Audio Transcript

Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. This episode is brought to you by Epsilon and their award-winning people, cloud loyalty solution. I’ve always delighted to have Epsilon on board as a sponsor, and particularly today, as they were just named a leader in the Forrester wave loyalty solutions, Q2 2021 reports with the top score in the current offering cash agree.
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This report is designed to help you as marketeers find the perfect partner for your loyalty program. So to download your copy of the report, visit epsilon.com forward slash let’s talk loyalty. So today’s interview is with Dr. Aneal Pillai who I came across recently when he was a keynote speaker at the customer fast virtual conference held in India. Now, Dr. Neil has a PhD based on his extraordinary work and research into cognitive behavioral and human sciences. And I love his experience and perspective as he works across India, Europe, and the middle East.
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Now Neil has helped some of the world’s biggest companies to understand their customers and not just trauma transactional perspective that so many of us really focus on, but also really understanding the emotional context from a deep understanding of the human psyche and how that translates into engagement with our customers. So I really thought what a great way to understand and help build our customer loyalty. So, Dr. Aneal Pillai please tell me, what are your favorite loyalty statistics?
2m 7s
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Right. So I have two of them for you. Paula. One is very interesting, 81% of customers trust recommendations from their family and their friends, as opposed to stories or propositions that come to them from brands and companies. That’s one. And the other one is a very interestingly 78% of customers say they’re not loyal to any one brand.
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Oh my goodness. Wow. You know, and here we are thinking we’re doing fantastic work in Neil, and that’s pretty shocking if 78% and Nielsen obviously is a global organization. So for them to conclude that, I suppose, on the positive side, it means there’s lots of work for those of us in the industry. But I guess for the brands that are listening, it’s probably a little disappointing. And so there’s loads to explore Neil. I think what I loved from when we first met is purely the extraordinary
3m 1s
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And both academic and I suppose, business commercial experience that you have, and really about this whole topic of the behavioral approach to loyalty. And so I will ask you to define that in a second, but even before I get into that, actually what I picked up from, from one of your, your own websites, and I know you have a number of brands, which we’ll talk about, but you’re based in India and India currently has a population. I checked of 1.3, six, 6 billion, which is four times the population of the United States where my main audience is actually listening. And, but what also interested me in EAL is I believe India currently is about six in the world from an economic perspective, but projected to grow two thirds position.
3m 48s
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So it really seems to me that the consumer appetite is growing exponentially in India. So we have a lot to learn from you. So with that kind of background and context, please tell me and our listeners all about what is this idea of a behavioral approach to loyalty,
4m 5s
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Right. I get to that ball up before that the, the, the, the, the work that I do status between Europe and Asia and India. So it gives me a very unique perspective on how consumers behave in a market like Germany or the Netherlands or Scandinavia, and then how they behave in a country like India. Right? So it’s very fast to anything given the background that you just mentioned, but having said that, coming, coming to the question that you asked me on behavioral loyalty at heart, I’m, I’m, I’m a human engagement, you know, focus person.
4m 45s
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That’s, that’s really where my interest lies. Why do humans behave the way they do? Why do we, why do we take the decisions that we may take? What is our interpersonal relationship in groups and as individuals? So human engagement is what I’m all about. And for me, when I look at loyalty, I go back to what we learn as humans as evolved from the different versions of where we are today as homo-sapiens. Yeah. And to me, it all lies the way we react, the way we make our decisions. It’s all wired, very basic to our very basic being that we could survive that needs to thrive as a species, but need to thrive as a tribe, the proposition of oneself and one’s DNA and the, and the propositional ones.
5m 32s
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One’s a tribe’s DNA, essentially. That’s what we are all about. And it manifests itself in some very fascinating ways in the business world, right? So when I look at behavioral loyalty, when I look at the behavioral dimensions of loyalty are three things that come to my mind. And that’s what we’ll kind of focus on today. What does one is what I call us attitude, no loyalty or emotional loyalty, right? The other is what I call is behavioral loyalty or transactional loyalty, right? Yeah. I think that we going to talk about is, is the community, the creation of tribes and communities. So to me, these are the three, three very important aspects of loyalty as seen from a behavioral lens, right?
6m 18s
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So when one talks about behavioral loyalty or transactional loyalty, right? That’s the loyalty that you exhibit when you, when you go and shop at a grocery store, that’s on your way, home from work as a transactional ease, that’s there because that person is on your, on your way. And you don’t have to really go searching for another grocer. It’s simply that much more convenient, right? Loyalty, or that’s what we call is behavioral loyalty. I think, you know, loyalty or emotional loyalty is when you go out of your way to seek a brand, you go out of a way that you put yourself to some amount of effort right. And seek something out for yourself, right?
