Where is your joy? / by Annette Tait

Does your joy show through? We’re not talking about “holiday spirit” here. And no amount of tinsel and trappings can save you if you’ve lost or misplaced it.

“Joy” is a big part of what directs our choices to start a business, live in a particular location, or help in our communities. Granted, the other part may have been necessity or desperation -- that’s true for a lot of us -- but those two triggers often push us to seek out our joy and put it to work.

Bain and Company focuses on customer experience here and in its “The Five Disciplines of Customer Experience Leaders.”

Bain and Company focuses on customer experience here and in its “The Five Disciplines of Customer Experience Leaders.”

Joy may be a hobby that we can put to use to help the family budget, a little as a sideline or a lot as a full-blown business. Joy may be where we live, and showing others what a wonderful place it truly is. Or maybe joy is a community service or activity that makes our little corner of the world that much better.

If you’re into motivational reading or videos, another buzzword for “joy” is “passion.” Sure, passion -- strong and barely controllable emotion -- helps to motivate self-discipline and all of those other “have to’s” that go into things that require work. It’s a part of what’s needed for success, but there needs to be more.

Successful ventures need joy -- a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Joy is a contagious feeling that, when shared with our customers, visitors, and/or community, makes people want to come back for more.

The link between consumers' emotional reactions and their response is clearly shown in this portion of The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2016. Learn more by visiting Customer Experiences Matters.

The link between consumers' emotional reactions and their response is clearly shown in this portion of The Ultimate Customer Experience Infographic, 2016. Learn more by visiting Customer Experiences Matters.

“Reasons drive choices, but feelings drive fondness,” according to Understanding Consumer Shopping Behavior. The Deloitte University Press article underscores how consumer choices -- yes, this means rural visitors and volunteers, too -- make choices on how they feel, not just on perceived value. The initial choice may be researched or a matter of practicality, but preferences relate to emotion -- how or what you make them feel.

The need for joy is goes beyond in-person contact -- it extends to online shopping as well. According to the PWC's 2016 Total Retail Study. customers “want to feel an emotional connection with their favorite brand because it stands for the values they believe in.  And they want to be part of a larger online community where they share ideas and aspirations.”

A telling aspect of the study is that fully half of the six points explored relate to consumer feelings, not simply demographics or other hard data.

We often go out of our ways to reconnect with venues where we had a good experiences. We go back knowing we’ll get what we’re looking for -- item and/or experience -- and wanting to feel that joy again. And we’ll bet you do, too.

So … where is your joy? And how do you share it?