Monday, October 26, 2009

Customers 1st 2009 Podcasts: A Conversation with Dan Hill, Author, Emotionomics

As we get gear up for the 2009 NACCM: Customers 1st Event this year, we're going to be interviewing and getting to know the speakers and sponsors who will bring their perspectives on customer service to you. We recently sat down with Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics. He will be participating in the keynote speech, “Saving Customer Ryan: The Power of Emotion Brand Equity” at this year's conference. Download the NACCM:Customers 1st Brochure to find out more about the program this year.

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Dan Hill is the President of Sensory Logic, Inc., founded in 1998 as a scientific consumer insights firm that specializes in gauging both verbal and nonverbal, subconscious reactions to advertising, store environments, and product design, packaging and presentation. He has also provides executive coaching for sales force training relating to interpersonal communication skills.

Dan will be presenting the keynote speech “Saving Customer Ryan: The Power of Emotional Brand Equity” at this year’s NACCM: Customers 1st Conference this November 2-5 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona.

What is a company’s emotional equity and how can this affect consumer perceptions?
Dan: Well, we often talk about equity from an advertising perspective, and what they often mean is the awareness of the brand. That you’re aware of a brand, and you find it relevant. What I think it means when you get to customer service, what’s the experience you’ve had with a brand, is it meaningful, is it distinct and above all is it positive and it’s emotional because our emotions drive our decision making process and reflect the memories that we’ve had, and that’s why they’re so powerful and drive customer perceptions. If you have a positive feeling, it’s relent, it can drive you back toward the brand.

How important is it to customer service to be able to read what your customers are feeling when they are doing business with you?
Dan: It’s crucial because the breakthroughs in brain science confirm that people are largely emotional decision makers, the emotional part of the brain sends about 10x as many signals as the rational brain and vice versa, so everybody feels before they think, and the important thing about customer service is you’re in the moment, you’re interacting with another human being, it’s probably the single most emotional moment in the business world, and if you can engender positive feelings, and read as you’re creating those vibes with the other person, that’s really when you’re going to build brand equity.

How can being able to read facial expressions of candidates help during the hiring process?
Dan: Well, we all know that these days, people don’t disclose much in references, and obviously the person doing the interview is going to put on their best face possible, and the important thing you need to know is once you hire the person, and they are at the crucial touch point where brand equity is built so much, you really want someone was a good brand ambassador. Someone who has an agreeable personality, and I really think you can pick that up in an interview. Much more in just the words, after all in a stressful situation, it’s really a chance to get past the lip services. There are studies that show 55% of crucial communication is through the face and only 7% through the words. Reading someone’s temperament, seeing how they handle the stress of the interview, seeing how positive they can be and stay away from the negatives, those same qualities will be very valuable in someone who’s helping a customer.

Can you tell us a little about what you’ll be presenting at this year’s NACCM: Customers 1st?
Dan: [I will ]Probably two or three things most of all. One is to try to introduce people to the importance of the emotional element in people’s decision making process. As I said breakthroughs in brain science have confirmed that people are overwhelmingly emotional decision makers. That’s one part. The other part is indeed about hiring. We are linking how people emote and how they feel to their core personality. That’s how someone over time reveals themselves. And the third point will be specific practical applications to what the customer experience and customer service situation is and how you can make it better.

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