7 Reasons Why Customers Make the Decisions They Make
Have you heard about Aristotle's seven causes of human action?
They are certainly an interesting study of customer understanding!
A little background first.
In his book Rhetoric, Aristotle said: Now every action of every person either is or is not due to that person himself. Of those not due to himself some are due to chance, the others to necessity; of these latter, again, some are due to compulsion, the others to nature. Consequently all actions that are not due to a man himself are due either to chance or to nature or to compulsion. All actions that are due to a man himself and caused by himself are due either to habit or to rational or irrational craving. Rational craving is a craving for good, i.e. a wish-nobody wishes for anything unless he thinks it good. Irrational craving is twofold, viz. anger and appetite. Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.
So let's think for a moment how that applies to customer experience. I bet you don't have to think about that for too long, since Rule #1 in customer experience is "understand the customer." Understanding the customer includes listening, creating a customer journey map, and using other tools that will help you understand who they are, what their needs are, what jobs they are trying to do, what their painpoints are, and how you fit together. If you know customers well, it's much easier to meet, and especially exceed, expectations.
Aristotle also notes that all actions are due to either emotion or reasoning. I think we're familiar with that thinking in the world of customer experience. Reminds me of the left brain and right brain and how we need to engage both in order to gain executive commitment for our customer experience efforts.
O my. Perhaps Aristotle is our founding father! (Or not.)
He does go on to say, in not so many words, that target demographics are superfluous and if we focus on the seven causes, that's all we need to do. Think he knew about personas and/or jobs to be done?
Let's go back to the seven causes of human action, and I'll run through each one.
They are seven interesting ways to look at why customers make the decisions they make.
Chance: The things that happen by chance are all those whose cause cannot be determined, that have no purpose, and that happen neither always nor usually nor in any fixed way.
Perhaps the customer stumbled upon your product or service and decided to give it a try. There is no rhyme or reason for the decision/action.
Nature: Those things happen by nature which have a fixed and internal cause; they take place uniformly, either always or usually.
In this instance, the customer makes a decision or acts because of some force of nature, e.g., he's hungry, or simply because of human nature, i.e., it's what I do. A different type of force of nature might be your approach to corporate social responsibility. The causes that your brand supports are those that the customer supports, as well. Instant alignment.
Compulsion: Those things happen through compulsion which take place contrary to the desire or
reason of the doer, yet through his own agency.
Some irrational behavior drove customers to take this action, make this purchase. It was just so easy to do. It might be an impulse move/buy.
Habit: Acts are done from habit which men do because they have often done them before.
This one is probably pretty straight forward. I purchase from X because I've always purchased from X. There is comfort. security, and trust in consistency.
Reasoning: Actions are due to reasoning when, in view of any of the goods already mentioned, they appear useful either as ends or as means to an end, and are performed for that reason.
This means that people have a rational motive to do something. Oftentimes, the company has given them a reason or told them why they need the product.
Anger/Passion: To passion and anger are due all acts of revenge. Revenge and punishment are different things. Punishment is inflicted for the sake of the person punished; revenge for that of the punisher, to satisfy his feelings.
Some emotional response has triggered the customer to purchase or to interact.
Appetite/Desire: Appetite is the cause of all actions that appear pleasant.
In the absence of reason, appetite (or desire) takes over. I want, I want, I want. Just ask your kids! It's about the feeling that the purchase elicits.
Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23
Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, March 19-23, 2018
Click the headline to read the full article. Enjoy!
Let’s pretend you are a US investor that wants to deploy some of your money overseas. You think international developed market stocks are attractive relative to US stocks, and you also think the US dollar will decline over the period you intend to hold your investment. — Chris Shuba
I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following ... — Chris Skinner
During the tumultuous red and green gyrations of the capital markets this year have your clients anxiously called to ask: “What’s going on with my portfolio?” What do you do when the usually smooth ride in your luxury automobile becomes as bumpy as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in the Happiest Place on Earth? What does the average investor do? — Ted Parker
Inflation is a bad thing, right? It make things more expensive, right? For those of us of, let’s say, a certain vintage, we recall the runaway inflation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. So why does the Federal Reserve – in charge of managing the country’s currency and value thereof – actually try to create inflation? It’s called the inflation targeting and it matters to your money. — Bill Acheson
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It’s not enough for your salespeople to be product experts, they also need to be capable of having the kind of conversations that position them as business experts and even strategic resources. — Lisa Rose
Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher
It’s undoubtedly true that investors’ financial security is no laughing matter, and this is reflected in the stolid, dour, reliable imagery and branding that is, by and large, the industry standard. This is hardly surprising—investors need to believe they’re placing their hard-earned money in the hands of experienced, trustworthy professionals. — Alexandra Levis
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Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. — Frank Holmes
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