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  • Marie-juliette Levin

Emotion and Complicity, Two Assets to Rehumanise the Customer Experience

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, on 29 and 30 September at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, the Printemps des études was devoted this year to the acceleration of the transformation of companies in a hyper-connected world. In this respect, the concern of many brands is to adapt to the evolution of consumer behaviour, in particular through a reassessment of the customer journey and a fine-tuned management of data.

Emotional barometer

A workshop debate was devoted to the role of proximity and complicity at the heart of the new customer journey. Emotional aspects are now part of the relationship between the brand and the customer. The research institute, Repères, has developed a unique measure, called R3MScore, a sort of emotional barometer based on the key stages of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase, service and loyalty. The idea is to establish an emotional score based on the spontaneous language of the consumer. The method consists of asking a single question about the brand: "Tell me three words!" and for each word, an algorithm calculates an emotional activation score. It is measured for each stage of the customer journey with a focus on risk areas.

Human dimension

In addition to emotion, the human dimension plays a key role in reinvigorating the customer journey in the shop. In the context of increased digitalization, the need for proximity is in full swing. Firstly, geographically, with the deployment of local concept stores closer to urban consumers, such as Ikea, Decathlon or Leroy Merlin, and even pure players such as Bonne Gueule. But the proximity of the shop is not enough in the face of an Amazon that has entered our living room," explains Emmanuelle Exilie, director of the retail and shopper BU at the Enov Institute. Our approach is to design the shop of the future through a 5-step design thinking process with a 360° hybrid vision. Connect, Create and Check are the three stages of this approach, which allows us to encourage the online community of the brand's consumers, to conduct qualitative interviews in site, to organise a creative challenge with consumers on their expectations and finally to validate and test the new concept with an expert's eye. "This allows us to nurture the relational, service and affinity dimensions," explains Emmanuelle Exilie.

Face to face “truth"

Another way of being involved with the consumer is to reach out to them. This is what Neove recommends by proposing that the brand's employees interview customers themselves at home or in shops. An experiment has just been conducted with McDonald's as part of a project to launch a new sandwich. Using this method, McDonald's teams (identified as members of Neove) interviewed a panel of consumers face-to-face for 2 hours. This one-day "consumer connect" format allowed them to define a problem, put together a team and organise the meeting. "The relationship that is established, the complicity that arises from these exchanges is astonishing", analyses Pascale Dore, director of Neove. The fast-food chain explains that it uses the service about three times a year. "It allows us to recreate moments of integration of employees in this post-covid period and to establish a direct connection with the customer, which is always very useful", concludes Sandrine Seksik, Director of Studies at McDonald's France.

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