Berichten

Volgens mij is dit nog geen nieuw woord in het coronawoordenboek op Taalbank.nl. En toch ben ik van mening dat dit woord erin thuishoort. Nu we in de anderhalvemetereconomie leven, lijden we massaal aan hamsterobsessie, of we zetten ons juist af tegen hamsterparia’s. We hebben last van hoestschaamte. Desondanks zie ik naast dit groot leed zeker ook lichtpuntjes.

Op LinkedIn komen de vrolijkste foto’s voorbij van fruitmanden, Tony-repen, bossen bloemen en handgeschreven kaartjes die naar werknemers worden gestuurd. Voor mij is nog even niet duidelijk of die vanuit HR (of heet dat nu het employee experience center?) of vanuit de teammanager komen, maar dat maakt natuurlijk niks uit. Nu we massaal thuiswerken, Zoomen, Teamen of Hangouten, krijgen we gratis inkijkjes in huiskamers, zolders, studeerkamers en keukens. Er komen onverwachte bezoekers in beeld – van kinderen die toch niet helemaal uit die rekensom komen, een voorbijschuivende kat met honger, of misschien de partner die gezien de gezamenlijke thuiswerkruimte even komt vragen of het zachter mag. Die partner bedoelt natuurlijk moet, maar zo wil je niet op beeld overkomen.

Ik ben verrast hoe wendbaar we zijn. Daarvoor hoefden we helemaal niet op agile training. Omdat het moest, zetten we de tering naar de nering en ineens kan het. Blijkt het netwerk het te houden, maar de thuiswifi niet altijd even sterk voor twee thuiswerkende ouders en kinderen die ’s middags op de Playstation gaan. Gelukkig bestaan er nog netwerkkabels: niks zo fijn als een stabiel beeld met dito geluid in deze tijden. Het zou me niks verbazen als die binnenkort zijn uitverkocht. Net als de noise cancelling headphones trouwens, maar dat terzijde.

Hoe gaaf is het dan ook, dat werkgevers ondanks de afstand welverdiende complimenten geven aan hun werknemers. Natuurlijk aan alle helden in de zorg, van de vuilnisophaaldienst en in de supermarkt. Maar ook de procesoptimaliseerder, de backofficemedewerker en al die mensen in het contactcenter aan de telefoon verdienen en krijgen een pluim. Iedereen werkt ‘gewoon’ door!

Zo ook mijn dochter. Zij werkt in een contactcenter en kreeg van haar werkgever brievenbusbloemen met een persoonlijk berichtje. Geen grootse bos, maar hele lieve eigenwijze tulpen, in een doosje dat door de brievenbus paste. Wat ik hier zo tof aan vind, is dat hier goed over is nagedacht. Deze werkgever heeft zich ingeleefd in haar medewerkers. Zij zitten de hele dag aan de telefoon met klanten en hebben geen tijd om de deur open te doen voor de bloemist. Hoe attent om hier rekening mee te houden en dus te kiezen voor brievenbusbloemen. In een tijd waarin we social distancen, ervaar ik veel positiviteit en aandacht voor elkaar, ook al is dat op afstand. Juist daarom horen brievenbusbloemen in het coronawoordenboek. Ik stem vóór!

 

Dit blog werd geschreven voor CustomerFirst en gepubliceerd op 13 mei 2020

Geen blog meer missen? Schrijf je in voor mijn maandelijkse CX Greetz!

Emotions you really need to recognize when interacting with customers and employees. For all in in customer experience, marketing, sales and operations.

The last couple of days my feelings are deeper than a month ago. I feel sad when I see awful images on ICU’s and when I hear stories of loss. I feel disgust of companies that just keep sending their stupid sales newsletters through email, like nothing is going on. I experienced fear while my fiance had corona. I experienced anger seeing people that were just out in the streets, pretending the world was still normal and they could go to the beach or the park, putting lives in danger. But also, I experience joy while watching funny video’s, that I receive through WhatsApp. I felt relieved my fiance recovered from corona. I felt surprised when receiving a thoughtful handwritten card with caring words in my mailbox.

