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Why your customers aren’t listening to you: psychology

Psychology can influence everything from our choice of clothing, to the cars we drive, but can it explain why your customers aren’t listening to you?

stop listening

stop listening

There’s science behind your customers’ behaviors

Most of us would like to believe we have made it this far in life by learning, thinking, and analyzing our mistakes and surroundings. While this is certainly one aspect of what life is all about, there is another aspect you may not have considered: confirmation bias.

That is, the tendency for people to search for, or interpret, (consciously or unconsciously) information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors by ignoring information that goes again such viewpoints, both positive and negative.

Confirmation biases do not just impact how people gather information, but also how they interpret and recall it. For example, people who support or oppose a particular issue, will not only seek information that supports their beliefs, they will also interpret new stories in a way that upholds their existing ideas and remember things in a way that reinforces those ideas.

Confirmation bias prohibits objectivity

Here’s why your customers are not listening to you: this type of bias prevents people from looking at things objectively. By not seeking out facts, or skewing information in a way that only supports an existing belief, people are not listening to information that may otherwise influence their opinion. T

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ake for example, Starbucks. If a person already likes the company, they are more likely to remember the good things they hear about it, repressing the bad, than they are to objectively interpret the news and decide whether or not the good things indeed out weigh the bad.

So how do WIN?

How can you combat someone’s preconceived notions so that your marketing efforts are getting through? Take care to keep negative review to a minimum; thus when someone with a negative confirmation bias about your company logs on, finding something to “confirm” their preconceived notions, will not be as easy.

Also, make it easy for customers to lodge complaints, handle them quickly and with empathy, in order to minimize their need to complain in public (online). Remember: not all complaints are equal and don’t require equal treatment – understand each and respond without scripts. This will help insure your customers do not perpetuate another potential customer’s confirmation bias by reading negative reviews.

Keep your customers happy: basic good business strategy.

#ConfirmationBias

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Strengthening Your Brand with the Right Promotional Rewards - La Juana Whitmore Consulting

  2. Pingback: Why Your Customers are not Listening to You « Mark Taylor Psychology

  3. Pingback: How becoming better listeners eliminates our culture's growing isolation - The American Genius

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