A lot of the behavioral sciences can feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. The Five Rules Podcast Series is our attempt at giving you an easy entry point into the complex and messy world of Behavioral Science.
Customers buy habitually, and that’s great when their habit is to buy from you. The problem is sometimes they aren’t buying habitually from you, but instead from your competition. Changing customer habits is essential in this case, and requires a deep understanding of why customers have the habits they do.
Years ago, I read the Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, and have been obsessed with habits ever since. In it we learn the habitual cycle of customer behavior and also how to change habits using the different parts of it. In this episode, we explore this cycle and the 5 rules for changing customer habits, which include:
- Understand your customer habits.
- Understanding customer triggers.
- Distract your customer from their existing habit.
- Reinforce new habits with rewards.
- Measure the difference.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
Here are the critical points we make regarding each of the 5 rules:
- Understand your customer habits. Duhigg defines the habitual cycle as Cue, Response, then Reward.
- Understanding customer triggers. The Cue is the trigger for the response. When you know what makes your customers initiate habitual behavior, you have an opportunity to change it if necessary.
- Distract your customer from their existing habit. Changing customer habits requires disrupting the trigger so customers don’t start in on their automatic response.
- Reinforce new habits with rewards. Once you have disrupted the habit cycle, supply an immediate reward so customers adapt to the new desired response quickly.
- Measure the difference. Like all things with Customer Experiences and customer habits, you should measure the difference your efforts make in terms of what drives value for your organizations (i.e., $$$).
Here are some highlights of the discussion:
- 03:37 Ryan explains what a habit is and what part of our brain governs them and why.
- 07:50 We discuss the steps of the Habit Cycle as outlines by Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.
- 09:37 We share a story about how Delta understood my trigger at the airport, and got me to change my habits using that information, and why it worked.
- 20:16 We describe the different ways you can disrupt the trigger for habitual behavior so you can re-train customers to do what you want them to do.
- 25:15 We explain why the third stage of habitual behavior, Reward, is essential to forming habits (hint: It’s the reason we have the habit in the first place).
- 28:52 We cover the vital nature of measuring the effects of your efforts and how it can help you with your Customer Experience.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on Linkedin and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
Why Customers Buy: As an official “Influencer” on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers.
Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren’t deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more.
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