You don’t need us to tell you that customer behaviour has changed over these last few months. Queuing outside supermarkets, increased online shopping and social distancing have changed the way we do things. For many, this is a stressful time. Understanding this new customer anxiety, emotion and behaviour are vital if you want to alleviate stress, design improved customer experiences and optimise results. But how can you discover the unconscious drivers of stress and emotion and how they impact actual behaviour if customers aren’t able to tell you accurately? Without a clear appreciation of where we are causing stress for our customers, we cannot know how to make it easier, or where to design the improvements that make the biggest difference. The answer is behavioural research
Behavioural research tells us that people do not do what they say and are unable to consciously attribute how they feel. So we have to dig deeper, to go way beyond asking customers questions. Using a variety of techniques – from physiological analysis, ethnography, online behavioural experiments to biometric user testing – behavioural research allows us to understand how customers feel, where we are causing them stress and how this makes them behave, so we can identify where and how we can optimise the experience. This deep insight forms the foundation of our overall behavioural science approach to improve customer and employee experiences.
In this social-distanced world, gaining this customer understanding is critical to both the delivery of short-term commercial results and to build long-term loyalty. With social distancing protocols, it is still possible to carry out a wide range of behavioural research techniques, and new insight now will help improve the immediate experience and provide insights to design successful customer experiences for the future.
Real customers, real behaviour, real-time
By harnessing the power of social media and publicly shared information, we use behavioural recruitment to target those genuinely in-market for your product and service. We then further screen these volunteer participants to the project requirements and design smart experiments – where the actual objective of the research and the particular brand is concealed from those taking part to minimise the ‘priming’ effect – to gain insight that generates commercial value in terms of improved experiences for both customers and staff.
Digital customer experience
With the transition to digital accelerating, many organisations are prioritising their digital customer experience. Using tools like biometric user testing allows us to understand the unconscious as well as the conscious digital experience. Targeting people in their own homes on their own devices, we use advanced facial coding to analyse their responses. Layered on top of this, we send biometric devices to users (with full online instruction and synchronisation to ensure accuracy), to understand what they do, how they react and how they feel about the experience.
We can also design online behavioural experiments that simulate your customer experience. Using sophisticated experimental design combined with tools such as randomised controlled trials, we can test prototypes, ideas, media, etc. to understand their impact on behaviour. Combining these with advanced analytics solutions provides the full remit of behavioural understanding to enable an improved digital experience.
Physical customer experience
It is not just about digital though, so as shops begin to reopen the opportunity is to understand behaviour from on to offline, from digital into the physical.
Using unintrusive, wearable biometric devices, we are able to capture the stress and arousal of customers as they shop in physical locations. All our protocols have now been designed with social distancing and hygiene standards in mind to remove contact between researchers and participants. We can despatch devices direct to subjects and brief them remotely, with cloud-based connectivity to track journeys and ensure accurate co-ordination of different measurements in real-time.
Get in touch to understand how you can ease the stress for your customers, how you can deliver more positive experiences that drive immediate financial results and long-term loyalty.