the customer experience, including creating and managing the many influencing factors in and around the customer.
  • The value of the employee experience and how it can ruin or create a high quality customer experience.

 

I hope you will join me as we continue to map out what it takes to create an exceptional and well balanced customer experience; one that can improve both conversion and value of the customer relationship as equally as it can establish the foundations of long term brand advocacy and improved share of wallet.

 

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!

  • Do you believe balance is lacking in most customer experiences?
  • How could balance be improved in small ways to make a big difference in customer experience outcomes?

 

You can also read the rest of this Customer Experience and Influence series:

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About the Author

Jeff Wilson is a marketing futurist, abstract thinker and customer acquisition specialist. For over fifteen years Jeff’s work has assisted many leading global B2B and B2C enterprises to significantly improve how they attract and engage prospective customer to turn them into profitable relationships. Past clients include HP, IBM, Home Depot, DOW Chemical, ING Direct, Symantec, Syngenta and MV1 Canada. Jeff's work is based on a deep understanding of the emotional side of human behavior and how to influence people in online, mobile and social environments to drive measurable growth in qualified leads, improve conversion and build positive brand presence. Jeff’s professional writing and speaker career is growing. He is a frequent contributor to business and marketing publications as well as being a speaker on the topics of customer acquisition, influence, and customer experience design. When not working, Jeff can be found enjoying life to the fullest as a Dad to his 3 young children in Toronto, Canada.


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