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Yeah. Because there’s an emotional connect and we’ll talk about it as we go along. And the third part is community. You know, it may surprise you, human beings are not wired to be loyal. Wow. Yeah. And I know, I know this is going to be shocking. We have not, you know why? Because we have something wired into us called the seeking behavior. We like to seek things out. Wonderful, wonderful experiment done by somebody called Yan landscape, a scientist, whom I admire a lot. I is passed on. So young yarn actually put rats in a little maze and he, what he did, he and his team is they would, you know, incrementally increase the amount of pain that’s inflicted on the, on the rats, of course, a little cruel, but, you know, he did that.
7m 51s
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He would find out and you would see, and he would put a little piece of chocolate or cheese at the end of the maze and find out how much effort does the rat put in to go and get that piece of cheese or chocolate, right? The amount of increasing pain, the rat would still go and seek the chocolate out, would seek the cheese out simply because the cheese and chocolate gave a dopamine rush in the, in the, in the, that sprint. So, and then of course it led to a larger, bigger study. So the point is that we are wired to seek, we have seeking behavior the only, and therefore loyalty is not something that’s, can it be wired in us as in our primordial brains, but this flips when we are in a tribe, we like, we like to stick to a try because I’ve tried, gives us safety in any short survival.
8m 38s
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It ensures that you can navigate dinosaurs. And, you know, the only other, I did a bonds without that and the modern world, it gives us a sense of security. So that’s the reason why community is so much very, so, very important. And to my, to my daughter, this may a law professor, for some reason, don’t seem to see that. Yeah.
8m 60s
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Yes. Yes. Well, I think increasingly the listeners of this show are, are hearing it anneal and you’re perhaps the most academically qualified, but, but actually not the first to, to say particularly this point about community. So I definitely want to explore it some more. I think, as an industry, there’s a lot being said about moving beyond the transactional side. And if I’m right, that’s probably, what’s leading to the M the Nielsen as statistic, you quoted earlier. So 78% say they’re not loyal to a brand, but in fact, they are behaving in a loyal way. So we’re getting a certain amount of complacency and a certain amount of, yeah, it’s just happens to be the best of a bad law perhaps.
9m 41s
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But I, I suppose that also gives insight what you were talking about there, you know, flipping in a tribe and this whole piece around, you know, the safety and security of, you know, the recommendation from customers, because I really think that emotional loyalty piece is absolutely extraordinary. And it’s a fascinating way that I think more and more brands really need to think about. And so any case studies or, or, or suggestions you have on that side would definitely be, be very welcome. And, but even before that, as well, and Neil, you told me all fair and just a really nice again, I suppose, simple thing about the difference between, I think it’s, you know, a fool goes seeking pleasure, seeking happiness, but the wise man seeks to avoid pain.
10m 26s
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So reducing friction, I think, is the business version of, of avoiding pain. So I’d love if you explain that concept a bit for listeners,
10m 35s
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You know, and in order net amount of time and money has been spent by brands and loyalty professionals trying to create pleasure for their customers. And to my mind, it’s fine. I mean, it’s, it’s very good to create pleasure, but not at the cost of ignoring the pain that is then the customer’s lights. Yeah. So, you know, between pain and pleasure, human beings will always seek to eliminate pain first. That’s the way again, that’s the way we are wired. Right? Wonderful example that I, that, that I, I’ve always been taught that you can take the most beautiful woman to a movie theater, but you will not enjoy the movie.
11m 19s
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If you have a bad molar egg, right? You have to painfully, you’re not going to enjoy the movie. However, pleasurable the movie is how a pleasurable the companionship is. You’re in pain. You have to first organizations and brands need to understand that when we talk about behavior, loyalty, loyalty actually has three components to it. One, it requires ubiquity. It just needs to be there. The brand has to be there. The blood has to be there. It has to be just available up front. When the grocers on your way home to work is because it is ubiquity just around the corner. The second important it is, it has to be friction-free.
12m 1s
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You have to eliminate all, all kinds of friction when it comes to dealing with your customers. Now, when it comes to eliminating pain and friction on the top reaction is let’s eliminate physical pain, physical. Right? Okay. Let’s make it physical standpoint, but that’s not how fiction works. There are three elements of fiction, fiction, physical effort that is at the time that you need to solve a problem to, to get your objective and then there’s cognitive effort. Yeah. Yeah, it does. When you put it so much pressure on the customer’s working memory, the customer is completely frazzled and therefore does not know how to yeah.
