Richard Branson has unlocked human emotion by instigating unlimited annual leave for Virgin staff, after spotting Netflix implement it.

richard branson

Zappos has built their business on emotion with their “wow” approach to customer service and 10 core values:

And relatively new social platform start-up, Buffer, has done it with it’s radical transparency and approach of openly listing all employee salaries for everyone to see. The  brains behind the new social service believe it creates greater trust and less friction and disgruntlement between employees if there’s nothing to hide. You can read all about it here.

Salaries @ Buffer

Salaries @ Buffer

So have you done it?

Have you thought about how to operationalise emotion in your business?

I recently heard Richard Umbers, Myer’s Chief Information and Supply Chain Office, speak about it, at a retail event hosted by Steve Kulmar and his team at Retail Oasis. If you’d like to see his slide deck, click here.

Richard’s premise was to create the ‘new retail’ by harnessing the power of customer experience which drives an emotional response. Only then can you say you are truly customer centric and delivering on your business or brand promise.

Measure it

Many companies measure NPS (net promoter score) to identify customer advocates – customers who are more emotionally bonded and happy to recommend. How are you identifying yours?

Are there other emotional measures that you are using?

Happiness surveys

Have you implemented staff happiness surveys? If so, then have you segmented  your staff based on their tenure, value, engagement, and happiness levels to identify your staff rockstars (to use a word from Todd Wheatland in relation to identifying top performers in terms of content marketing)?

Photo by Billy Plummer – legend photographer who creates extraordinary out of the ordinary

Photo by Billy Plummer – legend photographer who creates extraordinary out of the ordinary

There are plenty of people cynical about happiness (or any other form of staff satisfaction survey), because they feel that they’re

  • a waste of time
  • boring
  • not bought in to by senior management
  • not getting to the heart of the issues
  • and the list goes on

They’re probably right.

However I’d argue that it’s due to the organisation that they’re in. And the fact that there are endemic problems that aren’t being addressed or rectified based on what the surveys reveal.

The cynics are also probably right because most of the surveys are in a boring format. Create some fun with them. Make a bit of a song and dance. But most importantly act on the findings!!

Be honest

In today’s world authenticity rules. So make sure you’re approach to customers and staff is honest, heartfelt, authentic and real. Only then will you start to get beyond the business politics and functional puffery that may show up in your business, and start uncovering true emotions that can run deep, divide or become positively infectious.

Start operationalising emotion now.