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.

Real-Time Search Results for Twitter

In the past couple of months we have seen major events unfold and witnessed Facebook and Twitter become real-time news reporters. According to this article in the NY Times, there has been talks of search engines like OneRiot, Collecta and Topsy trying to incorporate twitter in real-time search results, but recently Microsoft and Google have reached separate agreements to include tweets into their search engines.

One question that the article raises is how will these real-time results produce a cash flow for twitter? Analysts mention that this might not be an easy task, and twitter’s chief executive has already mentioned that it is not the primary focus of the agreements made.

One things for sure, twitter has definitely become a force to be reckoned with and it’s great to see Google and Microsoft recognize this and want to include it into their search results.

Google and Facebook to join music distribution

According to the New York Times, Google and Facebook are teaming up with some of the music labels in order to make music easier to learn about music types, as well as find and sample music from different musicians. Google’s initiative to team up with Capitol Records is expected to be announced next Wednesday. The different sites will not actually host the media, but will create partnerships with other sites such as iLike to stream the media.

What do you think? This is the first time we’ve seen the music industry join forces with someone on the internet to publicize their artists on the internet. I believe that by creating communities where artists are readily available for the public to hear will only increase the number of CDs purchased by buyers.

H1N1 Swine Flu Social Media Tools Provided by CDC

Huliq.com reports that The CDC partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)to create social media tools that provide easy to access information about the ongoing H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic. Widgets, mobile information, online videos and other tools help keep important H1N1 Flu information flowing.

For links to these potentially life saving networks, please click here.

H1N1 Swine Flu Social Media Tools Provided by CDC

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown


Laptop magazine recently released their own study about the quality of customer service among cell phone carriers within the USA. They found that overall, T-Mobile offered the best customer service based on customer service within the store, web, phone and overall satisfaction.

Do you agree?

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown

Research communities can be as Communities can be easy on the purse strings

For the first time this year, Gongos Research decided to raffle away a handbag that this year’s TMRE. They wanted to create something that showed who they were as a company and that aligned with their presentation with Domino’s Pizza. So with the motto of “Research communities can be easy on the purse strings when you know how to leverage and be creative with them,” they gave away a Burberry handbag. Susan Scarlet, the director of marketing and public relations at Gongos Research, said this was the perfect raffle prize to match the Gongos brand and their presentation with Domino’s Pizza. The lucky winner of the raffle was Debbie Lunsford, of The Coca Cola Company, pictured in the middle, along with Susan Scarlet (left) and Christi Walters (right), both of Gongos Research.

TMRE General Session: Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research
Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President , Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

Stan is presented us with two vital slides. As different people have different styles, and he doesn’t want to offend anyone.

Vital slide #1: Why quality doesn’t matter. You must think about the future. If you don’t have quality, don’t come to the party. This is the reason why quality should matter, but it shouldn’t be the only thing.

Vital Slide #2: It’s beyond quality. What’s the next frontier? This slide could be considered less offensive than the first.

85% of research leaders indicated that they are either ‘Neutral of dissatisfied with the impact of marketing research in their company. How can we take respondent engagement to the next level?

Is only debate getting us in the way we focusing on urgent versus important. We probably spend a disproportioninate amount of time on the urgent as opposed to the important. There is hope for the industry going forward, the question is is innovation happening at the pace its suppose to happen?

It’s about helping the company to change shape. Not following the change as quickly as possible. Leaders create change. Followers follow change. Our role as leaders and market researchers is to light the way, and show a beacon of hope for what can change in the future. End user expectations bring value to the table.

Expectations are changing quite dramatically. Going forward, we must put money behind research, innovation, and technology changes that accelerate change. We need to think about how we can bring dramatic changes to the world of our research? How can we use technology to do so?

What’s blocking our way for innovation?
We can’t agree on the definition of insight in the industry.
We don’t ‘know what we don’t know, and we don’t know how to know what we don’t know.

What will our final frontier look like?
The speaker can’t predict the future, but Facebook will become the insight provider for the world. There are 300 million individual users, each have given an extensive amount of personal detail. So we can get a great understanding of human conditions. It’s the best source in the world for information on the human behavior. What is your loyal fan base thinking about your product? What do they do, when do they enjoy coke; all can be found if used Facebook correctly. They’re consumers who love your brand.

Here’s what a company needs from clients and research agencies.
-creative problem solvers,
-Story tellers
-Disruptive thinker
-Visionaries
-Act before the change comes to shape change
-Imagine the world where date becomes a commodity
-Agencies are rewarded for business results delivered.

Focus on: outcomes, inspiring change and creating the future

Keynote Session ‘ Innovation & Growth: Cultivating the Game Changers

Presenter: Ram Charam, Author of Leadership in Times of Economic Uncertainty & Co-Author The Game Changers

Here are a few takeaways from his informative presentation.

