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The Intuitive Customer - Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Jul 11, 2020

The 5 Rules for Making and Managing Customer Memories


A lot of Behavioral Economics can feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. The Five Rules Podcast Series is our attempt at giving you an easy entry point into the complex and messy world of Behavioral Science.


What Are The Five Rules?


I love the subject of customer memories.  From how they form to how they change to how they drive your customer loyalty, customer memories are a crucial aspect of your Customer Experience. Knowing the role your Customer Experience design plays in the formation of customer memories is critical to enabling customer-driven growth. Here are the five rules to bear in mind when making and managing customer memories:


Five Rules for Making and Managing Customer Memories


  1. Embrace that we don't choose between experiences, but between the memories we have of experiences. 
  2. Emotions create memories.
  3. Map your customers' "fishing nets."  
  4. Define what you want a customer to remember. 
  5. Discover how your customers retrieve their memories. 



What Should You Do With Them?


Embrace that we don't choose between experiences, but between the memories we have of experiences. Full disclosure, this rule is not mine. Professor Daniel Kahneman, Nobel-prize winning economist, came up with it. It is a foundational element of your entire Customer Experience strategy. If you think about it, memories are what make us who we are. Moreover, memory is how we learn and what we use to make future decisions. For all of these reasons, it is essential to have a plan for making customer memories that drive value for your organization.



Emotions create memories. How you feel affects memories in two main ways. The first way is that the strength of the emotion is the catalyst for memory formation. Those things you feel most strongly about are what you remember. The other stuff you didn’t have strong emotions about? Not so much.  The second way feelings affect memories is that they are essential. Professor Kahneman gave us the Peak-End rule, which says that what forms a memory is the peak (or most intense) emotion you felt and how you felt at the end. Therefore, we encourage you to determine what peak emotion you want customers to feel and when, and how you want them to feel when the experience concludes. Then, we want you take deliberate actions to deliver these emotions to customers.


Map your customers' "fishing nets."  There is also the idea that your memories are part of networks, which means that memories connect to one another. An analogy we use to describe this is a fishing net. If each memory is a knot in the fishing net, the connected memories are the knots that are attached to it. Now, if you imagine you have hold of a knot in a fishing net and you are drawing it up to the surface of a shallow pool, you can see that the connected knots will rise with the knot you are holding. Some knots will break the surface while the others hang out just below. We like to think of the knots above the surface of the water as conscious memories, and the ones below are subconscious memories. We want you to see if you can discover what memories customers will associate with the memory of your experience and use that to your advantage in your Customer Experience design.


Define what you want a customer to remember. There are practicalities to consider regarding managing customers’ memories. First, choose what you want the customer to remember. Second, have strategies in place to reinforce these memories. For example, if you manage a theme park and you know your experience has a strong emotion at a particular moment, like the top of the roller coaster as the cars start to plummet down, how can you help customers remember it? Many theme parks have identified that moment as a strong emotion and have cameras that take photos so their guests can see themselves in that thrilling moment right after they get off the ride. Even if the customer doesn’t purchase the pic, that photo reinforces the exhilarating moment in the guests’ memory right away.   


Research can help you find these valuable moments in your experience to reinforce. Moreover, research can help you focus on the areas in your Customer Experience that give you the most impact first. Our  Emotional Signature®  Research defines what drives value for your customers emotionally. Then, you can look at the customer process to see when there are moments with potential to evoke that emotion.



Discover how your customers retrieve their memories. Helping your customers create fabulous memories of your experience does not do you any good if they do not remember them at the right time. Understanding how your customers recall experiences is essential. Remember the fishing net analogy we shared? We want them to pull the right knot at the right time and associate the memory to a moment when they make a buying decision in your area. Also, you should be aware that every time a customer accesses a memory, they re-remember it. This tendency can make the intensity of emotions increase. It's great when they get more positive. However, if you experience has the customer repeat what went wrong over and over to different members of your customer service team, you could be making a bad memory worse.


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About Beyond Philosophy:

Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.

This podcast is produced by Resonate Recordings. Click here find out more.