Are you losing business unwittingly and unnecessarily?

A new theory of emotions reveals just how easily our feelings can be shaped by context

By David Robson 12 October 2017  

The idea of eating perfectly edible food off a hospital plaster or a baby’s nappy doesn’t get your mouth salivating does it!

Watching the video reminded me of one of the first-year college projects I did. This college project was an exercise on how our senses influence us emotionally in the world we inhabit.  Our approach concluded with similar exercises as shown in this video plus a few other stomach churning ideas we had!  The emotional impact it had on us is one of disgust, caution, fearful etc very similar to the reactions of the people in the video showed.

All of us were somewhat hesitant to partake in any of these exercises.

This is because our reptilian brain had automatically kicked to make us feel this food was unsafe to eat.  Rationally there was nothing wrong with the food at all.  Logic (adult brain) should have overridden our base instincts (reptilian brain), but it didn’t.

This video demonstrates the context in which we are having our experience does distort our feeling. 

This is not exclusive to just two of our senses, it applies equally to all five.  The obvious and the subtler distortions of all our senses can be a powerful emotional influencer on our experience and consequently our feelings.

When you take this knowledge to your customer experience and map their journey at every conceivable touchpoint with your business; it begs the question are you unwittingly playing havoc with your customer’s senses?   What’s the impact to your business if you are?

Here’s a few examples of where businesses could be losing sales (current and future) due to subtle distortions creating a negative emotional customer experience: –

  • An obvious example I witnessed was in a wine store. The store presented itself as a purveyor of fine wines, yet the staff had heavy metal music playing loudly.  Easily fixable, but the question is why did it happen in the first place?

  • A subtler example; websites that create a certain mood, a feeling through the design and tone of voice in the layout and copy, but when dealing with the business, the customer experience doesn’t quite feel the same.  Not so easily fixable as there are probably a number of reasons, but it does highlight something isn’t aligned at the most senior levels of management within the business.

  •  Visual or sound privacy for the customer can, in certain situations, be important however trivial the matter might be.  It can make the customer uncomfortable during the transaction.  This is reasonably easy to fix if key people within the organisation are empathetic enough to step into the shoes of their customers and redesign those touchpoints/interactions. 

To not address this, risks the possibility that your business is losing customers unwittingly and unnecessarily. 

Is it worth the risk? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *