I recently read this article in Science Daily. In essence it talks about the fact that we sometimes don’t realize why we are feeling some emotion. I wrote a blog recently on How emotions are evoked, which outline the process our body and brain goes through to evoke an emotion. If we understand this we can better build a great Customer Experience. The article took this one stage further, it says:
“Most people agree that emotions can be caused by a specific event and that the person experiencing it is aware of the cause, such as a child’s excitement at the sound of an ice cream truck. But recent research suggests emotions also can be unconsciously evoked and manipulate
Psychologists Kirsten Ruys and Diedrick Stapel of the Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research at Tillburg University in The Netherlands have uncovered the first empirical evidence to suggest humans do not need to be aware of the event that caused their mood or feelings in order to be affected by it. The scientists hypothesized that, since humans have evolved to respond quickly and unconsciously to stimuli, they should be able to react to an emotional event without full awareness
The intriguing results, which appear in the April issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, strongly support the psychologists’ theory. Those participants who viewed only the disgust-inducing subliminal images were more likely to use disgust words in the word-completion task, to describe their feelings with the disgust words and to choose to take the ‘scary movie test.’ The same held true for those who viewed only the fear-inducing images they also were more likely to use words related to fear and to take the ‘strange food test.’
The psychologists also found that after quick (120ms) speed exposures to emotional stimuli, a general, negative mood developed accompanied by a specific emotion, such as fear after seeing fearful pictures. After the super-quick (40ms) speed exposure, only a general negative mood was induced without a specific emotion involved. These empirical findings are the first to demonstrate that specific emotions can be evoked without awareness of the cause and that a person’s global mood can develop into a specific emotion.”
Therefore, in a Customer Experience it is important that you understand the signals your company are giving to your Customer, no matter how fleeting they may be. For example Banks put pens on chains, the message is clear, “We don’t trust you”.
This work shows that within 120ms your mind can see signals and affect the mood of a customer. A brief glare from a employee that says “you are an idiot” is enough to spoil a great Customer Experience, a glimpse into the back of a restaurant kitchens through swing doors glimpsing a dirty environment is enough to put you of your food. There are a number of other similar signals on our blog that send signals. But likewise remember this should be seen as an opportunity. What positive signals can you place in your experience? In our Journey mapping process we call Moment Mapping, we take out the negative signals and replace them with positive ones.
Stop and think, what you are doing? How will it be perceived? You maybe unintentionally evoking the wrong emotions.