Member Since: 9th May 2016
Peter is an award winning expert in using a combination of data and behavioural sciences to lead transformation in the field of Experience Management (XM); encompassing Customer Experience (CX), Employee Experience EX) and Partner Experience (PX) .
Over the last 3 years, Peter has been focussed on using a Predictive Behavioural Analytics to both better predict customer / employee behaviour, and to quantify the impact on the bottom line.
Peter has also been named as CX Stars 2021 Top 50 CX Influencer.
Founder XMplify Consulting Ltd
15th Oct 2020
as always and thoughtful and thought provoking article, but I have a few points I would like to share.
Human behaviour is indeed messy and complicated (I think the count is now up to 150+ cognitive biases, but some of that can be attributed to splitting hairs over definition). Nonetheless, businesses that do understand the motivation of behaviour can make proactive design decisions that better serve the behavioural and practical needs of customers. You don't need a PhD in Behavioural Economics for that - curiosity, reading and asking a few of the right people will take you a long way.
Behavioural Economics *alone* cannot explain every decision, but it can help understand some or part of them, this is also why 'nudging' can also be somewhat hit-or-miss: how I feel about a product is important, but not the whole story.
As to the ethical implications (e.g. dark psychology) - that's down to us, not the science: Once a capability exists, it will be used - no point saying "we will not do X because it might be misused". If a business choses to misuse it and gets caught, they will (rightly) suffer the consequences, but if an organisation uses it ethically to legitimately help customers, they will reap the rewards.
There are also risks in focussing solely on the most efficient way of achieving an outcome - as the recent research from MyC shows - empathising with customers (not just being nice to them) delivers far superior outcomes for both the customer and the business, but you can't empathise without listening and understanding.
Continuing with efficiency for a moment, lots of organisations are now focusing of effort in the belief that 'low effort = good service'. However, when a customer really values something, effort can become a secondary consideration. Indeed, in many cases, it is part of the experience (think about how some companies lavish attention on complex packaging - unboxing becomes part of the ownership experience). Again, it's not the only consideration.
To end, Behavioural Economics is not the magic bullet some promise it to be, neither is it a short cut to customer experience excellence, but I would argue that it is worth the effort to understand more about why customers do what they do, so that you can help them get what they want, not just what they need.
27th May 2020
A great article and I wholeheartedly agree - much of what we thought we knew about customers is now obsolete: circumstances for Government, businesses and consumers have all changed (and will continue to do so). It is not just the data that is changing, the statistical models built on that data also need to be rerun, possibly with new variables and parameters.
As well as the economic impact of COVID-19, consumer confidence is at an unprecedented low level (partly due to anxiety and uncertainty of what the future holds). In my view, the ‘new normal’ is unlikely to be a slightly tweaked version of what has gone before. Welcome to the ‘new strange’!
21st May 2020
a great read - thank you for sharing your insights.
> 'The New Strange' - like you, I believe that customers will not just bounce back to the ways things were before COVID-19, but we're in uncharted waters - most of us have never experienced anything like this (either at work, or in our personal lives). We are all going to have to adapt, and quickly!
> A lot of data about customers is obsolete - for example, personas are one way of expressing a customer segment, a segment that was probably developed pre-COVID-19 and therefore does not reflect the new customer priorities. Doing regression modelling on data that spans the before, during and after of COVID-19 is fraught with challenges too.
> New needs imply new responses - echoing your words, we're going to have to reformulate our products, services and operations. However, some businesses are going to have to go even further - they're going to have to take a hard look at their fundamental purpose (their raison d'être)
I share your conclusion - to thrive in the New Strange, brands will either have to evolve, or face decline and eventual extinction - it's that serious.
11th May 2020
as always an interesting and well-argued article - I enjoyed reading it and it did stimulate a couple of thoughts I would like to share:
Engaged Customers may be loyal, but not necessarily valuable – in fact, they can be the costliest to serve. One of the challenges that CX practitioners (and, to be honest many business leaders) face is that they focus on the ‘rewards’ without a clear understanding of the costs. Some of a business’s best customers may not be that ‘engaged’ but they buy regularly with ‘no muss, no fuss’. We need to clear what each party wants and needs from the relationship
Secondly, as you say, much has been said about ‘Customer experience is a sustainable competitive differentiator’ but the focus is often on the features of the experience, like price or convenience: features that can be replicated by competitors. However, a business’s history and relationships with its customers cannot be easily copied or reverse engineered – the trick is to figure out how to operationalise the value of that relationship.
Finally – metrics. Argh! Where to start? We could have a long debate about what to measure, when and how, but my main concern is this: a focus on a few measures can lead to surrogation. For too many organisations, ‘the number’ is what is important, not what it represents or why. This in turn can lead to ‘target fixation’ – where we miss the bigger picture because we are focusing on a few key measures. CX does not live in a vacuum, so we need to balance an operational focus with situational awareness.
I am looking forward to the next article!
16th Apr 2020
Thank you Sigreen,
Whilst I agree that CX work streams can be self-supporting and, if done really well, could fund even more radical transformation, there is a challenge - too often the benefit is attributed to a different line than the spend. For example, Sales claiming the credit for improved CLTV when a proportion of the benefit should be attributed to operational changes that were instituted as a result of a CX initiative on journey analysis.
Even worse, the return is not reinvested into making longer term changes: the ‘low hanging fruit’ is picked, but no one has purchased a latter to get to the sweeter fruit at the top of the tree.
Even before the current situation, CX professionals were starting to find themselves in their own existential crisis: ‘easy’ had been done on the back of poorly defined business cases (usually based on industry norms). As a result, the benefits weren’t properly quantified and now, when there is an even more urgent need for a robust RoCX case to do the ‘harder’ things, there is a believability gap about RoI.
If you liked this article, watch out for an upcoming piece on Measuring Comparative RoCX – it partly explains why some of the ‘60% of digital transformations fail’ statement is inaccurate.
1st Aug 2019
Great article and I am sure that we have all experienced similar 'innovations' - going digital for the sake of digital.
of course, the obverse is also true - organisations that don't offer simple digital solutions for doing routine things.
For me, there are a few things I try to bear in mind:
- have you sorted out your processes? 'digitalising'a bad process will not fix it - just speed it up
- have you put the customer at the centre of your digital journey - too often digital transformation it introspective
- do you know what matters to the customer and when? are you fixing the wrong things and customers do't always want to go digital, or for everything