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Remember that the human brain can add best peep for seven things that their working memory. Okay. Right. Wow. We just, we just gone cold. Yeah. But look, look how confusing. We make things for our customers in terms of choices, in terms of the amount of information that we present on screen. So this, this all adds to the art or the language in which things are framed, right? So this is really, you know, again, there’s a very nice experiment that was conducted many years ago at Vanderbilt university, where people were put under an FM RI and they were actually given a cognitively difficult task to perform and, and their brain reading was taken.
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And, you know, it’s a very interesting, so when you’re actually doing cognitively tough tasks, like reading unintelligible contracts or reading things with half information, your brain actually signals to you the same reaction as if I had, if I picked you with a bit big part of the brain that gets affected, some people they insula and the insula react exactly the same way as an ad, implicate physical pain on you. Wow. This, this is underestimated by all organizations. We just do not estimate the amount of cognitive pain. We put our cards. So we focus on making things faster. That’s Denver, we focused on thinking physical effort, but we don’t understand government effort. Yeah. That’s because we don’t see a cognitive effort.
14m 10s
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And the only way you can actually measure something like cognitive effort is to use consumer neuroscience. And that’s what we’ve been doing over the last decade. I use neuroscience. When I say neuroscience, people’s eyes glaze over, they think of go to the lab and then, but that’s not how it works. You have many, many, many methods using consumer neuroscience. We, for example, done many interesting case. We, there is this organization that actually processes visas or all across the world leaders in 120 different groups. Okay. It came to us and said, okay. And you figured out how to eliminate friction in the visa processing journey for the customer.
14m 51s
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Who’s from, let’s say Sub-Saharan Africa to London, for example, or eating to Dubai. So we looked at this globally and we let the study order 118 countries, 10 million consumers, or 10 million travelers in the 22 different languages. We ran the on a consumer neuroscience plus data study on bed. Exactly is the cognitive friction, which part of the customer journey is, is a friction at the highest where exactly is the temporal friction of the time, friction, where exactly is the physical fiction. We engineered the entire process, both on the digital journey, as well as a physical journey.
15m 31s
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Wow. Fascinating results. You know, very, very fascinating things that you, you assumed were affliction free. Suddenly you found out that customers could not understand how visa form was structured in a certain manner. Why was a struggle? Because there was no transparency and his anxiety and his cognitive effort. The second, so fiction is the second part of, of loyalty. And a third is usually transactional. Loyalty has an exit barrier, a bank that you’ve been dealing with for the last two decades, a telecomm company who will find it difficult to leave when lonely professionals measured data from loyalty, what you’re actually doing is you’re actually measuring data from transit, behavioral, transactional loyalty, and you don’t exit barrier.
16m 15s
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You don’t discount friction. You don’t discount ubiquity. And therefore the very let’s say not, not so right. Picture of loyalty. So that’s really how friction fits in. And the, the consumer neuroscience based framework that has talked to you about was a framework called ease play on the words of E S E E S a. And yeah, so it’s, it’s been a pretty interesting NDP. We’ve done it for financial services. We’ve done it for visa. We’ve done it for manufacturing. We’ve done it for healthcare for a bunch of different.
16m 51s
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Yeah. And you broke up there. So I’ll just repeat the name of Neil for listeners. And of course, we’ll make sure to, to connect in, in the show notes as well, but EA S so the effort assessment score is the framework that you guys have developed and really to understand, as you said, that the combination of the physical cognitive and time effort required in order to, I suppose, achieve success and by application to achieve loyalty. So I also know that that work was presented by Mr. Don peppers, who is obviously a world famous speaker on the subject of customer experience. And I think what I’m hearing coming through from UNL is, is really that loyalty has to be seen through the lens, I suppose, of customer experience.
17m 38s
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And I’ve briefly touched on that in a couple of shows in the past. I love the insights of neuroscience. I probably glaze over a little bit because I don’t understand it, but I definitely have a passion and to understand how neuroscience can be brought into loyalty. And it’s exactly the reason I suppose, I wanted you on the show today to, to really bring that at that opportunity for listeners.
18m 3s
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Absolutely. Like I said, eliminating friction is the two points you made many important points. One is loyalty and customer experience. Now on inseparable. You now have these little compartments anymore. That’s one. And the other thing is eliminating friction is not just a component of customer experience. It’s also a very important component of loyalty engagement. For example, you take, you take the area that customer loyalty professionals focus the largest, and that’s on customer recognition, but look at the customer recognition journey, right? Which includes onboarding a customer with the, with their welcome kits, their points reward system, the way they are gifted, the way they are rewarded.
18m 48s
