How to Manage Company Politics

by podcast on July 20, 2019

When I worked in the corporate world, people often asked me what I did all day. Facetiously, I would say that I played chess. While it was meant to be cheeky, the joke was not far from the truth. I spent my day navigating company politics.

You will not find training programs on company politics or how to deal with them. It is a bit shocking considering their significance in the corporate world. Our latest episode of The Intuitive Customer podcast addresses office politics and how to manage them effectively.

Company politics are ubiquitous and influential. Managing them is part and parcel of a career. As a senior vice president, at a large telecoms company, office politics surrounded me.

Every organization that I have worked at had office politics. They exist because it is human nature to crave power and influence.

You must be able to manage office politics for many reasons. First, it will help you advance your career. When you can get on with management, you can get on with your promotions after all. Also, if you can’t manage company politics, you won’t make it at many organizations. There was a phrase that used to entertain me along these lines that said, “When somebody pats you on the back, they are looking for the place to stick the knife.”

However, company politics are worth managing because it can help you move your Customer Experience program forward. Without support from others at the peer level and above, your plan is doomed. 

Managing office politics requires different finesse for the various types you will encounter. Typically, office politics have two levels. The first level tends to come from above, meaning those with their names above yours in the organization chart. The second level tends to come at you from your peers, which has a different dynamic entirely. Developing skills for managing up and managing laterally are essential to the success of your Customer Experience program.

The first skill you should develop comes from the advice I received from my dad early in my career. He said to me, “Colin if you focus on doing a good job, everyone will want you.”

He is correct. Who doesn’t want people on the team that do a good job?

Having a reputation for successful work behind you is an excellent strategy for managing company politics also. Not only will everyone want to be on your team or have you reporting to them, but it also allows you access to the influencers at the top.

Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about How to Manage Company Politics for your Customer Experience.

 

The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.

If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at www.beyondphilosophy.com.

 To subscribe to The Intuitive Customer and never miss a podcast, please click here.

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podcastHow to Manage Company Politics

How Choice Architecture Can Revolutionize Your Experience

by podcast on July 13, 2019

Choice architecture is a significant factor in buying decisions you make every day. From how they stock the buffet line to how likely you are to donate your organs after you die, the psychology of choice is influencing your decisions every day.

In this episode of The Intuitive Customer, we explore the concept of Choice Architecture and how it affects our daily lives. We also discuss the different variables that you need to consider in the way you present your choices to customers as part of your CX Strategy.

It all started with a new public bench. You see, I live in Sarasota, Florida. and recently, there have been some interesting changes to the public benches. Halfway along the seat, there are armrests.

At first I thought, “Well, that will be more comfortable to sit in for sure.” Then, I realized that the armrests were not there for my comfort, but instead to convince the homeless who sleep on the benches sometimes to find a more comfortable spot for their repose.

The armrests on the public benches are a type of Choice Architecture design. Choice Architecture is the way you present options to people who are making a decision to influence the outcome. By changing the way Sarasota presents their benches, they influence the decisions of their citizens. 

Obviously, this situation is different than how you would use Choice Architecture in your Customer Experience. That said, the way you present your options can either draw people in and build a relationship with customers, or it can repel them and send them looking for a more comfortable spot. 

Choice Architecture manifests in many different ways. It can be something physical like the armrest in the bench or it can be wording that is used on the packaging. It can be the way you price items or even the sizes you package and what you name them.

Choice Architecture is part of many of the decisions you make each day. Consider the following: 

  • When you order a drink at the restaurant, do you calculate the cost per ounce and choose the best value or do you just order the medium and call it a day?
  • When you go to a buffet, do you discover that you loaded your plate with chips and bread and now don’t have room for the prime rib that you found at the end of the line?
  • Is there ever a time besides a movie theatre when you would buy more popcorn than you could ever eat for $15?

Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about How Choice Architecture Can Revolutionize Your Customer Experience.

 

The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.  

If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at www.beyondphilosophy.com.

To subscribe to The Intuitive Customer and never miss a podcast, please click here.

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The Vital Art of Creating Memorable Messaging

by podcast on July 6, 2019

The Vital Art of Creating Memorable Messaging 

When we make buying decisions, we usually are choosing from a short list of options. Our memory assembles these options. So, from a Customer Experience perspective, it is vital that your product or service is one of these options recalled at the moment of the buying decision.

In this episode of The Intuitive Customer podcast, we explore how our memories generate these choice sets for buying decisions. We also take a look at how you can ensure that your product or service is one of the options your customers’ memories retrieve. (Spoiler alert: it has to do with customers’ emotions.)

Let’s say that you were out with friends and the dinner hour arrives. You all decide to go out to eat together and begin discussing where to go. You will likely:

  • Think about what you want to eat (e.g., comfort food, pizza, fast-food, healthy options, etc.)
  • Consider the size of the group and the type of restaurant serving the food you like that you want to go to (e.g., buffet, pizzeria, family-style, fast-casual, white table cloth, etc.)
  • Make a list of restaurants you like in that style of service
  • Remember what restaurants are close to where you are at the moment (or at least not so far away that you don’t want to wrangle everyone there) that meet your chosen criteria.
  • Offer up a list of options from which the group begins a decision-making consensus.

