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Managing Consumer Behavior - Is It Possible?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

Isn't this what we all want, not to mention actually NEED? In fact, we need to CHANGE behavior, and we focus on two areas where it's most critically important...#acquiring customers, and then #retaining them. So how can we use some of the psychological principles I mentioned in a previous post in order to do so?

Dog Training
Dog Training

Behavior modification was popularized by a Russian physiologist who accidentally discovered a technique to "condition", i.e. "train" dogs to begin salivating as soon as they saw a technician wearing a white lab coat. Of course the conditioning began by first showing the dogs juicy steaks to cause the salivating, but then associating a ringing bell, and eventually a white lab coat with the event of giving them the steak. In other words they were "conditioned" to react in a certain way over time, i.e. to start salivating even though no steaks were presented to them. This came to be called "classical conditioning".

Some of you might be wondering, "well, what does this have to do with me and my customers?" The short answer? Everything. These same psychological techniques of classical and operant conditioning are in use today all over the world to "manage" consumer behavior and direct them to do what we want and need them to do. The use of reinforcement (positive and negative), shaping, chaining, and other techniques have proved to be the most efficient and effective means of acquiring and retaining customers.

In a previous post I mentioned random interval reinforcement as a very powerful technique, particularly in customer retention programs. And of course you can read all about this in any decent psychology textbook. But in order to apply this to consumers in retention or loyalty programs you need much more than just the basics, you need to add what we call the "secret sauce".

I'll be talking more about this in my next post, but if you're really curious to find out how the secret sauce can work to improve your loyalty program and customer retention strategy, just give me a call or drop me a note. Always happy to chat.


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