The Subconscious Experience

Every customer experience contains attributes that are both conscious – the rational part of the experience – and subconscious. Both of these can evoke emotions.

Most organizations rely heavily on the rational and conscious parts of an experience (speed of delivery; how quickly a phone call is answered, etc.). Because they aren’t even aware that subconscious and emotional experiences exist, this is not necessarily done by choice.

The irony is that all organizations provide subconscious and emotional experiences, but they are not in control of them. The lack of attention to these critical areas means that the customer experience becomes confusing, creates lost opportunities and drives complaints and costs because of the poor experience. In addition, it negatively affects customer retention and customer loyalty.

For example, we’ve all seen pens attached to chains at the bank. While this may not register in your conscious mind, the subconscious message is clear: your bank is saying “We don’t trust you. We think you are going to steal our pens.” Is this the signal the bank wants to give, or is it just that they haven’t thought through the implications of their actions and the messages they are sending?

Watch video

Daren Cornish, former Head of Customer Experience, Aviva

In this video you will see classic example of how this subconscious experience can drive huge costs into the business. This is an Insurance client, Darren Cornish, the former Head of Customer Experience at Aviva. Darren explains how the use of one word caused 75% of customers to phone them back to clarify when they would be receiving the policy documents. This drove millions of phone calls into the call center. We advised they change one word. With that within three weeks the call volumes reduced from 75% to 6%!

Your customer experience should be deliberate. You effectively must deliberate over it and have a considered the conscious, subconscious and emotional impact of the experience you provide. The subconscious brain is a fertile garden to sow positive seeds. The mind is highly selective, processing millions of pieces of information each second, yet we remain largely unaware of this filtering mechanism.

By concentrating on delivering the right subconscious signals, you’re ensuring that your customers are emotionally engaged in a way that promotes customer loyalty and customer retention by way of an excellent customer experience.

Contact us to learn more about how you can identify the experience your organization provides.