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How uncertainty impacts customer behaviour

 

Consumers want certainty. That seems to be the prevailing assumption when it comes to influencing customer behaviour. In times of great uncertainty, so the story goes, people crave stability and become more risk averse. 

Not so fast.

Here are four ways certainty - or lack thereof - impacts your customers.

Because while the likelihood of something happening does impact customer decisions, what decision is made depends on whether the outcome is likely to be positive or negative. ...

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Five pitfalls of behavioural economics

 

There is plenty of upside in applying behavioural science, but there are five pitfalls that you should know about too. 

In this video I’m going to take you through the 5 pitfalls of behavioural economics, and how to avoid them.

Pitfall #1. Thinking it only applies to customers

Behavioural economics is the study of how emotional, social and cognitive biases and heuristics impact behaviour. 

Behaviour is the operative word here, because the same forces that impact your...

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Influencing mistakes that are easy to make and to fix

The more you learn about behavioural techniques, the more you'll see how businesses are trying to influence you.

Sometimes they do it poorly, sometimes they do it well.

If you're reading this, I expect you are in a business wanting to do it well?

So let's dive into a couple of examples that caught my eye recently.

 

What Greg got wrong

Here's a LinkedIn invitation I recently received from Greg.

What did Greg get wrong?

A couple of things.

I liked that Greg mentioned what type of...

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Are personality profiling tools worth it?

 

I posted something that was a little critical of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and, oh. my. goodness!  

It was an excerpt from Lisa Feldman Barrett’s excellent book, “71/2 lessons about the brain” which suggested that…

“You can’t measure behaviour by asking people about their behaviour”.

And “Why do the test results seem so true when you receive them? Because the test asks what you believe about yourself.”

The reaction,...

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Why staff ignore your emails

 

 

There’s a communications paradox in most businesses. 

Staff say their bosses never tell them anything.

Bosses say staff are being bombarded.

What’s going on here?

Back when I was working in corporates, we’d all go through an employee engagement survey, usually every year or two. You might have experienced one of these?

A survey that asks people what they think of the company they’re working in, and how their leaders are performing.

Invariably, one of the...

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Influencing skills 101: Squeezing the toothpaste

 

When we hear about behavioural science and evolutionary psychology, it can sound daunting and, worse still, far removed from our day to day decisions and interactions. Low on relevance, high on hyperbole.

But I’m guessing you are more familiar with the tenets of behavioural science than you realise. I’m even going to guess that you hold a lot of the insights into human nature in your hand, twice, maybe three times a day.

Ahh, the humble tube of toothpaste.

If you’re up for...

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Five myths about behaviour, and why they won’t go away

 

Here’s something that has always confounded me.

If behavioural science is so good, why aren’t more people using it?

Like Robert Cialdini’s famous study on social norms influencing hotel guests to reuse their towels. I’m still to visit a hotel that is correctly using a message about how many guests have re-used their towels to get me to do likewise.

The thing is, when people read or hear about behavioural economics, and more broadly, behavioural science, they typically...

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Why asking customers can lead you astray

 
 
If I had to boil down the biggest problem businesses have, it would be this.

Listening to people.

I totally get it.

It's compelling when a customer tells you what would make them buy your product, a staff member tells you what would make them happier and more productive, or a stakeholder tells you what would make they sign off on your idea.

Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

We rush to send out employee engagement surveys and customer questionnaires. We run polls and focus...
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How to get ahead of trends

Is the world moving more quickly, really?

I've been thinking a lot about the speed of change lately, largely because every book or podcast seems to lament how quickly things are moving and the challenge this poses in keeping up.

You've heard it too, no doubt. "Things were so much simpler 10, 20, 50 years ago".

Yes and no.

What if the pace of change is an illusion?

Like this. The image appears to be moving, but it's actually not.

Why we never get ahead of the curve

Where a lot of...

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Talking Talks: Mastering the craft of presenting, with Luke Williams

 

In this episode of Talking Talks Bri Williams speaks with Luke Williams, professional speaker, professor of marketing and international best selling author. Luke specialises in disruptive innovation; how to spark transformation in your business.

We talk about where most speakers go wrong, how to hone the craft of presenting, when not to walk backwards and why Luke’s objective is to change what people talk about at lunchtime. He even shares six top tips for people seeking to evolve their...

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