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This is a journey in itself. If this is a high friction journey, I will not be loyal to despite how many points I’ve accumulated or how many, how, how good is the reward system now, very, if you loyalty practitioners actually map their loyalty journey and, and much fewer of them actually look at eliminating friction in that loyalty journey. So eliminate it as not a comp simply a combination of, of the customer journey, but it’s also a component of the loyalty journey.
19m 18s
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And in my experience, a Neil, and again, I’m sure everybody listening is a very well-intentioned professional loyalty practitioner. And certainly the programs I worked on, we would probably have mapped our customer loyalty journey at the outset. So when we first designed the program, but what I do believe really does happen, and I think it’s at a really important point you’re mentioning is, you know, three, four, five, or 10 years later, how has that customer loyalty journey evolved? And, you know, I really think there’s an important opportunity to go back and reassess, you know, how is the design now working? How was the experience of loyalty and in a structured format, how is that coming through?
19m 60s
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So, so I definitely agree with you. And again, with the best will in the world, I think we’re all so busy. And, but it’s important to, to touch on these things, you know, regularly over, over the, the loyalty programs.
20m 11s
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Absolutely. I do an example. We were working with a very, very large global bank and they have this loyalty program for the very top end of their customers, the top, maybe five, 7% of their customers. Okay. Now one would imagine that these are very important customers who accumulate a lot of points because they’re global travelers and so on and so forth. Now, we found a very interesting thing that the bank had a process where the minute you hit a certain number of points, let’s say a hundred thousand points. Their, their outbound marketing team would start calling up those customers, wanting to know if those a hundred thousand points can be converted to a higher graded guard or a higher grade bank of a product of the bank.
20m 56s
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This is very irritating. If I had a hundred thousand points, I know what to do with them. I don’t want you to keep calling me right. Make a trivial example. But when these, and when we were doing this loyalty journey, friction elimination, process design, we found a lot of customers have a venue. They did that. The outbound of the, of the bank was calling them to sell a product feeding in their own hard-on points, this side, like the bank, trying to cash in, on their heart, on loyalty points and make more out of them. But then the implicit thinking and the bias that customers were getting that this had been the intention of the bank, right?
21m 38s
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Yeah. And the intention again, or usually starts in a really good place, but, you know, to actually go and talk to the customer and see if that’s what they’re experiencing, particularly if these are VVI B customers and it’s, you’re doing damage to the loyal relationship by, by what you’re saying.
21m 54s
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Yeah. And this nobody notices because this goes on and on and on because we process. And then when we presented this the week, the VP who was heading the loyalty program, he actually jumped out of his chair. He said, are you sure this is the top three reasons why customers, they don’t want to hear from your marketing team? They don’t want to get product loyalty points. Very interesting from that perspective.
22m 22s
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Actually, I do think as, as you know, I suppose external people in general, both you and I, you know, coming into advise companies. And sometimes we have the blessing of being able to see things that may be internal. People have been expressing as well in terms of knowing what the issues might be. But yes, I think the validation doing the research and getting the customer perspective, feeding it back to those kinds of senior people and gives it a credibility. It needs to be haired in a very explicit way to make sure that the action is taken
22m 52s
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Absolutely began. You know, we spoke about friction and, and it’s a gold relationship with, with transactional loyalty and loyalty. Let me, let me flip this a little bit. Doctor, you have a little bit about what are the three things, you know, to my mind, three things that are very key for emotional loyalty, right? Yeah. What does this boss, you know, you have to be that it has to be D that has to be a friction-free in your, in your purchase process, et cetera. But there are three very important things based on the work that we’ve done. One is customer involvement. How aligned is the brand to me? And I’ll give a very good example of this recently. I mean, we all know this example, burger King, when the pandemic was it at speak in the first wave, actually put up on, on Twitter where they actually told customers, please go and buy products from other fast food, quick service restaurants, including McDonald’s, right?
23m 48s
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Because this is a time when you have to show support to all your brands, just not about burger King, right. That was a summit. And in the end of the letter with, you know, buying up a Whopper, which is about being productive is great, but a big Mac is not so bad either, right? Not believe the kind of reaction that came in from consumers. There’s a particular consumer comment that said that stayed in my mind. And the consumer said, I read to the letter. And when I reached the end, I actually had goosebumps. I not believe that a brand be so sensitive.
24m 28s
