During the past few months I’ve noticed a misconception some people have about Behavior Design. Many believe it can only be applied to products or marketing. In truth it can be used universally. On a personal note, I’ve implemented Behavior Design to increase my Spanish skills, get in better shape and drink more water.
Behavior Design also plays a critical role within a company’s operations and HR department.
I know, odd that the marketing guy needs to point this out. Let’s focus on operations. Often, companies don’t even realize they are applying the Behavior Design model with some of their operational decisions. If they truly knew how to apply its methodology, there could be far more positive outcomes.
To recap, a behavior can be facilitated when three human factors all occur at the same time: motivation, ability and a prompt as seen in the model below. When prompted properly, a behavior will occur given a sufficient amount of both motivation and ability.
Your customers and employees already have the motivation and ability to act. Otherwise, why would they be buying from you or working for you? So, it stands to reason all they need is the right kind of prompt in order to realize a change in behavior.
Where companies get into trouble is when they unknowingly create Behavior Blockers that impede a person’s ability to perform a certain behavior.
Case in point. I was in a meeting with an organization called The Joint Chiropractic. In full disclosure, they are now a client at Off Madison Ave. They are a very successful brand and currently operate more than 450 locations. When TJC entered the market, they recognized the Behavior Blockers that other chiropractors had unknowingly put in place (although, I know they didn’t refer to it by this name). Most companies will simply call these type of things disruptors. But make no mistake, it’s a part of Behavioral Science.
In the Chiropractic business, companies had made it more difficult to do business with them by creating blockers such as accepting insurance. That doesn’t go over well because we all know how insurance companies love to pay for wellness care. If you couldn’t jump through enough hoops to get the insurance company to cover the cost, you would find the cost of care was pretty expensive. Plus, you have to make an appointment to see the doctor. I don’t know about you but when you’re in pain, you want help now — not next Monday at 2 p.m. Finally, who are these doctors and what are their credentials? That is always a guess at best.
Enter The Joint Chiropractic. They eliminated these Behavior Blockers by not accepting insurance and making the first visit just $29. They qualified all of their doctors so whichever office you went to, you’d know the doctor seeing you could be trusted. Finally, there is no appointment necessary. Simply walk in and you’re seen within the hour.
Now that I’ve pointed this out, you can easily spot how companies such as Amazon, AirBNB, Uber and PayPal did similar things for their respective industries. I know what you’re thinking: those companies are huge. Take heart, you don’t have to change the world or even your industry to see success. Small changes can lead to big results. You just have to ask the right question.
What are you doing that makes it harder for your customers to do business with you?
Perhaps you are making it too difficult for customers to find your business or speak to a customer service representative? Perhaps your contacts are too complex? In turn, you are making your customers take longer to sign – if they get signed at all. Maybe you don’t take ApplePay or Venmo? You know your business. I’m simply inviting you to take a hard look at it from the customer’s point of view. Then decide what you can change to remove those Behavior Blockers and give your customers a greater ability to buy.