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Measuring emotions for a better customer experience management

Can we measure customer experience ? This is a topic we already discussed here and the answer was no. Let me come with a new proposal that was addressed by Sensum during the CPDP 2017 conference : can our body reactions be a reliable measure of customer experience (or at least part of it).
Please read further to discover more about this very exciting insights into how measuring reliably emotions can help us better understand customer experience.

Sensum presentation at CPDP 2017

Just a few words to start on the “Computer, Privacy & Data Protection” conference (CPDP). This huge, worldwide renown conference was held in Brussels last week and more than 1000 people attended to discuss issues around Big Data, law (and in particular GDPR), ethics, privacy. One session was dedicated to emotions and addressed the question of whether emotions were private data. Gawain Morrisson, the CEO of Sensum, was presenting his company which specializes in measuring human emotions.
Sensum uses off-the-shelves technologies combined with own algorithms to measure emotions through :

  • facial coding
  • voice analysis
  • eye tracking
  • skin conductance
  • heart rate
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

The East Coast Rail business case

One business case (East Coast Rail) especially caught my attention. Gawain explained how they measured East Coast Rail customers activity based on bodies’ vital signs. Customers were followed during their journey which enabled them to detect high vs. low agitation moments and coupled them back to their rootcauses.
The yellow zone of high agitation depicted on the picture below for instance, was due to bad wifi connection.
I think this is a very illustrative example of how operational weaknesses can influence customers’ emotions and hence impact negatively your customer experience.


The techniques are obviously not applicable to all your customers in an attempt to measure what your service or product mean to them. But using them on a sample of customers can already tell much about customers’ most hidden perceptions and reveal the pain points of the customer journey. I think this is a very exciting field of experiment that deserves to be deepened for the good of the customers. Interestingly this remembered me of a pretty old article I published on this blog back in 2015 where I was wondering whether customer satisfaction could be measured in our bodies. As you can see from the example given by Sensum, this was not science-fiction.

Image : Shutterstock

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Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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