Market researchers can monitor customer satisfaction with functional parameters such as the price for a given product or service through traditional surveys. But if you want to really optimize your customer´s loyalty towards your company, these are not enough. To truly understand customer behaviour, you need to go one step further than simply measuring the more tangible aspects – you need to address the feelings.

Epinion has got extensive experience in working with the emotional aspects of market research and the conclusion is clear – measuring feelings produces data with much greater explanatory power and a much stronger foundation on which companies can base their decisions.

We have developed sophisticated systems to integrate emotions into our market research in virtually every industry – from FMCG to tourism and in particular, public transport where we have had significant results in Norwegian market.

icebergFeelings and public transport

Customers´ assessment of public transport is generally positive. While many industries are struggling with disloyal and unsatisfied customers, passengers in public transport rarely criticize the basics – the bus is on time, it´s clean and they are satisfied with the amount of information they receive.

So if the basic service works well, how do you attract more customers and continue to ensure passenger growth? How do you lift the consumer experience to greater heights?

Through numerous studies, passenger surveys and focus groups, we have a pretty good idea about what makes a happy passenger. Traditional studies often focus on deviation in departure time, prices and general information. These three elements, along with other “functional” aspects, are essential to having satisfied passengers. These elements are measurable elements that can be studied by using the traditional market research method toolbox and they are also parameters that can be targeted specifically e.g. if the passengers feel that the buses are too dirty you can allocate more resources for cleaning.

But the journey is much more than just a clean bus.

Travelling is also an experience that is highly influenced by feelings: a sense of stress when thinking whether or not the bus arrives on time; irritation caused by fellow passengers; or maybe a sense of joy when experiencing a particular helpful driver. The functional aspects of the journey are only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface lurks a wide range of emotions.

How do you measure emotions?

Emotions are inherently difficult to quantify. They are subjective, irrational and diffuse – not exactly the ideal starting point for a quantitative measurement. One must often resort to advanced scientific techniques to measure emotions e.g. the use of FMRI scans, EEGs and other methods that involve state-of-the-art equipment. These are methods that provide excellent data for every individual you are testing. But it is rarely possible for a company to get sufficient volume in the study using these methods. However, if you can incorporate the measurement of emotions in a more conventional setup e.g. the customer surveys that are already being carried out, you reach a level of analysis which many can not.

Research shows that respondents´ emotional assessment of events that occurred in the past, is less useful than assessments of events that the respondents have just experienced. The more time that goes by the less accurate the assessment, and as a result the measurement of emotions loses its strength compared to traditional surveys.

By asking questions about the passengers´ specific emotions in a given situation we can get very close to the customer experience.

When using public transport there is a whole series of concrete experiences which can lead to emotional reactions:

  • Purchasing a ticket at the station
  • Waiting for the bus or train to arrive
  • Delays
  • Switching between different modes of transportation

By focusing on the consumer experience at these key events we are able to achieve a deeper level of analysis for our clients.

Feelings are important!

Measuring feelings is here to stay. It is an important tool to help optimize your customers´ experience and identify areas that you need to focus on. It is also possible to get even closer to your customers by assessing what they feel about you. These insights can be used to ensure a growth in customer loyalty, which is essential for any business.

Don´t hesitate to contact us for more information. We´d be happy to measure your customers´ feelings.

- By Erik Stengaard-Pedersen

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Epinion

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T: +45 87 30 95 00 
E: contact@epinionglobal.com 


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