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Applied behavioural economics

Areas of Expertise

Behavioural insights and audit

We deliver commercial behavioural audits for our clients who want to embed behavioural insights in their business but lack the expertise to do so. Using our proprietary decision-mapping research method, we create detailed maps of the contextual factors that affect customer or staff choices in commercial settings.

Behavioural economics solves many flaws in traditional research methods like focus groups which take for granted that people can accurately explain or predict their own behaviour. The latest science shows that we are consciously aware of only a small fraction of our decisions. As experts in decision-making and behaviour change, we know that people often don’t say what they mean to say, or do what they say they will do.

Our clients want to understand human decision-making. They are interested in the choices their customers and staff actually make, and how they will actually behave in response to changes that are made.

We deliver action-oriented insights in key areas:

1. Digital audit: we apply insights from digital psychology to the design of user journeys or website wireframes to ensure our clients are using digital channels to their full potential.

2. Sales funnel optimisation and customer experience: using our proprietary decision-mapping method, we build a comprehensive picture of customer behaviour and identify key nudges and biases to change behaviour.

3. Products and platforms: whether adjusting existing materials or designing from scratch, we provide behavioural insights on a wide range of products and platforms. Examples range from the design of a mobile-money platform in East Africa, experience days for luxury-vehicle brands and loyalty programmes for e-commerce platforms.

Commercial behavioural design

If your customer interacts with it, it can be behaviourally optimised. The insights we provide are nuanced and specialised. We draw on these insights to generate solutions using choice architecture and behavioural communication techniques. Our clients typically find it useful for us to assist in the design process to ensure attention to detail and maximum value in building solutions from insights.

We provide behavioural solutions for a range of channels:

1. Call centres: call-centre scripting and training are our bread and butter. This is because the application of behavioural insights is highly relevant in the context of persuasive conversations. As such we have used call centres to increase retention of retirement funds by 155%.

2. SMS, USSD and apps: the main challenge with mobile is to grab attention with an overcrowded communication channel and therefore a critical understanding of human behaviour and decision-making is important to appeal to customers. Mobile remains important because of its scale and affordability and we have tried-and-tested methods of making communications stand out.

3. Email and forms: we love forms and emails, because they are as ubiquitous as they are neglected. This makes both of these channels a reliable source of value creation. Recently we made simple changes to application forms to increase cross-sell by more than 40%, and made some targeted adjustments to an email campaign increasing click-through rates by 15%.

4. Conversation guides and brochureware: brochures are often used in face-to-face interactions to not only provide information but also to structure a conversation and therefore need to have stand-alone value. By designing or redesigning a brochure and ensuring that the end user is at the centre of its design, we can change the conversation in a way that nudges people towards the intended behavioural outcomes. We’ve recently done so to improve customer service at a luxury-vehicle multinational.

Commercial testing and roll-out support

The true commercial value from changing human behaviour comes through implementation. As a result we spend a lot of time making sure we can quantify the effectiveness of a prototype. By A/B testing our intervention, we not only ensure value creation, we ensure we can attribute this value creation to our intervention.

This gives our clients confidence that the intervention will scale well, and that any change-management processes and training are handled effectively. We often leverage internal change-management and training teams or, where those don’t exist, we have vast experience in handling these processes ourselves.

Our testing team usually takes clients on the prototyping journey so that when the results are finalised they can execute on roll out, without our help. However, clients often ask us to support, which then involves trainers, change managers and project management support.

Either way, behavioural change is effected across the organisations and stakeholder environments for maximum commercial impact.

Corporate capacity building

We offer training in behavioural economics and often full capability building to core clients.

For clients at the start of the journey, they have typically read or heard about behavioural economics and want to develop a foundational knowledge of how to apply it in their context. They might want to attend a public training session that involves multiple firms across multiple sectors, or they might wish to have a more targeted training approach that narrows in on their sector, firm, and behavioural challenges.

To clients further along the journey, they want to find a way to internalise behavioural economics within their business. They are keen to develop an internal capability, and with our help, are able to achieve this within a fairly short time.

We therefore offer:

  • One-day training workshops: running frequently are our training workshops that are open to clients across different sectors. The training covers a basic theoretical foundation, public examples, and proprietary case studies.
  • Bespoke training: if you prefer the anonymity of a closed session, or want a deeper process to embed content that is specific to your environment, we tailor our training sessions to your needs.
  • Capability building: designed specifically to build institutional capability to deliver on a behavioural economics agenda. This takes the form of equipping existing staff, or building an internal team from scratch. Depending on your needs, we can deliver an end-to-end service from strategy setting, to job specs and recruitment, to onboarding and coaching.

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