What Does Behaviour Change Mean, And Why Should Businesses Pay Attention?

Changing behaviour in years gone by has been about the carrot or the stick. The carrot is an incentive to help encourage people to change, with the stick being the punishment for not changing. The problem with both of these approaches is their applicability in a business context. Like behaviour, behaviour change theories are changing all the time and businesses need to pay attention if they hope to compete in the future. If your business isn’t quite sure what behaviour change means or why they should be paying attention, use this simple guide to help get started.

It’s about insight, not hindsight

Behaviour change is all about seeking the deeper meaning behind why people do what they do. This ‘why’ is what is known as behavioural insights. It is the emotional, functional or social driver behind these behaviours. To discover these insights, it isn’t a case of thinking back to what you did in a situation and wondering why you did it. No, it is about getting out and understanding it first hand with your customers. Behaviour is very rarely random, there is usually an underlying motivation or reason behind it. Discovering that insight is all about discovery and learning what behaviour means from an emotional, social and functional perspective.

It’s richer than any sales data

Business data is all about the bottom of the funnel, “how much did they buy” or “when did they last purchase”. Instead, businesses should seek behavioural insights to drive more customers to the top of the funnel. Once you understand the insight behind why customers behave the way they do or what they are trying to achieve, you can redesign communications, product offerings and everything in between. Behavioural insights give businesses a way to innovate that isn’t based on anecdotal feedback or quantitative data. The rich insight allows businesses to change for the customer, not the outcome.

Its rarely stagnant

Behaviour Change, like death and taxes, is inevitable. Business who do some research, stump up a customer persona or two, then try to utilize that work for years to come are destined to fail. People change and so does their behaviour. Businesses need to be regularly checking in and reassessing the insights they have discovered with their customers. Depending on where people are in life, their family status, friendships, mental health and so many other factors, their motivations can and will change. Regular research and checks with your customers are the most reliable way to ensure you have the right insight to drive business growth. The old set and forget method to behavioural insights is a one-way road to failure.

Your customers expect it

Customer expectations are rapidly changing from a ‘satisfy me’ mentality to a ‘know me and help me’ mentality. The only way to truly know your customers is to know their behaviour, to understand why they do what they do. Without that insight, changing their behaviour to what you want them to do is very difficult. You can’t hope to help your customers if you don’t know them. Quantitative data will only get you some of the way, the real key for business is to pay attention to customers by talking to them, observing them and gaining a deeper understanding of the ‘why’ behind their behaviour.

Behaviour change and insights are very quickly becoming one the single most important functions of any business seeking success. To better understand behaviour change and how to derive real insights, businesses must be willing to invest in and with their customers. This guide will help you get a better understanding of what behaviour change is and why your business should be paying attention.

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