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How Emotional Motivators Impact Customer Satisfaction and Lead Ultimately to Loyalty

Over decades customer satisfaction indices are worshipped across industries in order to present the performance development of their retailer network.

Meticulously prepared customer satisfaction reports are elaborated and armies of people are engaged to interpret the ratings and rankings. Based on these customer satisfaction results employees, departments and entire retailer organisations are praised or blamed. Bonuses are generously granted or harshly rejected. Companies blessed or cursed.

Customer satisfaction, however, is just one indicator and by far not the most important one in order to analyse the future value of customers.

More than bare figures, such as customer satisfaction scores, which not seldom are obtained by “softly” manipulating customers in their decision-making process, the so-called “emotional motivators” are the new source for growth and profitability.

But – what are emotional motivators and why are they so important?

Putting it simple, emotional motivators are often unconsciously hidden customer desires and needs. We do know of hundreds of emotional motivators which have a decisive impact on consumer behaviour. Below you will find some with an implicit influence on consumer behaviour:

  • The desire to stand out from the crowd
  • The desire to experience togetherness
  • The need to feel safe
  • The desire to have success in life

The list could be edited further with numerous other examples. Without any doubt identifying and measuring emotional motivators is a challenging and complex task. Companies are aware, that emotions influence consumer behaviour, but most of them don’t know how to detect these motivators to connect with their customers in order to obtain the desired results.

It seems they are more into guessing, than scientifically analysing customer data. The fallacy, that satisfied customers are also emotionally linked and hence loyal is wide spread. Companies, that are already a step ahead, are trying to identify the emotional motivators of their customers more precisely. Dividing the customers into various segments, they identify the most influential emotional motivators in order to develop new marketing strategies. Personalised offers at the right time for the right person, is one of the objective they are bearing in mind. Away from product-centric campaigns, for the entire customer portfolio to consumer-centric personalised offers, for the different customer segments with different desires and needs – or better with different emotional motivators.

Companies that are aware of the “driving forces” of their customers have a sustainable competitive advantage and safeguard a constant organic growth in their business organisation.

Customers whose emotional desires are satisfied tend to spend more money, make the most and best business referrals and are less price sensitive. In general, they are also more likely to follow companies and brands on social media platforms.

Given the above described scenarios, it is highly recommendable to apply a dual strategy.

Firstly, try to identify your highly satisfied customer segment and unleash in them the potential in becoming emotionally tied-up with your business.

Secondly, try to conquer as many as possible of emotionally tied customers from your competitors. Ultimately, retailers need to rethink their strategic approach. Customer satisfaction indices alone are by far not sufficient to profoundly analyse customer needs and desires. An in-depth analysis of customer data and customer behaviour is required, in order to satisfy a new generation of customers. Only the companies that understand the emotional motivators of their customers will be able to design a first class customer experience and hence stay competitive.

Zulla Consulting & Partners with its strategic foresight and multiple years of experience will support your company by developing tailor-made solutions based on a wide series of methods and best practices identifying the emotional motivators related to your business. We will help you to detect, identify and connect to these motivators to achieve the customer experience excellence.

For additional information and an initial consultation, feel free to contact Daniele Zulla at zulla@zulla-consulting.com.


  • In reference to Magids, Scott; Zorfas, Alan; Leemon, Daniel; In HBM January 2016 “The value of emotions”.

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