Customership Is “Whole Brain Marketing.” Part I


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For some time I have been in search of something in Customer Experience Management that would track and trace customer “superenthusiasm”.

I was thinking of a kind of satisfaction survey which would capture for instance if a foods shopper would travel 3 miles out of her/his way to patronize store X just because he liked the store: their service was so terrific; the staff was super friendly; and the products priced no higher than in a giga-size supermarket..

At the same time the store owner would be super enthusiastic that the shopper was going 3 miles out of her/his way to ensure that her/his money went to the store deserving it—his!

This happy state of affairs I called “Customership”.

Thus “Customership” is a state of happiness caused by doing business with a vendor you really like; coupled with like happiness on the part of the vendor who enjoys the profitable relationship with a customer.

I noodled around with the idea for several months, but abandoned the idea when a suitable model just would not appear on my Excel screen

Figure 1 was as far that I got—with customer loyalty expressed as “share of wallet” on the vertical axis and high customer satisfaction on the horizontal axis.

My next phase was to flirt with Neuro Marketing. I suffered a stroke and underwent some brain scans myself which made my research more real. See Figure 2.

Essentially, Neuro Marketing uses MRI brain scans to see what’s happening in a consumer’s head,

You can also see changes when the consumer views different scenes, logos, and advertisements. A famous case was to note the difference when subjects were shown the Coke logo (frantic brain activity) and the Pepsi logo. See Figure 3 (flat line!).

Of course with some people like Homer Simpson there is little or no brain activity. Hence the expression “No Brainer.”

The buzz around Neuro Marketing was broadened with the concepts of Left Brain and Right Brain Marketing.

Left Brain Marketing


Right Brain Marketing

I was surprised to learn that the chatter about Left and Right Brain Marketing was more about the Marketeer’s Brain as being too rational and out-of-date, not the consumer’s!

The Right Brain is intuitive and involves “soft” thinking

Theme Oriented



Brand Awareness


How do I maximize customer happiness and emotional loyalty to our company?

The Left Brain is rational and involves “hard” thinking







How do I maximize customer profitability for our company?

A problem with surveying customers on satisfaction is the fact that people are not always rational in their decision-making processes: defecting customers often tick the “satisfied” box.

In fact Harvard Psychology Prof. Dr. Gerald Zaltman contends that 95% of our thinking as a consumer is bases on unconscious processes and only 5% is rational thought!

Nonetheless, some satisfaction survey data is quite convincing. Look, for instance at the reasons given by industrial customers as to why they defected front a supplier.

68% said buyer “indifference to a complaint” made them furious enough to stop buying!

You can just picture a furious purchasing manager who complained about an incomplete order but was heard by a bored, gum-snapping clerk. Experiences like this can be critical for customers. For instance, how do customers rate the responses of your customer service telemarketers?
People who deal with customers today have to use both sides of their brain. Combining numbers with feelings can provide a complete view of customers

In my view CRM began as a Right Brain Activity (be nice to customers) It then shifted to an ROI-driven Left Brain discipline (get ROI!) now CEM is swinging to the Right Brain again. (The Customer Experience movement).

A serious problem with my model was the $1,000 cost per brain scan. Plus Ralph Nader and others criticized the use of scarce medical machine time for testing the emotional impact of advertisements and logos.

As a researcher I wanted to get into the heads of customers and prospects. But how to industrialize the process without using expensive equipment and slow (and expensive) neurologist’s hours?

One obvious way is simply to ask them! We believe in a structured survey of a company’s “Moments of Truth” as described by Jan Carlzon, the customer-centric pioneer and CEO of Scandinavian Airlines who calculated the critical moments for a passengers confronting the SAS “Moments of Truth.

Moment of Truth:

Carlzon wrote: “When a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote that is an opportunity to form an impression.”

Figure 7 shows Carlson’s Moments of Truth for SAS.

When you call to make a reservation to take a flight,

When you arrive at the airport and check your bags curb side,

When you go inside and pick up your ticket at the ticket counter,

When you are greeted at the gate,

When you are taken care of by the flight attendants onboard the aircraft, and

When you are greeted at your destination.

But Carlson only considered to employee-encounter moments: the “Humanic Experiences emitted by people. He doesn’t include factors such as a cold aircraft, choppy weather or late arriving planes with no employee on hand to yell at. These are Mechanic Experiences emitted by the environment. He only counted moments which company representatives controlled.

We should consider all moments of interaction between company and customer, including Functional Experiences emitted by the product or service, such as getting from A to B, opening a package, assembling the widget, etc.

Thus every time a company or brand interacts with a customer you can create one moments:

Create a Moment of Magic—yeaa!!

Create a Moment of Misery—Booooooo!!!!

Create a Moment of mwa—Mwa!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Note: Mwa is a Dutch expression for indifference.


What was a Moment of Truth—good or bad—which you remember:

What happened?


List quickly the Moments of Truth for your company: Humanic, Mechanic and Functional.


End of Part I of a two-part series.

Jay Curry
Customer Experience Factory
Jay Curry is a founder of The Customer Experience Factory. His book, the Customer Marketing Method, was one of the first to show how to evaluate and realize customer profitability. Curry's current focus is on how Customer Experience Management applies to healthcare and non-profit organizations.


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