In every journey, touchpoints range in emotional responses from euphoric to dysphoric. I was mapping a “gates open” process when the question popped into my thoughts: “Why do concert go’ers put up with this body-scanning-purse-searching process at all?” This question led to the more important question: “Why do people love going to concerts in the first place?” Unlike most processes, this “gates open” process is absolutely designed to be dysphoric.
It’s in this moment, I realize that AFFINITY is the answer I seek. It’s MY journey with MY music. It’s my journey with MY movie. Watching MY movie with someone else is when affinity is either present or absent. Our journey together is noticeably different when Affinity is present.
Take any boring touchpoint. . .
I’ll use a TICKET as my example. I purchase a ticket. My emotional response to this touchpoint and its associated PURCHASING SYSTEMS and PROCESSES are about MY TICKET. MY EXPERIENCE is NOT with your system or process. It most certainly is NOT with your product or service!!! It is with MY new fill-in-the-blank that just touched me. Your systems and processes allow ME to get MY ticket. Affinity either exists or it does not. It is ON or OFF. It has no vampire status. It cannot be measured in degrees. To test my hypothesis, take note the next time you FAKE affinity. The outcomes are undeniably different.
Businesses that you support with your hard earned money all have one thing in common: your money! As your money transfers to another in the presence of affinity, you will FEEL better. It is undeniable.
Concert go’ers love concerts. Most volunteers that search your person and your purse and check your ID (because that’s their purpose) love concerts too. You can smell it in the air. You can sense it. That one individual that is working the gate that clearly hates her life and is just there for the paycheck CANNOT ruin your journey BECAUSE she is outnumbered. That’s why concerts work. She is unable to ruin the journey because she is seen for what she really is… an anomaly. You may even feel sorry for that person because you feel so much Affinity.
However, your entire journey or a significant portion may be RUINED when YOU are outnumbered. You’ve felt it. You’ve been there. You have your wallet out and nothing feels good about this touchpoint. Maybe this was at Blockbuster or Hardees or the DMV? All you know for sure is that you FELT outnumbered. I feel outnumbered every time I talk to Comcast on the phone. I have zero relational connection to Amazon BUT almost every touchpoint I have with Amazon I feel the presence of Affinity. Amazon clearly demonstrates affinity by using all of their collective knowledge, systems, and processes to assist ME with MY JOURNEY with MY NEW PURCHASE. I KNOW that I am never alone with Amazon. In case you can’t tell, I LOVE AMAZON.
For you business owners, take note! The lesson here is that your systems, processes, procedures, policies have but one single purpose: To assist ME with MY JOURNEY through your TOUCHPOINTS.
I’d love to hear your stories about Affinity. Feel free to share here in the comment section OR on your blog (provide me the link) OR as a Facebook post http://facebook.com/jsrector