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Human Behaviour Research and Techniques for Transformational Success Part II

Updated: Apr 15, 2019


Customer Experience Corporate Transformation

I recently had the pleasure of attending CXPA’s Toronto Local Network event on Human Behaviour Research and Techniques for Transformational Success.


The CXPA, or Customer Experience Professionals Association, dedicated to cultivating the Customer Experience profession and through their local networks, regularly host events to advance the knowledge amongst the industry’s professionals.


Run by a dedicated group of CX professionals, the Toronto local chapter headed up by Derek Bildfell, focused on Human Behaviour for this month’s event.


Hosted onsite at the Oxford Properties Group’s office, the event featured Megan Burns sharing research on human behavior and how it impacts corporate transformation.


The following is the second part of a two-part summary of Megan’s presentation (read the first part here).


Stress kills empathy: Societal trends affect everyone.


Urbanization and the growing number of people around us can put us into an “urban trance” causing us to depersonalize as a coping mechanism to tune out those around us.


How people perceive others caring about them also directly impacts how much we care about others; only 40% of people feel that someone at their organization cares about them.


How likely will those employees care about customers if they don’t feel cared for themselves?


Empathy, a biological process that is triggered on body cues, is stifled when chemicals produced by stress cause us to lose empathy.


Research shows that 80% of people have experienced stress, 31% feel their stress levels are increasing, and 24% feel they are under extreme stress.


That’s a lot people that potentially are not as empathetic as they could be.


And emotions are contagious.


Rudeness and bullying make us three times less likely to help others and more likely to be hostile, aggressive or rude to someone else.


Trust revives empathy: Trust fuels everything else we need in CX. 


From 1972 to 2014 interpersonal trust attitudes have changed, declining from 46% to 31%.


That is, on the whole, we generally trust each other less than we did four decades ago.


Trust is a function of two characteristics: character and competence.


A person’s charter can be best assessed by answering: Does this person act with honesty and integrity?  Do they have my best interests at heart?


Competence can best be assessed by answering: Can this person do what they promise? Do they have a track record of delivering?


When trying to build trust in an organization, these are the things we need to build on to drive improved CX.


Ten Trust-Building Behaviours


To change culture and improve CX then, we need to change employee experience and foster habits that reduce stress and increase trust within the organization.


Megan concluded her presentation with the top ten trust-building behaviours that are proven to build trust.


They are:

  • Keep commitments.

  • Show caring. Listening.

  • Demonstrate respect.

  • Foster openness.  Give someone your trust fosters trust.

  • Talk straight.  Cut to the chase and eliminate BS.

  • Ask for input.

  • Give credit.

  • Admit mistakes.

  • Clarify expectations.

  • Hold yourself accountable.


Bottom Line


Changing corporate culture is hard because human behaviour is hard to change.


Yet it is often the key element in transforming a company’s customer experience.


Our habitual patterns, thoughts, environment, societal pressures and stress negatively effects empathy which inhibits the ability to deliver great customer experience.


To improve CX, a company needs to change the habits that kill empathy and create a climate of trust; the element that fosters rapport and facilitates the delivery of great CX.

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