Ram Charam begins his keynote session by asking the question ‘Why do 90% of accountants not turn into CFOs? Most accountants can’t make the linkage to the outside business and do not see the connections. There are many CFOs who do not have an accounting degree, but they are able to see the bigger picture.

Innovation is different from invention. Invention is the generation of an idea. Innovation, though, is conversion of an idea into money making. That is the viewpoint of a CEO.

Innovators must follow business acumen
1. Will this idea engage more revenues or acceleration of revenues
2. Will it accelerate profit margin and growth margin
3. Will it enhance the brand

How do you convert insights into revenue into margins? Ram Charam takes a look at the iPod which has no new technology in it. Brands also need people to view and see their social responsibility.

TMRE Keynote Session 2009: Lessons from the White House from Joel Benenson

Lessons from the White House: Stories From Obama’s Lead Pollster & Strategist
Joel Benenson, Lead Pollster & Senior Strategist, The Obama Administration

What does a politics pollster know about market research’s issues? While looking at the agenda, he saw a session doing with inspired performance, and it’s contending with a session on online communities, as well as building a teen brand, and finally one about leveraging knowledge to prepare for and outwit the competitors. For nearly a century that campaign teams have understood political marketing and how it combines with brand marketing.

In a world of politics, they’re driving by a world that corporate don’t embrace, and they have one measure of success that’s determined on one day. They win or lose. And they’re driving by competition, and they face competitors.

YouTube didn’t exist when Bill Clinton left office, and now consumers can post a video about whoever they want whenever the want. George Allen’s senate race campaign was crippled by a handheld camera taken by an intern in his party. 27million people watch a speech by Obama in February of 2007. This technology creates turbulence that’s new.

Creates
-Risk takers
-Challenge convention thinking
-Embracing heated debates to get to the right strategy

If you’re a pollster and want to have an impact in the debates, you must be there to tell them where the numbers are coming from and why. What are their underlying attitudes that make them determine why voters are voting for a certain politician.

There would not have been a campaign if Obama wasn’t willing to challenge the conventional thinking of the time. In politics you’re never as smart as you look when you win, and you’re never as dumb as you look when you lose. You have to be willing to take the loses, and continue to be daring to keep winning.

Beninson realized that any democrat would be change from Bush. They had to make it so that the only way there was change would be if Barack Obama was the change. They set out to define Clinton’s experience as irrelevant.

What they wanted to do to define change with Obama as the answer . They could gain more quickly and convince voters that they represented change, than trying to convince with democrats that they could compete with Hillary on experience. This set up a template. They defined a change that they could believe in. People were hungry in America, and they wanted to end partisan conflicts, and they wanted a president that they could believe in. A speech in November 2007 in Iowa set up a situation where the candidates had to give a speech. There were no teleprompters, they made an ad of this speech, this message shared the campaign where Obama wanted to create a unified America. Next in South Carolina, and they were holding back.

They took this ad and put it in front of focus groups for African Americans in South America, then it lead to the backing of Obama by African Americans in South Carolina. Campaigns are all about the delegates. The delegate gain is very complex. They have to go down to the congressional districts. Strategy for the Obama campaign was to build up a delegate lead for Obama. On February 5, 2009, the critical day in California, they’d be targeting specific congressional districts. On February 18, 2009, there was a caucus in Idaho. In the last week, they had to decide where to send Obama? They took the risk and sent Obama to Idaho on February 1. There were 14,000 people lined up to see Obama speak at the Boise State arena. They focused their efforts in Idaho. Clinton got a predictive win in California, and she did win, but by marginally less. They neutralized Clinton’s gains in California with Obama’s huge gain in Idaho.

From this, Beninson stated that it’s not about knowing who your customers are, you must understand who your valuable consumers are. You should spend your dollars on them so that profitability is high when they spend their dollars.

The public wanted someone who was strong and steady in the crisis, so when John McCain wanted to cancel the debate the week the stock market crashed, Obama wanted to continue on with the debate because the commander and chief must be able to multitask.

So today, where are we? Obama won by 50% in the popular vote, which hadn’t been done in a long time. Today, Obama’s approval ratings are high, as well as confidence, which is important. He’s also dealing with education, health care and energy.

Parallels between polling and market research client on marketing side: if you’re a researcher on a client side, how can you be more strategic player. Maybe you’re asking yourself the wrong questions.

Clients with strategic research partners should wonder why they aren’t hiring them. How does your organization react when someone comes up with an out of the box solution. What kind of constraints are you placing on thoughts and ideas? You have to breakthrough unfamiliarity. Take a leap, do something different. How many risks have you taken with the data you have in front of you.

Have you let science restrict your creativity? Vendors sell things to people, strategic partners bring something to the table that no one else can. Do you need to reevaluate what you’re addressing your services as?