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It is human nature to make emotional decisions based on nothing more than a reaction to a feeling, even if it is irrational.  In business, emotional decisions made every day without thorough customer experience analysis to support them is costing you tens of thousands of wasted dollars.  How do you know you are making emotional decisions?  If someone had directed you to make a change or has imposed a goal and a customer experience analyst has not verified the accuracy of such, it’s a clue that it’s an emotional decision.

Far too often we make emotional response purchasing decisions without checking the data first.  Often times decisions are made based on what we think the customer is feeling or based on a past personal customer experience that affected us either positively or negatively.  Regardless of the reason, a purchase decision has been made based on emotion rather than fact.

Emotional purchases can be small or large, such is the case when company XYZ was told by the CEO that the wait times had to be under 120 seconds.  To accommodate his line in the sand, the center management installed a callback software package that asked customers if they would like to continue to hold or have a customer service representative to call them back at a later time.  The solution may be just perfect for the center, but the purchase was not based on empirical evidence, or even on an influx of customer complaints but rather a feeling the CEO had about perceived customer sentiment, call wait times and average speed of answer.

But the emotional decision may have resulted in an investment in an area that was not needed at all by the customers.  Why would someone outside of the contact center know what the best answer is for the customers?  Now that they’ve made the emotional decision to purchase the software to enhance the customer experience, the company now needs to go back and do the customer experience data analysis to see where the callback feature needs to be placed to increase customer satisfaction and validate the purchase.  Customer experience analysis will be used to test whether the CEO’s 120-second mark is the correct time when customers are frustrated with the speed of answer.  In all likelihood, the answer is not 120-seconds because that is an answer made with emotion.

The fact is that people do decide on emotion, in business and in life.  But let’s remember to test those emotionally-based hypotheses with empirical evidence when making purchasing decisions, procedure changes, and setting performance goals.  It’s true that sometimes you get lucky and your gut feeling is right but you won’t even know if you are not doing the right analysis.  We insist that our clients are positioned to push back against or prove viability of a mandate.

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About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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