When you bring attention to something, it influences people’s behavior. For example, The food and household goods supplier in the UK, Tesco, was recently accused of profiteering by raising the prices of a yeast extract spread called Marmite. There was quite an uproar about it in the UK. You would think that this would mean sales of Marmite would go down.
You would be wrong. After the kerfuffle about the love-it-or-hate-it spread, Marmite sales increased by 61 percent. The reason Marmite sales went up has a lot to do with Priming.
This episode of The Intuitive Customer cover what Priming is, how it works, and how you can employ it in your Customer Experience to foster customer-driven growth.
Priming is a term derived from the early water pumps, as in “priming the pump.” That phrase refers to the fact that you would need to pour a little water into old water pumps so that more water would come out of it. The psychological concept is similar. Priming describes how doing a little bit of something can activate cognitive systems in peoples’ minds and influence their behavior.
Here are a few more things you should know about Priming:
- Priming affects what customers remember at the moment. Customer Loyalty requires memory; after all, you can’t return to an experience if you don’t remember it (at least not on purpose). However, because memories exist in a network or a connected group of recollections associated in some way, Priming the memory pump affects what memories a customer remembers before they make a decision, and it can affect how they decide.
- Little things are often the Primers, and they appeal to the subconscious. Priming works best in a subtle way, triggering the subconscious. For example, researchers observed that when a wine store played French music over the sound system, French wine sales increased by a ratio of five to one. However, the customers were unaware of why they bought French wine that day.
- The two systems of thinking are part of the reason Priming is so effective. The automatic and fast thinking Intuitive System is always looking for ways to present information useful in decision making. When you send a Prime through your experience, the Intuitive System pushes the memories associated with the prime to the customers’ consciousness if the customer needs it.
- Priming Customer Experience happens whether you are deliberate about it or not. Many little things in your experience are priming the customers’ subconscious right now. However, few organizations engage in a deliberate strategy there. How the store looks, smells, or sounds, is a significant influence on how customers behave. However, even your advertising primes customers; unfortunately, it is often by setting customers’ unrealistic expectations that fall short in reality.
There are a few things we recommend that you do with Priming in your Customer Experience.
- Recognize that Priming exists now in your Customer Experience. Whether or not you intended them to, little details of your experience are priming customers right now. There is no neutral priming. We recommend taking an outside approach to determine what these Priming elements are, so you are not surprised.
- Consider whether these existing Priming elements are working. Once you recognize the primes that already exist, can you trace them to your desired customer behavior?
- Adjust the Priming elements that are not working. To adjust your primers, you should have a clear idea of what experience you want to deliver. This experience should inspire the customer-driven growth you want. If you are not getting the results you want currently, trace the customer behavior back to the moment they encountered the prime, and consider how changing it could inspire new action. In one of our client consultations with an insurance company in the UK, we changed one word that their customer service agents used in the new policy-holder interaction and reduced their new customer call back volumes by 70 percent in three weeks.
To discuss this further contact us at www.BeyondPhilosophy.com
About Beyond Philosophy:
Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.