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Imagine the loyalty being generated at that point in time with that guy. Right. Great example. Yeah. Brilliant. And so you have now aligned, but your interests with the, with the consumer’s interests, you’re both in alignment and therefore in love with each other. I mean, this is a first and very important component of emotional or attitudinal loyalty. The second component is customer empowerment, and I’m going to touch upon something or decision simplicity. I will ties into what we spoke about in terms of eliminating friction, especially in today’s world and today with the pandemic and with so much of uncertainty, anxiety, and people liked things to be simple.
25m 19s
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And people liked things to be simple, especially when it comes to making decisions, right? The system simplicity is the way I define it as the ease with which consumers can get trustworthy information about your product, trustworthy information and the ease with which therefore they can make a purchase decision that they think is in their benefit to their benefit for the information about your product. Doesn’t come from you telling the customer what is good about your production, friends and family, which goes back to the statistic that I started off with 81 customers trust recommendations from their family and friends, because they see that as helping in their distance simplicity journey, or there’s a sense of visiting framework.
26m 11s
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Yeah. Right? Yeah. That is so, so, so the thing is that if you are going to create decision, decision complexity for your customer, either through your app or through our website or to present, right, you are going to generate loyalty, right? So when you look at ease and elimination of friction, one is in the customer experience, we spoke about the customer experience in the loyalty journey. And now we’re touching upon the decision simplicity or the decision journey of the customer, right?
26m 50s
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Inclined McKinsey has a great study on, on decision journeys. And you should probably delve into that a little bit as to how you can make it simpler for your customers in terms of them arriving at decisions. Now, one of the things that, so we are last, the last 12 months, we’ve been called in by a whole bunch of global organizations to look at their apps and their digital infrastructure, because everybody’s going digital and, and we are coming in and looking at how decisions simplicity can be, can be built in or how friction cannot be eliminated. I must tell you, so, you know, there are, there are 105, 110 different biases that human beings either violate or, you know, fall in line with the single largest rule, a single most violated rule of behavioral science that I’ve seen the last 12 months is something called Hick’s law.
27m 48s
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And Hicks is the number of choices that you populate the screen with in terms of customers. One, having to make a choice between different options twice over Lord, like it is simply astonishing, how brands can be so opt to you as when it comes to presenting choice to their customers. People do not want to be inundated with a million choices, right. Choices that are relevant to their context, right? So that organizations are still grappling with, again, again, for the academies inclined, there’s a lovely paper by a lady called Sheena. I am that from, I think, Harvard or Stanford, but is a well-known name in choice architecture and the knee choices.
28m 35s
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Right? So, you know, eliminating choices and joys all the Lord, both on your app, on your digital journey and your physical infrastructure is so very important towards simplicity. Okay. So that was the second. And the third of course is customer regulation, which all loyalty professionals law, because that’s what that’s there. That’s the wheelhouse
28m 56s
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For sure. For sure.
28m 60s
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One third of the whole game, right. You’re missing on the other two,
29m 3s
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Which is why you’re here on Neil too, and likeness all. So I’ll definitely, again, make sure that we find those papers and Neil and, and link to them for, as you said, the academically minded and just to support what you’ve been saying again, just looking at your own website, what I realized I, Oh, I thought it was a really nice point. You were making was digital is often being seen as the panacea, you know, to solve all of these, you know, different or difficult journeys that customers are being expected to add, to go through and put, unfortunately, that, that expectation is not always being realized. And I think the point you was, you know, that a lot of companies are focusing on digitalizing their current processes rather than redesigning them from a digital perspective, which I thought was a very, very clever insight because that’s what I’ve seen in lots of companies I’ve worked in
29m 56s
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Yesterday. I had a meeting with, with the head of strategy of, of a media house that publishes the world’s largest fashion magazine, most iconic fashion magazine and so on and so forth. Wow. You know, as a discussion is progressing and we were talking about, you know, the whole thing of getting, getting, going digital. So he met the person made a very interesting comment, you know, he said, and this was of course from the media industry, but I think it applies to other industries. He said that, you know, over the last 30 years, professionals have been re having, working for the print media and the same professionals are now having to work in the digital media.
30m 39s
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So they, so they think print execute in digital, nighttime. So you have, you have this mindset that is, that’s very physical process of physical customer customer experience oriented. And now you’re dusting it into a digital mode. Right. And it is not that easy. Right. So what most people do is they latch on to technology as, as the crutch or too hard, or the code hook to hang up their digital strategy on. But that’s the story. Technology is an enabler, not really, you know, something that