Somehow, my emotions are deeper. Are more on the surface and are more intense. Which actually not only happens in my emotional world. It also happens also in yours, your family, community, actually in the world of most humans that are now affected by corona. This requires that we, Customer Experience Professionals, people working in marketing, sales and operations, need to be aware of the intensity of emotions of our employees and customers.

We definitely need to recognize and learn how to deal with emotions to help our customers and employees in the best way.

To help you out to understand emotions and the range of emotions, I share the knowledge by Professor Robert Plutchick and his wheel of emotions. If you understand this, please use it in scripts, customer journeys, emails, campaigns, conversations, and probably many more situations. So, here we go….

The basics:

Plutchik considers there are eight primary emotions; anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipaation, trust and joy. Plutchik argues for the primacy of these emotions by showing each to be the trigger of behaviour with high survival value, such as the way fear inspires the fight or flight response (info wikipedia).

How are the eight emotions related:

As you can see in the emotion wheel, each primary emotion has an opposite; joy is the opposite of sadness, trust is the opposite of distrust, fear the opposite of anger, surprise is the opposite of anticipation

The emotions in between the eight basic emotions, are the combined emotions. So disgust plus anger, gives the emotion contempt. Or fear plus surprise, gives awe. As emotions are complex, this way of looking at emotions helps to understand where these emotions come from.

The intensity of emotions:

The emotions I feel in these times of corona, feel deeper, like they are more intense. That is what Plutchik visualizes by the brightness of the colors in the wheel. The deeper the color, the more intense the motion is felt. When looking in the yellow column, the lightest emotion is serenity, more deeper is joy and the emotion in the most intense way is ecstasy.

Plutchik’s wheel of emotions provides a perfect framework for understanding emotions

Now what?

It is important for all of us, to dive deeper in emotions of our customers and employees. To understand what the emotions are they are experiencing. Because these emotions need to be taken seriously. As I learned on a mindfulness course, you can compare not taking your emotions seriously, like pushing a cork underwater deeper and deeper. In the end it will pop out faster than ever before. Remember my example of the company that just keeps sending me sales-oriented newsletters, that are in my view, not appropriate right now. I canceled their newsletter. As I explained the reason for my un-subscription, they reacted; “thank you so much. We value your opinion” Which I know for certain is a standardized email, so they are not listening at all. Now I am really done with them, since I will remember this for a long time.

Three suggestions how to apply the knowledge of emotions:

1. In customer contact – Acknowledge emotions when you have conversations with customers. Or train your staff to acknowledge emotions. It is proven, that the more you ignore the more red/purple emotions, the more they will intensify. This also means that in these uncertain times, customer contact with regards to health, money and other uncertain topics, will take more time. So take that into account in average handle times.

2. In customer / employee communication – Examine what your customer or employee is feeling and experiencing right know. Describe and acknowledge these situations and emotions, so people will read/watch on. Make sure that when you show video’s, that the person in the video, is honest and also shows emotion. A best practice, is the video of Arne Sorenson CEO of Marriott, who explains the impact of covid-19 on Marriott for the associates.

3. In Customer journey mapping sessions – Too often I see that Happy, Neutral and Unhappy are used to map emotions. You just read there are many more emotions and it will help you to diversify the emotions of customers. What are they really feeling right now and also, how do you want them to feel in the To-Be journey. Use the wheel in your design thinking processes. This more detailed wheel with described emotions might come in handy. It shows the diversity of emotions. Praise given to Danny Peters that uses this wheel in his customer journey mapping teaching sessions.

I hope this knowledge helps you to understand your customers and employees emotions better. Maybe even the emotions of yourself and the people close to you. Our emotions have deepened, maybe we even feel different emotions. So it is now even more important to be aware and pay the right attention.

Let’s get active; share your thoughts in the comments.

Was this article useful? Please let me know. And even more important, how could you apply or have your applied this knowledge? Please share in the comments. Let’s grow our understanding of emotions and the impact on our CX work even more. Thank you and since it is important for all of us, a little personal note; stay safe.

 

Nienke Bloem CCXP CSP is an expert in Customer Experience, both as Keynote Speaker, teacher of the 2 day CX Masterclass to prepare you for the CCXP exam and she is co-founder of The Customer Experience Game. Do you want to read her blogs or learn more about her? Visit her website or subscribe to her monthly CX Greetz.

Feel free to comment on this blog and share it in your community!