Before you read the rest of this article, let’s take a minute to sit back and reflect on how you feel. Relaxed, optimistic, stressed or maybe a little under the weather? Bring these feelings with you and enter a retail outlet. You will find that with different feelings, you will connect with the items in the store differently.
One can’t determine that a customer walk into your store with an emotion that can determine higher chances of product purchase but, one can introduce and enforce a positive emotion toward a customer.
In fact, some believe that customer emotions hold the key to the future of retail. Emotient, a start-up company based in San Diego, USA has come up with a face detecting device to alert the retailers of a customer who walks up to a display and show signs of discontentment. This tells retailers that something has to be tweaked. Emotient captures facial expressions, gauges emotions and transmits the information to the retailer.
Of course, that might not be feasible as it is still debatable as many customers would cringe at the idea that a face detector is watching their every move.
According to Robert Ugo, co-founder and chief technology officer at Movvo, mood analysis does not have to be detected by a camera. Staff trained and equipped with a clear understanding of the store and its items can use this strategy of detecting customer’s facial expressions and body language. When implemented well, this analysis and sensitivity can elevate customer satisfaction.
Although some companies might dismiss emotions as too trivial an issue to be part of the agenda of meetings, some reports reveal that emotional culture influences not just customer satisfaction but also employee satisfaction.
Now a new page is unveiled.
A positive emotional culture transcends just the happenings in your brick and mortar but it starts from the management to cultivate that wanted culture. Before you go scrambling to look for ways to start implementing a positive emotional culture in your store, wait a minute and just read about how easy it is (but maintaining it might be a challenge) to start.
First up is to smile more. That does not mean a forced smile by the way. Don’t make it a duty to smile. Dig deep and find a reason to smile and it not only does well for your business and positively affect the people around you; it does wonders for your health. Smiling more makes people feel more at ease and lessens the impression that anger is a valued form of expression and fear is an appropriate stimulus within a company and when facing customers.
Acts of kindness is not a newly coined term but somehow it takes a lot out of a person. But practice makes perfect! Little gestures can improve one’s day and can be paid forward. The top management can start showing kind gestures than can later be imitated by store employees towards customers. Like a cycle, but a virtuous cycle.
There was an article written entitled Selling Illusory Joy: Emotions, Big Data and the Coming Retail Renaissance that state that buying items are based on emotion and not efficiency. If you can figure out what motivates your customer emotionally, you may even overcome their logic centres that make your customer’s price insensitive. So this step requires your employees deployed on the field (brick and mortar) to be observant.
Set the mood by playing in-store music that makes shoppers pay more attention to their own preferences and attitudes and less to product attributes such as the price. And no, that does not mean blasting the music they cannot even hear themselves think (yes, that is a big no-no).
Lastly, be successful by continuing to invest your time to understand the emotional factors that drive people’s choices. Engage your employees who will be driven to drive your customers. If you want to create a better customer experience, you must uncover the truths about how your brick and mortar (and the people who represent your company) and how you make them feel.
Like the late Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”