31m 14s
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Absolutely. And I’ve heard somebody saying actually, sometimes you just need to bring your children in, for example. So the digital natives and just, you know, ask them to, to design things or help you look at things from through their eyes. So I think there’s a lot to be said for that.
31m 28s
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You know, you know, one of the things that gets lost in the digital world is empathy and empathy is it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very amorphous, right. Everybody thinks they understand empathy, but found that easy to understand. Yeah. So, so, but we won’t get into the definitions of empathy. I have views on that. But the interesting thing here is this, that one of the reasons why empathy doesn’t get delivered is because customers feel a sense of loss of control when you’re working with, with an insurance organization. And we asked them why we asked the people who there was a large bunch of people who didn’t like the digital journey. And we said, why so many interesting answer, the answer was in the physical world?
32m 13s
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If something goes wrong, I know that I can pick up the phone and get hold of Paula. Right? She’s, there’s a person called Paula Thomas, who I can track and trace and if I can scream at and possibly, but there’s an interaction that can happen in the digital world. I don’t know who to catch, hold off, if something goes wrong. Right. Or it’s a, it’s a, it’s a December bodied.
32m 37s
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Yeah, yeah, yeah. But ideally that
32m 40s
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Gives me an anchor that gives me anxiety that gives that sense of lack of control. Very important insight, especially for the older folks, lots of, lots of control has a direct correlation to increase of anxiety and therefore anger and therefore dissonance or the brand.
33m 0s
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And that’s probably why I certainly, you know, with my consumer hat on a Neil, I’m always so much more comfortable when there is just a little, you know, assistant, you know, sitting on the sideline, whether or not I access it, knowing that it’s live. And, and you’re absolutely right. I think that lack of control, there’s an unconscious anxiety there that I’m just like going, Oh my God, how’s this going to go? How am I going to waste, you know, half a day trying to sort something out and just end up frustrated.
33m 28s
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We, as a species, hate losing control. We know it. We just don’t like it because again, that’s, that’s, that’s our primordial biting. Like we, like, we like things that are predictable, repeatable and something, and which we perceive we can influence. We may not be able to influence it. Right.
33m 51s
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Wonderful. So there was one other big area in Neil that we talked about before that I want to make sure that we, the, we bring for listeners and that’s the whole topic of communications and the opportunity for different communications strategies and channels to, to really connect with customers. And again, ultimately engage them and, and ensure they feel loyal towards us. And I know you’ve done an awful lot of work, certainly in one sector. And which we’re not saying is going to instantly translate for all listeners. But I thought it was fascinating that you did do a lot of research within the pharma sector about how to communicate effectively for them, with doctors.
34m 34s
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So I’m looking at different things that the different forms of communication. So w to share that story
34m 40s
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Well, you know, in today’s day and age, when you want to influence somebody’s opinion, when you want to influence the way they think, or the way they act or the way they behave or buy you alert when you get with them in some way, either Neil or a SMS or, or WhatsApp, you want to use some channel, right? So brands are going to spend an enormous amount of money and energy in sending out communication to their target audience. The pharma industry has been doing this for ages now, because for them using doctors and influencing healthcare, practitioners is very important in their choice of product brands.
35m 21s
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So on and so forth. Yeah. But other industries are, are, are catching up and they are out there that are industry that are against spending enormous amounts of money. But unfortunately, today it’s all about a spray and pray, you, you get your message out and you play that hits it, the right audience or the right time. This is a start. This is something that we found is very counterproductive. It doesn’t, it doesn’t really work well communication. Then you, again, I look at it from a behavioral perspective. You know, there are two types of communication. One is what we call is prevention focused. And the other is promotion oriented or promotion, promotion focused community communication is when I come to you ball and say, Hey, this is what you gain, right.
36m 5s
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By working with me, this is what will make, this is what you will benefit from that’s promotion purposes. Hey, Paula, this is what you lose. If you don’t work with me, right. This is what cashing up discount by tomorrow morning, right. Is of two types broadly. I’m I’m, I’m, I’m kind of summarizing it very broadly. Okay. A lot of interesting video and papers on there. So prevention, focus and promotion focus. Now, how do I know whether this communication, what does Paula? So each of us have a certain inclination towards promotion focused messaging, opera prevention, focus messaging, and the fourth one text-based.
36m 46s
1

