The Obama and McCain campaigns provide lessons for organizations striving to deliver compelling customer experiences. Both campaigns are increasingly crafting sound bites and photo ops designed to stir emotion and influence a specific voter persona--those who are still undecided.
In the private and public sectors, emotions drive customer experiences and decisions. Presidential candidates use tracking polls to tell them what emotions they are are creating among voters. In response, politicians change their tactics daily.
While Obama's platform includes tax reductions for 90% of households, the McCain campaign has repeatedly referred to Obama's intent to raise taxes on the middle class. McCain's sound bite is easier to understand and strikes a powerful chord with voters, even if it's arguably untrue. The facts, however, carry less weight among undecided voters at this point in the election cycle.
Emotions rule, particularly among voters just getting to know the candidates. The persona of today's undecideds is different from those who've been paying close attention for the last 18 months. Today's undecideds are less engaged. They are more responsive to sound bites and photo ops than detailed analyses of policies and character.
The process by which the American electorate chooses presidents is representative of how customers choose your products and services. They make decisions based on emotions, not necessarily a lengthy or even rational comparison of features. Emotions drive customer experiences. Each customer persona responds differently.
If you know what emotional hot buttons to push, how to push them and among whom, you'll be well on your way to innovating customer experiences that grow grass roots support.
--Jason M. Sherman is president of customer experience firm, Whyze Group. Whyze Group helps management teams throughout the U.S. innovate faster and more wisely.