Customer emotional needs – in CX and sales

customer emotions

Customer emotional needs – in CX and sales

What do you want/need your customers to feel?

Customer experience is all about feelings. It is the customer’s feelings that will frame how they assess their experience, whether they buy or not, and whether they come back again.

By understanding what we want customers to feel, we can adjust our behaviours to induce these feelings and get the desired result. So whilst sales and CX are about process, skills, messages and the mindset of the service provider, these are all merely tools to achieve that ultimate objective – getting the customer to enjoy the experience and feel good about the sale.

Whilst there may be specific emotions you hope to prompt in specific circumstances. common emotional needs for customer experience include ‘to feel’:

  • that you understand them
  • respected
  • validated
  • in control
  • appreciated
  • that they are making progress
  • they like you
  • they trust you
  • they trust the company
  • they have made the right choice
  • confident and reassured
  • good about choosing your company.

Your approach to sales and customer experience therefore needs to ensure that you induce these feelings by demonstrating the appropriate language and behaviours. This is what good sales processes and behavioural coaching are designed to achieve.

It isn’t about what you do, it is about how they feel.

The aim isn’t just to understand their needs, it’s to get them to feel that you understand their needs. This is where many professional or technical people struggle (See next article)

Often, it isn’t just about getting the sale, it is about ensuring the customer feels good about the sale. This is why better retail salespeople often compliment you on your choice.

What about facts and rational persuasion?  Yes of course, facts and reason can help us to feel good about an experience or purchase, but they are again only a means to an end. As buyers, we might indeed feel reassured and confident after hearing some sales justification – but it is the feeling of confidence and reassurance that is important rather than the justification in itself.

Working with customer emotions

If members of your team are not getting results in their customer interactions, it may pay to consider the list above and consider where their weak links or blind spots might be. For some, it might be a failure to build rapport (to be liked), for others it might be a failure to discuss choices and options (to provide control), for others it might be a lack of credibility (for trust).