Experience doesn’t make you happy, it’s memory does

UX and consumer journey

Folk do bang on about “great UX” and “nailing the consumer journey”, but does that matter so much?

We’re all unduly influenced by first and last impressions – so much so that the experience in the middle might be irrelevant.

Regardless of what the experience is, once it’s in the past it’s only a memory and that should encourage marketers to better understand how and what we store and retrieve in memory.

Knowing that first impressions are important is well-documented. Last touch is not so well documented but, if you imagine the scenario of a relationship break-up you’ll find you place an extraordinary weighting to the last-touch experiences.

So, when you’re laying out your next “customer journey”, place as much significance to each of the various last touch points as first impressions. The simplest example of this is the “autoresponder” email that your site sends out after acquiring consumer data. Think carefully about how it might make your customers feel.

Daniel Kahneman (video below) goes further to suggest happiness is relative when laid down in memory, and as happiness is a primary driver in making purchases it seems that as long as the first and last touch were happier than the alternatives you could be on to a winner. We’ll be testing this out over the summer.