Customer Moods Affect Business

“Move from serving clients the way YOU like to be served to serving them the way THEY like to be served. It’s as simple as asking their preference.” – Marilyn Suttle

Just recently, and in the past too, we have discussed the importance of managing and connecting to the emotions of customers. Today we are analysing how customer moods affect business – even though moods may be short-lived. Customer moods play an extremely vital role in their judgement and evaluation of a company and its offerings. Positive moods trigger buying, while a bad mood could have the opposite effect – and every customer that enters your store or when interacting at any level, has ‘attached’ with them, a mood. The tough part for a company is that the disposition of a customer when connecting is not something they can initially control. A customer could ‘walk in’ with a decidedly foul mood given an earlier experience or a personal problem and this would adversely influence their buying behaviour. While a customer may enter your establishment in a certain frame of mind, it depends on the company to either maintain or change the customer’s mood. Getting them from a good to a bad mood would be detrimental to business, while managing the converse could immensely benefit your business.

Positive customer moods increase the possibility of more and increased buying behaviour. When customers associate a good mood with a company, they are more likely to return to buy more, but with the expectation that their good mood would be enhanced with the current interaction. It is the job of the company to keep their customers in a good mood and even strive to change their negative frame of mind to a positive one through the interaction and association. As mentioned, that even though moods may be short-lived, as compared to emotional connections, they do affect business in some way or another and it really is the onus of a company to ensure that they use customer moods to their benefit.

Customer moods affect business, so it would be prudent for companies to affect the moods of customers in a positive way! A warm and personalized greeting with a smile is perhaps the most engaging and positive way to affect the customer’s disposition. The company’s employees – all of them – must be trained in practices to elevate the customer’s mood during every interaction. These interactions do not necessarily have to be direct, face-to-face ones – even a pleasant ‘demeanour’ over the phone or in the tone of a written message, can veer customer moods in your favour. Of course, it may never be possible to know the customer moods, because they would not openly show it, but through observation of their behaviour and buying patterns, a ‘vigilant’ company would be able to gauge the exact disposition of the customer and mould their own behaviour around customer moods. It would worth the effort!

There are some differences between customer moods and emotions. While emotions are in continuity and are directed towards the company’s service and offerings, and would define long-term behaviour of the customer towards the company. Moods on the other hand are short-lived and could cause the customer to feel happy or annoyed with something about the company depending on their own frame of mind and stimulus. Customer moods can change depending on the kind of service they encounter, the products they see on the shelves, whether they can find what they want or not, and other such pertinent points related to one instance of buying. An understanding the customer’s frame of mind can help companies to ‘design’ the desired stimuli – the ones that would keep customer moods positive and happy, thereby encouraging them to buy more and be more receptive to the offers and products of the company.

Since customer moods affect business, it would make sense for companies to be able to assess and ‘action’ these dispositions. It is part of understanding your customers – know ing why customers buy, how they feel, the kinds of changes and situations they may be facing, and other such aspects – it would be easier to mould and use customer moods to advantage. A thorough understanding would enable a company to take action swiftly to minimise any possible negative repercussions coming out of bad moods. Even though, the mood may not last, at least the company would have achieved a short-term goal, which could be a very important part of the achievement of long-term goals. Working with your customer moods could allow your company to minimise any risks and or possible obstacles in the way of growing your business. By ‘feeding’ the pleasant disposition of customers, a company would be able to move them towards buying its offerings simply because the products make them feel good, look good, or even elevate their ‘social’ standing. Over time, as customers associate all these positive moods when buying from a company, they would become emotionally connected and loyal, encouraging others to ‘get the same experiences’.

When customers remain in a good mood with a company, they are more likely and amenable to try out new offerings and products – without any previous customer reviews. The fact is that they recall all the ‘happy and socially elevating times’ they had because of previous experiences with the company, and are more than willing to believe the new launches from a company. It would be prudent for the company to ensure that their previous happy experiences are repeated, to reinforce in the customer’s mind that their good mood is closely associated with the company’s efforts. The same would be true for unpleasant experiences – it would be near impossible for a company to get those customers back who left in a bad mood or whose pleasant mood was disrupted because of something the company did.

Customer moods affect business either way. When they are in a positive frame of mind, customers tend to be more tolerant of lapses or minor errors, making it easier for the company to satisfy them. A negative disposition, conversely, could make even the tiniest error seem magnified leading to annoyance, complaints, and the spread of negative comments. Customer moods affect the manner in which they evaluate a company, the service, and the products forming the direction in which the customer might go with the company. Customer moods then are really a tough challenge for companies and they must make every effort to elevate the positive ones and turn the negative ones to happy. Companies now seem to be ‘waking up’ to the importance of managing customer moods – doing everything, they can to lighten and ease up the mood, in an attempt to increase buying and retain customers.

It is no surprise then that some companies use music – especially during festivals and holiday seasons to pump up the customer moods, which in turn leads them to buy a lot more than they may have actually decided. Some stores use pleasant smells and scents to elevate customer moods. Research has shown that the ‘right smell’ can put customers in a happy mood and lead them to stay longer, which in turn makes them buy more. The fact is that smell is one of the most powerful senses and its recall is about 100 times more than the others – hence enhancing the pleasantness for this ‘sense’ does lead to the ‘buying mood’, which is great for any business.  Another way to mould customer moods in your favour is ensuring that the store has a bright and cheerful look, using lights and colours.

Customer moods are an important variable when determining their behaviour and buying patterns. Companies are now more willing to understand and accept that customer feelings and emotions play an extremely vital role in the success of their business and customer moods are a critical and inextricable part, which when handled well can affect business in a positive way.

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