So for example, in the context of money, I could be prevention focused, but in the context of let’s say, buying new shoes or buying fat or fashion, I could be promotion focused. How do I get to understand that context? How do I then frame my message to Paula doing that? When it comes to money, I need to be prevention focused with Paula, but when it comes to selling fashion to her, I can be promotion focused because Paula loves to have the latest shoes, you know, in, in the whole of Dubai. Right. So, so good communication, therefore has got three components to it. One is understanding the context that you’re, that you’re communicating in, right? It’s that I’m communicating in to what is my audience is my audience prevention focused on promotion, focus at that, for that particular context.
37m 33s
1

And again, we lean on consumer neuroscience and data. For those insights, you can go around asking people, are you promotion focused or prevention focused? You have to actually dismiss that. Right. And then how do you like to consume information? What is your attention span? So, you know, so for example, I know you love this statistic a lot in the year 2000, that attention span collected was on 12 seconds. It went down to eight seconds in the year 2020, and the patients attention span of 10 seconds.
38m 10s
2

I think that’s actually quite terrifying any, and if we have less attention available now than a goldfish, I don’t know where to start with that. But anyway, it’s a good point
38m 20s
1

On an average, the average human being checks their phone 96 times a day.
38m 24s
2

Oh, I’m sure I’m worse even than that, any less shocking. Yeah. Yeah. We’re totally,
38m 31s
1

Therefore the engine span becomes a very important ingredient of communication effectiveness. So if I’m, if I’m going to send you a, a 10 minute video, as opposed to you being some, for example, doctors in our work, we, you know, they have an attention span. That’s perhaps a couple of minutes at most not, they may be busy, but also because they’ve got to absorb so much of data, their lives depend on absorbing processing data on a continuous real-time basis and applying it, right. So then you’re communicating with an audience like that. What is the mode of communication? What is a medium of communication in terms of time?
39m 11s
1

And I might want to be prevention focused or promotion focused in the context of that particular drug product molecule for that particular doctor, right? Yeah. These components are not, not, not seen from that lens. The advertising industry understands this too a lot too, to an extent because they have done some seminal work in that area. But brands that, that pump consumers with SMSs and reminders and WhatsApp do not understand that it, this is spending a lot of money with really nothing happening,
39m 42s
2

But I think absolutely. And what I even do and what I found was, was super fascinating was because there’s so much talk about video and of course, you know, audio and, you know, with my own and experience, you know, really changing, I suppose, is the key thing. So for me, I’m trying to draw attention to the M the various forms of communication as a potential differentiator for loyalty, which you made the point to Neil. When we spoke before that certainly for doctors, that video was seen actually as quite frivolous. So that to me was, I hadn’t thought about the potential negatives apart from the obvious of I have decisions as computer, but actually the, the negative association, perhaps for certain audiences, I thought was a really important insight.
40m 28s
1

Absolutely. So for example, for any the, and the reason is that your mind gets anchored to certain mediums. For example, when I looked at men, many Cedars professionals from the scientific community, look at content that comes in video, then in their mind, it’s something that is pretty consumed as, as like popcorn, right? It’s a nutritional value, but it’s good. Fun to look at, right? Yeah. But I will go and look at some, look at print, I’ll look at texts. Or I look at some other form of
41m 1s
2

Content
41m 4s
1

Before a similar thing with WhatsApp. We found that many customers. And so a lot of brands that we work with have now moved their customer support channel to WhatsApp, right? Yeah. Not a bad thing, actually, it’s a good thing. But there are many consumers who think that WhatsApp is for friends and family. And for, for, for recreational communication, they don’t, they have an inherent barrier when it comes to login customer complaints. So one of the largest telecom companies that are it’s presenting the, in the, in the, in the UAE to a UK-based telecom company that we worked with, they moved, they moved their entire billing customer support onto WhatsApp.
41m 44s
1

