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The Intuitive Customer - Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

May 30, 2020

Business as usual is anything but usual today. How things will change in the “new normal” and what you can do to manage it is almost anyone’s guess. However, if you can open your mind to trying new things other than what you normally would do, you might discover the magic trick that makes it all work well for managing your customer behavior.


In this episode of The Intuitive Customer, we continued our discussion on these ideas with Rory Sutherland, an author, speaker, and the Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK. Here is what we discussed. 


Key Takeaways 


Dare to be trivial. We like this rule of Sutherland’s 11

rules of succeeding with nonsensical ideas, because it supports the idea that little things

matter a lot to the Customer Experience and can have a significant effect on customer

behavior. Sutherland adds that this rule is tied into the idea of “magic,”

which is what he calls getting significant results from little changes. He also thinks

these magic details can cause butterfly effects in the best possible ways. 


If there is a logical answer, we would have already found it. Perhaps most importantly, Sutherlands last rule tells us that there likely isn’t a reasonable explanation for why this type of thinking works (or doesn’t, as the case may be). He points out that many, many people have well-established systems of analysis to come to precisely that answer and haven’t. Moreover, it’s hubris to believe you can do it better, so don’t hang your hat on your ability to do so. However, if you leave behind the well-established system and forge a new one, you open up possibilities to get the customer behavior you want in exciting ways. For example, before airlines, cruise ships crossed the Atlantic to the states, and there was a lot of competition to be the fastest crossing. However, once airplanes could manage the crossing in an afternoon, the cruise line competition was pointless. Instead, cruise lines went to extremes to make the journey more enjoyable than an airplane and created a whole new industry for holidays and travel. 


We will do more of what we did during the crisis and less of what we didn’t do during it. Sutherland predicts that the pandemic will change customer behavior in many ways he cannot foresee, but in one way that he can. We will all have adapted to a new way of doing things during this time that we will continue doing after it ends. For example, Zoom calls might replace some meetings and business trips. Grocery deliveries will enjoy more widespread use. Some people might continue working from home. 


Recommended Actions


  1. Open yourself to magic. If you can leave behind the usual ways of doing business and open your mind to new ways of doing things, you broaden your potential solutions considerably and often economically. 
  2. Avoid following the crowd. Many organizations, especially those that use management consultants, are more comfortable doing what has always been done because it is easier to measure, quantify, and report results. Now, the ability to do those things is lovely, however, they are also well-known and well used. If you can break away from the pack, what you give up in certainty you gain in potential competitive differentiation. 
  3. Read Sutherland’s book. To get into these ideas in greater detail, we would encourage you to read Sutherland’s book, Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense. Another option is to look up his TED talks or engage with him on Twitter (@rorysutherland). 


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About Beyond Philosophy:

Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.


This podcast is produced by Resonate Recordings. Click here find out more.