What Customers Really Remember About Their Experience Will Set Your CX Apart

woman shopping

In the last 10 years psychology researchers have established that many decisions we make are based on fast, intuitive and non-conscious thinking. In other words we think we are rational beings but often can’t (or won’t explain) why or how we decide what we do.

In 2011 Nobel prize winning academic Daniel Kahneman made this mainstream with his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ and popularised the phrases ‘System 1’ and ‘System 2’ to describe how people think and make decisions.

The basic premise is we are not rational creatures but instinctive ones, because the brain has to process so much information it has hardwired shortcuts to cope with the many decisions made every minute of every day.

System 1 and System 2 customer decision making

System 1 is fast, automatic and intuitive taking little effort, whereas System 2 is slower, thoughtful and deliberate needing more effort. Think of it as an impulsive feeling versus more conscious thinking.

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For the majority of every day decisions the brain uses system 1, rather than taking the time and effort to think purely rationally. When using system 1 new information and our responses will be based on existing patterns, rather than slowly processing each new piece if information

In short, we hardwir shortcuts so we don’t have to think deeply about every decision – and this shortcut process is tied to automatic emotional feelings.

Any attempt at understanding why people do what they do needs to uncover this non-conscious decision making to reveal the true drivers of our decisions.

What does this mean for customer feedback?

This challenges traditional question and answer market research.

Capturing a customers’ System 1 beliefs can be tricky. A 10 minute survey will likely trigger system 2 behaviour whilst they consider answers to rating scale questions.

So the question for researchers is; How do you uncover non-conscious behaviours as well as slower, rational thinking?

Supported by traditional research, we’ve now integrated implicit measurement to our growing range of methodologies. For the first time, we can reveal people’s non-conscious thoughts and feelings towards an experience to build a complete picture of why people do and feel what they do towards a brand, product or service.

Introducing ‘Implicit’ customer experience measurement

Based on the original academic discipline of IAT (Implicit Association Testing) used in cognitive psychology to reveal human biases on topics that people couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss, our solution takes a similar ‘game’ approach to engage users fast, immediate attitudes.

Participants are asked to partake in a simple online sorting exercise where they sort stimuli as quickly as they can into two choice options.

The stimuli and choice options can be images to uncover what an image is sub-consciously associated with, or which words/ phrases are most implicitly linked to brands or customer experiences.

The key is that this technique utilises a fun ‘game’ approach, rather than survey rating scales to engage a respondent’s fast and intuitive feelings.

Behind this question type, our technology is recording both the choice made and the speed at which it was selected. The reaction time testing method is inspired from the original IAT academic studies and is a proven way that Psychologists use to identify the strength of implicit association into the System 1 and System 2 type responses:

  • The subconscious brain processes a FASTER (implicit) response
  • Whereas conscious thoughts and decisions have SLOWER (explicit) responses

Our ‘Implicit’ methodology is both online and smartphone responsive, making it quick and easy for users to complete, avoiding the dominant hand bias of other methods that are desktop PC based and rely on keyboard left/right ‘keys’ to be pressed to make choices. This method ensures answers are free from the rational biases obtained by complex methods and scales.

Using implicit measurement to improve customer experience

We provide an online, cost-effective way of capturing implicit customer reaction and can be added to any Matchbox survey. When integrated with explicit feedback and supporting external data, our implicit measurement tool provides a comprehensive understanding of brands, products and services.

Measure implicit reaction to:

  • Elevate and differentiate brand experiences
  • Enhance product and service portfolio
  • Improve brand perception and widen appeal