Archive for the 'Customer Loyalty' Category

For me, the "old normal" world of business was too often like going to a chamber of commerce or networking event where everybody was selling, and no one was buying. There are a lot of business cards passed around, but very few people listening and understanding how they can be of service.

 

In this "Better than Normal" world, more people are willing to share input, and some companies are capitalizing by being more willing to listening. That listening takes the form of informal inquiries. For example, they track sentiment on social media and ask people to have casual conversations. Formal listening includes pulse surveys or more extensive customer or team member engagement surveys.

 

So here's the big question, are you one of those listening companies? If you are listening, what are you doing with what you are hearing?

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I used to use the word empathetic until a researcher in the field corrected me. She said, "'Empathetic is wrong and empathic is correct." She added, "There is nothing 'pathetic" about empathy. Henceforth, I'm in the empathic camp.

 

Now that's out of the way, let's look at how the world has gotten better thanks to an upsurge in empathy.

 

As you likely know, the word empathy comes from a German word that roughly translates as "feel into” and humans are hard-wired to feel into the emotions of others. For example, neuroscientists have found that the same neural pathways which activate when we feel pain also fire when we observe the pain of others.

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This is the second installment in a series titled “Better Than Normal – Designing Transformative Experiences,” which will provide tools to help you position your employee and customer experience for relevance in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world.

I have been busier than I’ve ever been before during the pandemic, but in those rare moments of reflection, I have been able to evaluate what brings value and what was simply a habit, and your customers are doing the same.

For example, I used to live in hotels and on planes, but I  haven’t struggled with getting my carry-on out of an overhead bin in months, and still business soars. Was all that air travel purposeful?

I am hoping my dry cleaner misses me because I was a loyal visitor when I wasn’t on the road. However, in the last few months, I haven’t had much of a reason to stop by. I’m not saying that planes, hotels, and dry cleaners aren’t important, I am merely suggesting that in this “better than normal” world we’re living in that all of us are given a chance to question decisions that used to seem reflective. It’s Monday, and I am home, I’d better go to the dry cleaner?

Let’s imagine your customers reflecting on the purposefulness of your business in their lives? How much of their purchases are driven by habit? How are you faring?

Ok, those are unpleasant questions, so let’s try something more positive. What might you do to increase the likelihood that customers will see the purposefulness of your offerings?

 

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I have an unusual perspective when it comes to the emotional impact of this pandemic. My view is shaped by working as a licensed clinical psychologist early in my career and helping people deal with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and isolation. It’s also affected by the last 20-plus years of my career, where I’ve helped mostly Fortune 500 leaders create positive emotional bonds with their customers.

I share that context because I am about to say something outrageous and I hope you will stay with me.

Ok, here goes…  

I am convinced that the loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and loss of control emerging from the pandemic can be POSITIVE, but only if (and it’s a big IF) we learn lessons by flipping our feelings.

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Thank you for joining me on this third installment in my series “It’s Emotional – Creating an Unprecedented Team and Customer Experience in the Pandemic.” This series is designed to offer tools to manage your emotions as well as support the emotional journey of your prospects and customers.

A couple of installments back I talked about my dislike for how the word unprecedented is being used in the context of this pandemic. Typically, these days unprecedented implies no one has ever encountered a pandemic before and that history offers no guidance on how to cope and prevail. This week I am bristling at the way the word empathy is being used in the context of the pandemic. Quite frankly I love the word empathy and I’ve used the word regularly since I finished my doctorate in clinical psychology back in the late 1980s.

What’s bothersome about the word’s use these days, is that it’s thrown around as if everyone knows how to be empathic and as if it’s easy to demonstrate this component of emotional intelligence (EQ).

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This is the second installment in my series “It’s Emotional–Creating an Unprecedented Team and Customer Experience in This Pandemic.” This series is designed to offer tools to manage your emotions as well as support the emotional journey of your prospects and customers.

There are days in this pandemic reality that quite literally seem upside down. While disorienting at times, I am heartened by how core leadership and human experience skills resoundingly apply; particularly when those skills are tempered by some new emotional guidelines.

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This is the first installment in my series It’s Emotional–Creating an Unprecedented Team and Customer Experience in this Pandemic. This series is designed to offer tools to manage your emotions as well as support the emotional journey of your prospects and customers.

This week’s installment is titled Focus on the Hole. I take exception with the overuse of some words these days, particularly when those words suggest we are powerless or helpless.

One of my least favorite words (which I intentionally repurposed) for the title of this series is the word UNPRECEDENTED. Normally when we hear that word these days, it is used to signify the magnitude of the challenges we are all facing. With regard to challenges, let’s look at what the word implies.

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This is the 5th and final installment in my series Break the Glass, where we are looking at what you can do to deliver a positive human experience in this time of great business disruption. (Next week will start a new series on the role emotions play in customer experience delivery.)

Sales trainers have long championed the concept of ABC. Which stands for always be closing. They suggest that when presenting your service or product, you should always be moving the conversation to close the sale. In the context of our current pandemic, I would modify ABC so that it stands for always be connecting.

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