Emotional Influence

By Tom McDermott

Emotion by definition is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Understanding how emotions affect revenue will help you grow your top line and achieve higher profits.

Many businesses fail to understand how their customers feel when doing business with them, and how those feelings regulate how a customer spends money. So many business operators are oblivious to this concept, and seem to just operate on luck. Every day, customers walk out of businesses because they are frustrated from the businesses not fulfilling their needs. When customers have a negative emotional experience, they choose to not give up their cash and choose to give it to someone else. Customer ratings are all over the internet. All of those ratings are driven by emotional influence- positive or negative. From the moment a customer chooses to do business with you, the process of emotional influence begins. That is also the moment where you, as a business operator, can have influence over their emotions. You have a choice: make it positive, negative or indifferent.

Do you have clearly defined customer relationship strategies to stimulate positive emotional influence? Or, do you just wing it, relying on the talent that your employees brought with them when you hired them? Positive emotional influence drives top line growth, period. As a business leader, you can in fact control how your customers feel about giving you their money, simply by understanding how they are reacting to you. I was speaking with a CEO of a major corporation recently. We were discussing strategies related to driving shareholder return. He actually told me that, “If we build great facilities, the customers will come”. Build it and they will come? Wasn’t that line from the movie “Field of Dreams”? He actually believed that the brick and mortar would drive top line growth.

Thinking that way is definitely living in a fantasy. Yes, facilities matter, but not as much as your customers’ emotions matter. You are in a position to write your own script.

Customers leave businesses in one of three ways- happy and fulfilled, indifferent, or unsatisfied and unhappy. There is only one, and I mean only one, emotional state that is acceptable for any customer to experience after a transaction- that is happy and fulfilled. Otherwise, you are missing profit opportunities.

The relationship between a customer’s emotions and revenue is striking. If your business lacks growth, analyze how your customers feel about doing business with you. Are they leaving happy?

One negative experience from one customer can not only affect what future business they do with you, it can also affect future business from everyone they share their experience with.

We conducted a survey recently related to customers and how they felt about various businesses. Our findings were conclusive. Each and every respondent was willing to drive past a business where they had a negative experience to a business offering the same product or service where they have had positive experiences.

A dirty and messy facility, poorly dressed employees, bad training, poor service, poor quality, all of these and more create negative emotions and erode revenue.

Ask yourself this question, “Why should customers come to my business and give me their money”? Is it that you have a great product? Do you provide great service? Your answer should be, “My customers do business with me because they experience positive emotions during their whole experience, and in doing so, they become loyal and ultimately spend more”.

One bad encounter with one bad employee can change a customer’s emotional state instantly. A few will recover but most will choose to do business with someone else.

There are only two elements in any transaction, providing a service or a product and in return, getting cash. It doesn’t matter what the business is, it’s all the same, service/product = cash. More positive customer emotions = more cash.

Creating a positive emotional influence strategy is one of the keys to building big profits. Start with a survey of your facility and your employees. Is your facility conducive to customer comfort? Are your employees presentable and trained? Take our online survey to find out where you may be falling short. We offer in-depth training to assist you in building a powerful business model, creating an environment to precipitate positive customer emotions.

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