A lot of them are not accessing the amounts of channel. And so what did the brand do? They kept pumping advertising dollars in, in popularity, in the WhatsApp channel. They try to make it more simpler. They put a chat bot, all that, but customers WhatsApp as irrelevant, medium of not all, but a significant portion. Didn’t see WhatsApp as an 11 medium for serious of the brand. Now that you need to change that perception first, before you spend dollars and money on trying to create a WhatsApp support channel.
42m 17s
2

Yeah. And it may come to your point earlier, the email about the perception of loss of control. And I am a fan of WhatsApp and in most instances it’s been well executed when I’ve engaged. And my, my most recent example was literally going to my GP. And when I left, she gave me her WhatsApp number. And because I know it’s a human being, it’s not friends or family, but it’s, it’s extremely valuable to me. And I trusted because I know for example, it’s not a chat bot that that doctor is at the other end. So, so I totally take your point. And, and I really, again, you know, at the risk of repeating myself, I love the insights on the opportunity for communications as a differentiator and, and your experiences on that.
42m 58s
2

And I had one final thing I wanted to touch on are Neil. I feel like we could talk for hours today. There’s so much insight that you have. And, but I know you mentioned to me, you do some work with the India Institute of technology, which I know is the equivalent of MIT. And you’ve contributed a chapter to a book that’s being recently published or about to be published. Pardon me, by the school of happiness. So I’d love to just finish up by, by understanding that work that you do.
43m 27s
1

All right. So yeah, so the, the, the, the digital technology has a, has a school called Reiki school of happiness, and they actually focus. That’s very interesting. There is such as on, on how do you create happiness in different facets of our lives, right? And one of them, of course, is customer happiness. So yes, very excited to the looking forward to the book. There’s a bunch of authors from across the globe who have contributed. So my chapter is basically on, on cognitive dissonance. So I believe, and this is just not on consumer happiness. It’s also a human happiness.
44m 7s
1

I believe that the largest sources of unhappiness is when your, your internal beliefs are not consistent with the external actions or their external beliefs. Yeah. And that’s what this one is. So I, I, unfortunately, cognitive dissonance of got boiled down to a very tight set of words called buyer’s, which is horrible because that’s gone into silence as articulated by Leon testing. Their pickets decades ago is a very powerful theory of understanding the human condition. And so if I believe, for example, if I believe I’m a very honest, truthful guy, that’s what I strongly believe internally, but I do, I’m bribe somebody in the course of my work.
44m 54s
1

I’m trying to bribe somebody because that’s what my organization wants me to do. I’m, I’m, I’m, this is a completely theoretical example, of course, but what happens is that I am going to be unhappy because do opposing values have con I have conflicted had to have collided against each other, right. When a brand says that we care for the environment and we care for carbon footprint, and that’s what they put in their advertising. Right. But all the negatives doesn’t gallons of fuel running, SUV’s all across the world and, and, and, and flying jets all over the world. Right.
45m 34s
1

That’s an inconsistent, you know, colliding and that creates, and that creates unhappiness right now. So, so, so, so that’s, so my chapter explores the role that cognitive dissonance has in happiness and therefore,
45m 52s
2

Okay. Okay, well, listen, I will certainly be dying to it to see it when it comes out. And, and in fact, I’ve often talked about that whole thing about integrity to me that said describing integrity. And I think the, the most important way to achieve customer loyalty is to start from a position of corporate integrity and obviously personal integrity. So, so no doubt, as I said, we could talk for hours on this topic and ale. So that’s all of the questions I have from my side. Is there anything else you wanted to touch on before we finish up?
46m 22s
1

No, I think we’ve covered a fair bit. We’ve covered lots of, lots of points that I think I hope it does. It’ll be useful for your audience. I think we’ve been done a bit
46m 35s
2

For sure. Absolutely. It’s really hard to get so many different, very topics, Neil into one coherent thing. So I’m really grateful for it to you. So, yeah, from my side, as I said, we’ll make sure to link to your profile obviously, and both Terra acne consulting out, of course, by our brain. So the two companies that you’re director of, and we’ll make sure that all of our listeners have access to your M various solutions. So with that said, I will literally say doctorate and Neil Pillai from let’s talk loyalty. Thank you so much for joining us today.
47m 8s
1

An absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.
47m 14s
2

This show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing news insights and research. The wines marketeer also offers loyalty marketing training through its loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 170 executives in 20 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out the wise market, tier.com and loyalty academy.org. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of let’s talk loyalty. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on let’s talk loyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favorite podcast platform.
50m 14s
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