That Moment Before CX Takes the Stage

Your Customer Is a Dopamine Addict—Will Your Brand Provide the Fix?

What gets your adrenaline pumping with anticipation? What gets you really psyched?

For some, it’s a roller coaster. You board the ride, they lock the bar in place, and that car chugs its way towards the peak as the people around you scream. It all builds up to that moment when you reach the top…and then

For others, it’s a great meal. If you’re an American, perhaps you’re thinking about Thanksgiving dinner right now. That smell as the turkey roasts in the kitchen all morning. Your loved ones come to the door one by one, perhaps bringing pies or side dishes to add to the feast. The table is filled with delicious food, and everyone’s ready to dive in. You go for that first bite…and then

For me, it’s a great concert. I’ve seen plenty of fantastic shows, but my favorite live performer is probably Bruce Springsteen. From the moment his concert is announced, the anticipation begins. I get the best tickets I can find. I show up hours before the show, and meet up with other fans who are also approaching peak excitement. As show time approaches, we file into the arena. We find our seats. The lights go out…and then

A great customer experience program knows how that moment feels, and rises to the task of meeting expectations. Imagine you’re on that roller coaster, and instead of going into free fall, the car simply…crawls down the other side. You take that first bite of Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s just…bland, and perhaps a bit mushy. The lights go out in that arena, and…the sound system fails. As I’ve written before, great CX nurtures an emotional connection between customer and brand—but the sting of disappointment can do a world of damage.

A recent Forrester report, “The Dawn of Anticipatory CX,” explores this dynamic. Attributing the value of anticipation as a motivational force to evolution, the report contends, “people are wired to anticipate future happy experiences rather than negative ones,” and while “reward is the payoff after the flood of anticipation,” “the anticipation itself is what motivates us, more so than the reward.”

According to Forrester, effective CX can deliver a multi-sensory experience, helping people remember and strengthen emotional memories to ensure customers keep coming back again. Among other brands, the report cites Disney as a global brand that has mastered the art of generating anticipation to “seduce, deliver, and sustain” customer loyalty.

Admit it: When you hear the name “Disney,” it probably conjures an emotional memory in your mind, doesn’t it? That’s precisely the point.

For brands that have taken the critical step of mapping their customer journeys, Forrester offers some practical advice for taking things to the next level, and meeting every customer expectation:

“Augment your existing journey maps with expectation callouts and empathy mapping notes that capture the emotionally charged intersections where you can introduce anticipatory elements. Then go beyond the current journey map and imagine what an ideal future state journey might look like.”

I’ll bet you’re just dying to read Forrester’s report, and learn how brands like yours can forge an emotional bond with customers—one that’ll yield countless opportunities and continued investment. Enjoy the ride. Or feast. Or show.

Forrester and NICE will be presenting a supplementary webinar, also entitled “The Dawn of Anticipatory CX,” on Thursday, November 17. If you miss this show, don’t worry; we’ll hook you up with the live album  right away.

 

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