Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, you make thousands of decisions every day. Most are relatively inconsequential, “shall I have a latte, tea, hot chocolate or something else?” Others are more complex, “should I accept this new job offer, move to a different city, start a new relationship?” Potentially life changing decisions will naturally require more consideration than what you will order at the coffee shop due to the impact they will have on the course of your life. Translate this to the world of business and the same can be said for the big decisions that are made regarding the future of your brand.
According to behavioural scientists, there is method in the seemingly subconscious or even irrational decisions that we all make on a daily basis.
There are predictable patterns to human irrationality, and once these patterns are understood, they can be used to design environments that help people make better, faster, easier decisions.
When you are able to influence the design of a space where a human must make a choice, whether it be a product website or a retail store, you are creating what behavioural scientists call the “choice architecture.”
And no matter how you design your choice architecture, you will be influencing people’s decision making—intentionally or not.
Factors that shape the way customers think and act
We have a tendency to stick with what we know, instead of choosing something new and different. Without realising it, we can be overly resistant to change.
People tend to rely on the first piece of information they are given about a topic or a brand.
Stress can have an impact on the quality of our decisions and on our ability to make them.
Making many decisions over a prolonged period of time can be a significant drain on customers’ willpower. They may have a harder time saying no to trivial things or saying yes to those things that would upset the status quo.
Gilbert’s Behavioural Engineering Model presupposes that behaviour is a function of the environment and the behaviour repertory of individuals. This means that management and marketing professionals can utilise strategies to optimise the behaviour of potential customers by providing the appropriate instrumentation, motivation, and information to support the environment and guide the behavioural repertory towards consideration and purchase.
Understanding your customers’ needs and wants to provide the right products to the right people, in the right way.
Targeting a segment that is likely to be interested in your offering, with a message that is developed with them in mind is much more effective than targeting an overly broad audience.
Fully utilise the last moment of opportunity to influence consumers through your brand’s packaging.
How to harness behavioural science to help your customers
The key to leveraging all that we know about human behaviour is to identify where you can make your customers’ choices easier. This is where market research is vital as a means of testing decision making. Both quantitative and qualitative research techniques can be used to determine status quo and anchoring bias. The amount of choices and number of decisions a customer needs to take throughout the buyer journey can also be researched and optimised through online surveys, focus groups and web communities. Depth interviews are a great format for understanding customer’s needs, wants and motivations.
At Turquoise we have even developed a proprietary profiling tool called System DNA which will provide you with the optimum communication style and linguistic format that would need to be adopted in order to elicit the greatest level of behavioural change or engagement from any communication with your customer.