Making emotional connections with customers is key to excellent NPS and VOC results

By Brad Baumunk, President and COO, Robert C. Davis and Associates

Recently I read an article by Toma Kulbyte entitled “32 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2018” ( In addition to all of the statistics she quotes, I particularly like her definition of CX: “Customer experience is your customers’ perception of how the company treats them. These perceptions affect their behaviors and build memories and feelings and may drive their loyalty. In other words: if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you and recommend you to the others.”

Emotional connections, measurable results – an excerpt from the book The Quality Conversation by Bob Davis

In The New York Times, Stephanie Rosenbloom explained why footwear sales in October 2009 reached $1.5 billion. This was the highest October sales figure since 2006, even though the recession had hit people hard across the country.

According to her article, “A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure,” no sudden shoe shortage drove the demand. Consumers were suffering from “frugal fatigue.” They found it easy to spend money on a new pair of shoes because they wanted the emotional lift that the shoes gave them.

Eileen Lewis, director of fashion strategy for, said consumers were buying shoes in bright colors like yellow and red. The shoes provided “something that sticks out and makes you happy.”

When you provide this kind of emotional lift through Quality Conversations, you will be more successful.

Gallup studies conducted several years ago showed the value of emotional connections with customers of a leading supermarket chain. According to The Gallup Business Journal: When Gallup looked at customers who were extremely satisfied and emotionally connected to the store—customers Gallup calls “fully engaged”—a very different customer relationship emerged. These customers visited the store 5.4 times and spent $210 a month. Apparently, not all “extremely satisfied” customers are the same. Those with strong emotional connections visited the grocery chain 32% more often and spent 46% more money than those without emotional bonds.

The studies showed similar results in many industries. Again, according to The Gallup Business Journal: For banks and supermarkets—as well as hotels and other businesses—the data, and the story, are the same. And that holds true regardless of whether the outcome measure is purchase frequency, volume, or share of business. Emotional connections matter. They provide companies with a meaningful and relevant customer goal—one that pays off.

In my work with customer contact centers across a wide range of industries, the same types of trends hold true when customer service representatives use The Quality Conversation. It is proven to establish emotional connections with their customers.


Many of [RCDA’s] clients survey their customers after an interaction with an employee. They use an approach that business strategist Frederick Reichheld introduced.

Reichheld said companies should measure the satisfaction of only the most loyal and enthusiastic consumers, and he called it the Net Promoter Score (NPS). On a scale of 1 to 10, the NPS survey asks how likely a customer would be to recommend the company to others. The number puts the customer into one of three categories:

    • 0-6 (Detractors)
    • 7-8 (Passives)
    • 9-10 (Promoters)

The difference between the percentage of promoters and the percentage of detractors is the NPS. It is an excellent gauge of customer satisfaction.

Alternatively, companies try to understand customer needs with voice of the customer (VOC) surveys. Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser coined the VOC term in the Winter 1993 issue of Marketing Science. These surveys gather customers’ feedback on their experiences with a company’s products, services and customer service.

In all cases, once a company trains its people to hold Quality Conversations, its NPS and VOC results improve significantly.

For more information on how to build emotional connections with your customers and reap all of the benefits, please contact us today.