The foundation of every business will be quality and service. Even businesses with a monopoly in the market i.e. they sell a patented product or service will suffer sooner or later if they don’t focus on quality and service. After all, would you buy a time machine that breaks down time and time again? You wouldn’t because you wouldn’t want to go to see the beautiful Cleopatra only to end up in the lap of Hitler.
Quality and service are good but what happens when your competitors also focus on these same tenets? What happens is every little thing starts to count. What happens is that you start needing an edge to survive, beat your competitors, and grow. Where do you get this edge? If you’re a small to medium scale business, then you find this edge in customer psychology hacks.
While all large scale corporations use psychology to get to new customers and retain existing customers, most small to medium scale businesses are unaware of them. This is why if you manage to leverage the following customer psychology hacks within your operations and marketing strategies, you stand to gain a significant boost against your competitors.
Customer Psychology Hack #1: Colour Psychology
We talked about colour psychology last week on this very same blog. That post dealt with how colour psychology has the potential to have a subliminal impact on the decisions of people. It also revolved around how colour psychology can be used in marketing and other business operations. There are documented experiments that have proven the efficacy of colour psychology.
The challenge, though, is using colour psychology in the right way because, in most cases, colours and the resultant reactions are subjective. For example, the colour blue soothes most people but if someone has had a near death experience with water, then that person may become anxious at the sight of blue. Therefore, before you go ahead and start using colour psychology, we insistently recommend reading our post and defining your target audience.
Customer Psychology Hack #2: Information before Profit
Let me ask you a question.
If someone were to try to sell you umbrella out of the blue, would you buy it? No.
Now, if someone were to show you a storm front on the horizon along with meteorological reports of impending rain, would you buy that same umbrella? Yes.
If that is the case, then why is your business pushing hard sales at everyone that it comes into contact with? Instead of selling harder, why is your business not selling smarter? Instead of shooting a thousand arrows with a shaky hand in the dark, why aren’t you aiming few properly at the right time?
Heck, instead of shooting arrows, why aren’t you just telling your target audience about hunting. If you do, maybe they’ll hire you to hunt for them?
Customer Psychology Hack #3: Converting Emotions
Even the alien and his race most obsessed with logic understand the value of emotion. We’re being nerds and talking about Spock, the Vulcans, and Star Trek. Emotions are an intrinsic part of human beings. We, either consciously or sub consciously, have to deal with our feelings whenever we try to make a decision.
The proof of this is presented in this hard-hitting and extremely in-depth piece from the ever-reliable Harvard Business Review. The study from HBR suggests that there are hundreds of emotional motivators. Emotional motivators, as per the writers of that article, are feelings that drive consumer behaviour. There are hundreds of emotional motivators simply because there are hundreds of feelings out there.
Still, the post lists ten of the most interesting and possibly the most powerful emotional motivators.
- Standing out in a crowd,
- Confidence in the future,
- The sense of well-being,
- The sense of freedom,
- The sense of thrill,
- The sense of belonging,
- Responsibility towards the environment,
- Finding oneself,
- Security, and
A business that can (1) tap into these emotions and (2) convert them into decisions would have found the Holy Grail for its industry.
Customer Psychology Hack #4: Thin-Slicing Extreme
Well, it’s true. It was probably said by a genius because it is one of the most sublime examples of observation in human history.
Thin-slicing is a concept that is generally used by psychologists and philosophers. The principle is that people have the ability to make conclusive and accurate deductions about something by only viewing a thin slice of it. In practice, it means making accurate assumptions about something that you’ve only seen for a little amount of time. Hence, the phrase about first impressions.
How much time do people take to make first impressions? Next time, you meet someone new, observe yourself and you’ll find that within five seconds of “seeing” that person, you’ll have made up your mind about them. Thin slicing also applies to companies, products, and marketing messages.
In practice, this means that when it comes to your product, your message, your logo, your campaign, your website, your storefront, and everything else directly consumer related, you only get a few seconds to make a good impression. In fact, within five seconds, your audience will make up its mind about you. This means that you need to tailor things in a way that you make the right impact within five seconds.
How do you do this? You do this by using the five-second test. This test is simplicity itself. In the test, subjects are exposed to the image of what is being tested for no more than five seconds. This could be a web page, a product, a company profile, an ad or even a logo. Once the five seconds are over, the subject is then asked questions about the item being tested.
The questions could be subjective or objective depending upon the type of data being sought. This is one of the best ways of making sure that the impression you wish to convey is indeed the first impression in the minds of your target audience.
Customer Psychology Hack #5: Psychological Writer
When it comes to beating your competition, nothing is off the table. Anything you can do to get the edge will matter, no matter how small it may look to you. Changing individual words in your sales pitch, web copy, jingle, company profile, and everything else can also have an impact on how your target audience reacts to your overtures.
Despite how unimportant this may seem to you, it is a well-established fact that some words have more impact on people than others. The reason is, of course, psychological. The reason is the importance of self. Words that cater to the psyche of the individual have more impact. This psyche could be ego, purpose, or opinion. While we could go on endlessly about these words, we’ll focus on only two here for the sake of brevity.
Consider the words ‘you’ and ‘because’. These two words are easily the most effective at engaging the reader or listener. Why? Well, consider this.
Wouldn’t you be more receptive if someone was talking or writing specifically to you as opposed to a general audience? You would be because it would cater to your self-worth. More importantly, you would because it would cater directly to what you were looking for, whether it is information or a product.
Two words featured in that last paragraph the most – you and because. Wasn’t that paragraph engaging? Let us know in the comments.