Measure Your Customers’ Implicit Attitudes to Set Your CX Apart

customer experience

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

In 2011, Nobel prize-winning academic Daniel Kahneman brought this idea to the mainstream. His book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ that popularised the phrases ‘System 1’ and ‘System 2’ to describe how people think and make decisions.

The basic premise is that we are not rational creatures but instinctive ones. This is 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.

customer decision making

For the majority of everyday 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 of information

In short, we hardwire 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 explore this non-conscious decision making to reveal the true drivers of our decisions.

true drivers

How does this model apply to customer feedback?

This model of the brain challenges traditional question and answer market research which tends to focus on more deliberate, rational thinking.

Capturing a customers’ System 1 beliefs can be tricky. A 10-minutee survey will likely trigger system 2 behavior 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 association 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.

Read our hospitality case study: The Implicit Factors That Drive a Brilliant Customer Experience.

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Introducing our implicit association tool for 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’ System 1 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 gamified approach, rather than survey rating scales to engage a respondent’s fast and intuitive feelings.

Our technology works in the background to record 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

Want to run an implicit association analysis on your own brand? Learn more about our research capabilities here.

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