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Making your text messages more effective

framing sms texts ux Mar 17, 2021
 

Text messages are a big part of how organisations communicate with customers.

So you do you get them right?

Behavioural science of text message effectiveness

Not only are text messages a cost-effective tool, but there’s a significant amount of behavioural science available that proves how effective these messages can be.

In one study, the UK Behavioural Science Team were able to reduce missed medical appointments, or no-shows, by 25%.

The best performing message pointed out how much the...

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How concrete language can change behaviour

Want an inexpensive way to bolster customer satisfaction and sell more? Use concrete language.

That was the finding from “How Concrete Language Shapes Customer Satisfaction” (2020) by Grant Packard and Jonah Berger.

In the study, Packard and Berger tested whether referring to items using abstract (e.g. “pants”) vs. concrete (e.g. “blue jeans”) descriptors impacted satisfaction, willingness to buy and purchase behaviour.

Abstract language is the realm of the...

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Helping customers justify their decision to others

 

In a recent article I wrote about research into self-justification which found consumers are much more likely to avoid unpleasant or confronting information (like calories on a menu) if they are given “cover”.

In other words, they’ll skip the café with calories on the menu if they can hang their decision on an unrelated reason, like the reviews that café received for its service.

We’re masters at finding reasons to justify to ourselves what we want to do....

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How customers justify avoiding you

People avoid information more when they are given a reason to let themselves off the hook.

That’s the key takeaway from some fresh research from Woolley and Risen (2021) called “Hiding from the truth: When and How Cover Enables Information Avoidance”.

There are key implications from both a business and personal perspective resulting from this finding.

Let’s talk business first.

How you talk to a customer about product features is either going to help them justify their...

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How to prioritise projects

 

Every business I've worked in or worked with has struggled with too many priorities. So in this clip I run through four behaviourally nuanced questions to shift and sort what's really most important.

By asking the four questions you'll be able to slot each project into one of the following categories:

Must Do = a clear priority for the business. Life would be significantly worse if you don't proceed.

Nice to do = some upside but could disperse focus if included.

Could do = outcomes are too...

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Wrap-up of articles and videos from 2020

2020 covid habits influence Dec 09, 2020

Influencing Action

Two simple rules for influencing action – on friction to make the old behaviour unappealing and the new behaviour appealing.

Let’s talk behavioural models – (video) on what makes a good behavioural model and what are some of the best to use.

Nanette-ing your approach to influence – The comedian’s role, Hannah Gadsby shared, is to deliberately create tension so they can then relieve us of it. The same approach goes for pitches, presentations and...

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Two simple rules for influencing action

friction habits influence Nov 25, 2020

When it comes to changing your own behaviour or someone else’s, two simple rules are:

  • Make the existing behaviour unappealing, and/or
    Make the new behaviour appealing.

Make the existing behaviour unappealing

To reduce the likelihood an existing behaviour will continue, just add friction. For example:

  • Slowing elevator doors by just 16 seconds influenced more people to take the stairs. Signs to save energy and improve health didn’t work, but friction did. (Van Houten, Nau &...
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The trick to portion control

habits time unit bias weight Nov 10, 2020

Public awareness campaigns crop up now and again to remind us how much one standard alcoholic drink is. In Australia, for instance, that means approximately 285 mL of full strength beer, 100 mL of wine or champagne and 30 mL of spirits.

The problem is most of us judge by the container not the contents, making a perceptual rather than intellectual judgment — much it looks, not how much it actually is, so these awareness campaigns are largely ineffective.


Unit bias

This is in part due to...

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How to write effective emails

 

I currently have 11,212 unread emails in my inbox. They are unread because I have looked at the subject line or sender and decided not to bother opening them.

Some people aim for "inbox zero" - and if that's you I understand my confession may have rocked your world - but I'm totally okay with how I keep on top of what's important.

Or more particularly, what I think is important, because whomever crafted their message to me certainly thought it should be important.

Which brings us to the...

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Keeping your customers

 

It costs less to retain than acquire a customer.

But you know that already.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority cited research that:

  • Increasing retention by only 2% has the same effect on profits as having to cut costs by 10%;
  • Reducing defection by 5% can increase profits by as much as 125%; and
  • It costs 5-7x as much to acquire as retain customer.

Added to that, a customer leaving is unnatural. Why? We're built to leave things as they are. It's our status quo bias.

So if...

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