Happiness is often an overlooked word…In todays customer centric culture one of the Most Critical elements to a long-term loyal customer is thru building a level of customer happiness that connects them back with the brand. The following article out of the Economist Group speaks to the topic. Here at The Page Group we focus on identifying how the consumer connects with the brand, and what experience that they anticipate receiving from the brand in their interaction with it. We find that is is totally about connecting with the attributes that are most important to the consumer at every touch point that the customer has with the company, and Happiness is a core component of that strategy.
The Happiness Halo
Six ways to make consumers happy
Companies have long focused on customer interactions as the place to drive loyalty. But it hasn’t worked. A Forrester survey found that while 80 percent of leaders say their companies are focused on boosting customer experience, only 8 percent actually achieved excellent customer experience scores.
To resolve this dissonance, Lippincott conducted an in-depth study of customer happiness. What we learned was that companies have been thinking far too narrowly about the customer experience, and missing moments when engagement might be more compelling for customers.
Researchers have found that upwards of half of someone’s happiness is built in moments of anticipation and remembering. Happiness is as much about how we look forward to and look back on an event as it is about the event itself.
This is what we at Lippincott like to call “the happiness halo.” By applying lessons from behavioural economics, neuroscience, biology and branding, we can design experiences that lead to true customer happiness.
Below are some key principles to consider:
- Tease: Where happiness is concerned, anticipation isn’t pre- anything, it’s a source of joy all on its own. Most consumers receive more pleasure during the “anticipation” phase than the actual purchase itself. The movie industry is especially adept at teasing, as evidenced by Disney’s recent relaunch of the Star Wars franchise. Disney shrewdly unveiled release dates, teasers, trailers, advance merchandise and diverse brand tie-ins, from cereals to smartphones, to amplify fan anticipation, breaking pre-sales records in the process.
- Make it a treat: As Robert Cialdini wrote in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, everything’s more attractive when availability is limited. From Cadbury Creme Eggs to Balmain’s latest range at H&M, consider which part of the experience could be framed as a limited-time treat.
- Immerse: We’re easily distracted, but happier when focused. Luckily, there are a variety of different techniques we can use to keep customers engaged. Four Seasons partnered with Flytographer, a network of professional photographers, to offer guests their own immersive Hollywood moment. The hotel’s LA Package provides guests a professional photographer, their own paparazzi, encouraging customers to put away their distracting camera phones and focus on the moment, confident the memories are being captured.
- End strong: A typical customer experience saves the worst for last. You have a great meal, and then you pay the bill. Brands that make a positive last impression win favourable memories. Wahaca, the UK’s fashionable Mexican street-food chain, offers a subtle distraction from the bill with their plant-at-home chilli seeds, leaving customers with a growing reminder of the brand’s signature flavour.
- Surprise: Dopamine, the “happy chemical,” is stimulated by unpredictability. This means surprises exert a disproportionate influence on our memories. And clever brands are full of surprises, from XL Recordings’ shock television commercial hinting at the arrival of Adele’s latest album to Uber delivering free ice creams in the summer.
- Reinforce and rewire: Our memories of an interaction rewire each time we conjure them up. This neuroplasticity can reinforce the good and rewrite the bad. Amazon helps customers move on from a bad product experience by not requiring them to return some items. A perk for good customers, it allows Amazon to overwrite the negative experience with a new, positive one.