From a restaurant owner’s point of view, if you and your group don’t think of their restaurant when you are making this list and narrowing down your options, it’s like the restaurant does not exist. In other words, if you can’t remember the restaurant at this moment when you are deciding where to eat, the restaurant’s marketing message wasn’t memorable. 

We often say that customer loyalty is a function of customer memory. What we mean by that is that customers return to you not for the Customer Experience you provide, but for the Customer Experience they remember you provide. Making a memory that brings customers back has been a topic we frequently discuss, as a result.

However, you must also ensure that the customers retrieve your memory at the right moment. For example, if you remember that Italian place that serves family-style homemade pasta just after you paid the bill at the restaurant you chose with your friends, that Italian restaurant was memorable, just a little bit too late to fill their tables. 

Memorable messaging is an essential part of this process, too. Your marketing makes a promise to customers, but it also builds a memory of your brand. Putting a cue in the message that triggers the mind to retrieve your message at the moment of the buying decision is an Customer Experience strategy that could make the difference for your bottom line.

So how are these memories retrieved, and why are they associated? What can you do to ensure that your customers remember you at the right time? The answers, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear, have a lot to do with emotions.

 

Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about The Vital Art of Creating Memorable Messaging for your Customer Experience.

 

The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.

If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at www.beyondphilosophy.com.

To subscribe to The Intuitive Customer and never miss a podcast, please click here.

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How Can We Measure Customer Emotions in Our Digital World

by podcast on June 29, 2019

How Can We Measure Customer Emotions in Our Digital World

When you think about the Olympic medalists on the podium during the awards ceremony, who do you think is happier, the silver medalist or the bronze?

Objectively, you might say the silver medalists because, after all, they came in second and the other competitor was third. Objectively, the silver medalists had a better outcome and should be happier. 

However, the happier medal winner is the bronze medalist, and the reason we know this is the subject of this episode of The Intuitive Customer. With guest Dr. Bill Hedgecock, professor at the University of Minnesota in the Carlson School of Management, we explore the power of facial recognition with facial expression analysis software and what it can do to help you improve your Customer Experience. 

Hedgecock is a leader in academic circles on facial recognition technology and facial expression analysis. He also studies neuromarketing, which is how the brain works when we make decisions.

His psychology-based research shows us the wealth of knowledge available to us when we measure customer emotions in real time. So much is revealed from our facial expression in the moment, and it can be essential to your Customer Experience design strategy.

He and his team used the technology to prove that bronze medalists were happier than silver medalists, and it was all in the eyes. It turns out that in a genuine smile the muscles contract around our eyes. This involuntary reaction is difficult (but not impossible) to fake. When studying the photos of the past five years of summer Olympic medalists, it was clear that gold was happiest, naturally, followed by bronze, and silver, ironically and yet understandably, coming in last on the happiness meter.

Like Olympic medalists’ mix of triumph and disappointment, customer behavior is complicated. At any given moment, you might have two or three different psychological theories that explain why customers do what they do. However, Hedgecock says when you combine those theories with the data about how the customer felt at different moments in your experience, it can help point you in the right direction of which theory is correct.

What’s more, once you know how a moment makes them feel and why people are doing what they are doing, you can respond. Responding can lead to many excellent outcomes, including an improved experience for your customer, the better impact for your marketing campaigns, and more emotional engagement with your customers—the foundational element of customer retention and loyalty.

Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about How We Can Measure Customer Emotions in Our Digital World for your Customer Experience.

 

The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.

If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at www.beyondphilosophy.com.

To subscribe to The Intuitive Customer and never miss a podcast, please click here.

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Customer Journey Mapping Using Behavioral Science

by podcast on June 22, 2019

Customer Journey Mapping Using Behavioral Science

Journey mapping is how organizations look at the customer journey, or the steps a customer would take from the beginning to the end in their experience. However, we would say regarding journey mapping that it is not only vital to consider the customer journey from beginning to end but also to view it from the customers’ perspective. Journey Mapping employing this approach is what we call Behavioral Journey Mapping.

We discuss how to undertake customer Journey Mapping using Behavioral Science in this episode of The Intuitive Customer Podcast. We take a deeper dive on practical applications around our type of Journey Mapping, as well as advice for how to go about it.

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How to Understand Customers Preference

by podcast on June 15, 2019

How to Understand Customers Preference

Have you ever noticed how some people put a lot of letters after their names in their signatures and bylines? Some of them go on for quite a while, like a second surname. It annoys me sometimes.

Then, I remember that when I introduce myself, I often refer to my status on LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers. I do it because I am proud of it. I presume that people with the degrees are feeling proud of their hard work and accomplishment earning that degree and qualification, too.

However, there is another reason people list their degrees and qualifications with their signatures, and I let everyone know about my LinkedIn achievement. We talk about it in this episode of The Intuitive Customer podcast.

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