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Measuring Emotion in Customer Experiences

The most popular customer experience measurements like NPS, CSAT, CES are concentrated on measuring rational, operational experiences. Trends show many CX experts are tapping into a new realm of customer experience evaluation, the emotions behind customer experiences.

Why should we measure emotions?

Emotions play a big part in our decision-making process and we need a better understanding of customer emotions. These powerful forces can damage or improve the overall experience or the brand itself. Sometimes the emotions we feel are so complex it is hard express them yet they are the driving force of most of our actions.

It's easy to for many of us to assume that if your customers walk away from a service event with your business with negative emotions, it is less likely that they'll continue working with you.  If you were to include a measurement to recognize the emotions of your customer after an experience, you could associate which aspects of your customer's experience are causing these negative emotions. Same applies to positive emotions, if the customer is expressing a positive emotion make sure to reinforce that experience.

How can we measure emotions?

Post Event Survey

If you already have a CX feedback system in place, simply add a question asking your customers how they “felt” after the specific interaction with your company. Emotional measurements should be a part of an existing measurement and not rolled out as a specific new survey. 

Robert Plutchik's psychoevolutionary theory of emotion is one of the most commonly used models for generalizing emotional responses. His "wheel of emotions" is used by CX experts as a guide to understand human emotions to include them in to the emotional metric. 

Furthermore, it is important to add context to your emotional metric. For instance, If you were to ask how the respondents felt after an event, it is important to correlate the emotion to the rest of the questions in the survey and other touchpoints. This would allow you to correlate the emotion to comment questions, or any operational metric that you already have providing you insight into the true value of recognizing the emotion behind an experience.                                                       

Ex:      What emotion best describes your recent experience with us?

How did you feel about the recent experience with us?


Social Media Analysis

Social Media is another great source for recognizing emotion in customer experience. Mining social media to recognize the sentiments of your customers will help dig deeper into any customer issues and to understand the overall perception of the company/brand.

Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR)

Using an IVR survey method, companies have the opportunity to monitor real-time emotions of the customers. Analyzing the tone, communication style of the customer and context of comments will help to recognize negative or positive emotions.


If emotions prove to be an integral part of customer acquisition, loyalty and retention, businesses will need to begin measuring experiences from this view point. It would then be important for businesses to recognize the value behind measuring CX emotions and integrate the metric to the current customer experience measurement process. 


Topics: CX Blog

Written by Iresha Herath

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