Use your imagination for a moment. Imagine the table below as a “stone tablet” instead of a neatly colored Word table. Why? Because it contains “commandment-like” information. Instead of commandments, I call them “Laws.”
If you’ve followed any of my work or articles, you’ll know the company line — emotions drive consumer behavior. Emotions serve as buying motives. People buy what they buy to feel a certain way. That’s true and critical to truly effective marketing.
However, it’s not like people’s emotions emerge from nothing. No. They are reactions. They have to be activated by “emotionally competent” stimuli.
I generally categorize these stimuli as experiences (i.e., things that happen to people) and cognitions (i.e., awarenesses, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, values, etc. that people have). (Maybe experiences isn’t the best word because cognitions and emotions are experiences, too. But I trust you understand what I mean.)
Focusing on cognitions, one type of cognition is a belief about what should or should not be. For the sake of this article, we’ll call these beliefs “laws” or “shoulds.” When people hold these beliefs, experiences are examined against them to trigger emotions. If something happens that is consistent with a law one believes in, positive emotions are triggered. If something happens that is inconsistent with a law one believes in, negative emotions are triggered.
It’s useful for marketers to understand these laws. So, based on customer service studies we’ve conducted, I’ve put together “21 Laws of Excellent Customer Service” that continually affect emotional buying. Here they are:
You may say that these are pretty fundamental and common sense. OK, I agree. However, isn’t it important to know common sense fundamentals in any discipline? Don’t baseball players have to continually be reminded to keep their eye on the ball? Don’t mathematicians have to always remember that 1 + 1 = 2? Likewise, marketers should be reminded of fundamentals in their work. Furthermore, laying them out like this can serve as a guide or checklist as marketers work to optimize their customer service efforts.
Perhaps more importantly for EmoBlog, when these laws are met, positive feelings emerge. When they are violated, negative feelings emerge. And analyzing the emotions that drive consumer behavior – in essence, conducting emotional consumer research — is fundamental and essential to improving sales.
So take a look. Which of these laws are you abiding and/or violating in delivering your product or service?