Developing new digital product is about finding the courage to live according to the values you set it and being bold enough to create your own definition of success. Traditional KPI gets you to sales & business success, but your own customer focused definition of success might be “I want people to feel adulated when they finish a new task” or “make them whoop when they achieve a new level”.
Neuro CX involves more than just consumer willpower; it requires hard work and commitment from the customer. It’s about establishing healthy habits and getting the customer to choose to devote time and energy to self-improvement or to your product over Product Z.
Although it’s easier to achieve that dopamine rush when a task is simple — often, true addiction becomes most apparent in the midst of overcoming the really wicked CX challenges.
Identifying those really chewy challenges and working them through is the best way to prepare for your products inevitable obstacles.
Here are 5 exercises that can help you develop a plan for looking at your product in a slightly different way;
1. Evaluate The Core Beliefs
We’ve all developed core beliefs as people, about ourselves, our lives and the world in general. Core beliefs develop over time and largely depend upon our past experiences. Whether you’re aware of your core beliefs or not, they influence your thoughts, your behavior and emotions.
Your product needs a similar set of core beliefs and values. A lot of people call them experience principles, but I like to think of them as beliefs and values because it instantly gives them a more human centred approach.
Sometimes, core beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive. For example, as a person, if you believe that you’ll never succeed in life, you may be less apt to apply for new jobs — and inadvertently, you may not present yourself well on job interviews. Therefore, core beliefs may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Its the same with product values. Don’t set yourself up to fail with them.
Core values are about identifying the right tone of voice, objectives (just a few small objectives, not waves of them) and portraying publicly that the journey you’re about to go on with the customer is an exciting but supported one because you have values.
It sounds silly, but it’s so important in CX to have those beliefs. So you absolutely have to identify and evaluate the right core beliefs for your service. Look for values that are black and white, and then find exceptions to the rule. Very few things in life are “always” or “never” true. Modifying core beliefs requires purposeful intention and hard work, but it can change the entire course of a product.
2. Help The User Expend Mental Energy Wisely
Wasting brain power ruminating about things you can’t control drains tolerance very quickly. The more a customer thinks about negative problems that they can’t solve, the less energy they’ll have leftover for creative endeavors. For example, sitting and worrying about how long it’s going to take to do the grocery shopping online isn’t helpful. If you’ve got to eat, worrying about getting it sorted won’t prevent it. We can, however, help the customer to prepare for it. Help them focus on what is within their control. A line of copy at the start of an online shopping experience that tells the customer to kick-back, grab a cuppa, stick on their favourite album and head into the inevitable drawn out experience of packing their digital shopping cart is such an easy thing to do.
Help them save mental energy for productive tasks, such as solving problems or setting goals. When thoughts aren’t productive, make a conscious effort to shift their mental energy to more helpful topics. The more we practice expending the mental energy of a customer more wisely, the more it will become a habit.
3. Replace Negative Moments with Productive Moments
Although most of us don’t spend time thinking about our thoughts, increasing your awareness of your thinking habits proves useful in building resilience for the customer. Exaggerated, negative thoughts, such as, “I can’t ever do anything right,” hold people back from reaching their full potential. Catch the negative thoughts before they creep into your service and spiral out of control and influence the customer behavior in a negative way.
Identify and replace negative situations with situations that are more productive. Productive tasks don’t need to be extremely positive, just realistic. A more balanced task may be as simple as helping the customer focus on what they’re good at in a Running App rather than setting them up to fail; “I have a weakness because I really struggle to run long distance (at the moment!), but I also have plenty of strengths such as being able to run quick bursts and then walk for a while.” Changing the customers thoughts requires constant monitoring of the behavior and data and providing a complex personalisation strategy, but the benefits are huge and can be instrumental in helping customers become their best self.
4. Practice Tolerating Discomfort
Contrary to the old wisdom that usability is about making things a ‘no brainer’, the world is different now and having a successful service means the customer shouldn’t just get the job done quickly and easily, but also experience a range of emotions both negative and positive along the way. It’s what makes your service addictive. Success requires you to become acutely aware of the emotions you want people to experience so you can make the best choices about how to respond to them when they occur or how to elicit them in the first place. Great CX is about accepting the customers feelings but trying to stop them being controlled by them.
Neuro CX also involves getting an understanding of when it makes sense to try and convince the customer to behave contrary to their emotions. For example, if they experience anxiety that prevents them from trying new things or accepting new opportunities, try getting them to step out of the comfort zone and continue to challenge themselves. Helping the customer to tolerate uncomfortable emotions takes practice, but it becomes easier as their confidence grows.
Encourage the customer to start a new relationship with you by behaving like the person you’d like them to become. Don’t assume in Social Media that every consumer will will totally outgoing… instead help them to choose to behave in a more outgoing manner, whether they feel like it or not – Be the devil on the shoulder “go on Ash, give it a go, you might like it”. Some discomfort is often necessary for greater gain, and helping the customer to tolerate that discomfort will help make your vision a reality, one small step at a time.
5. Reflect on Your Progress Daily
Today’s busy world doesn’t lend itself to making much time available for quiet reflection. However, it’s hugely important for you to create time to reflect upon your progress toward developing the service and product you had in your head. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your customer, their emotions and their behavior. Then consider what you hope to improve upon or accomplish tomorrow. Getting the CX right for something is literally a day by day, hour by hour thing… not a “leave it for a couple of months and then come back to see if it’s working” type affair. That’s failure right there. Good CX is organic.
Developing successful Neuro CX is a work in progress. There is always room for improvement, and at times this will seem more difficult than at other times. Reflecting upon your progress can reinforce your ability to reach your definition of success while keeping the customer living according to your original values.