4 Ways to Get Customers to do What You Want


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How do I get Customers to do what I want; eg: buy our product; use our web site; try a new service?  Clearly the trick is to make them want to do what you want them to do.

Sometimes people just need to be encouraged in the right direction. Encouraging people in the right direction to get the results you want, however, is a skill that takes practice.

So in the spirit of sharing skills, here are four things you can do to get Customers to do what you want:

  1. Tell them stories. The power of stories in the brain is phenomenal.  Stories can literally change the brain’s chemistry. If you want a customer to use a more efficient channel for billing, share a story about how adopting this behavior helped another customer have a better experience.  Stories work internally on your executive team as well. If you are leading your executive team to a new way of doing business that’s different from you have ever done it before, share stories about how this new method resulted in benefits to other organizations. Stories are an excellent way to change people’s feelings about the situation and encourage adjustments to their behavior.

  1. Work with the habits they already have. There’s a reason habits are hard to break; they are defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Changing habitual behavior takes patience and consistency.  To be effective in your effort to motivate people to change their behavior the key is to work with a current habit and make a small change to it. For an executive team that routinely puts numbers before anything else, add in numbers that measure the impact that your efforts in customer experience are having on a particular metric. If you are an airline that wants to put the fun back in flying for customers, add jokes to your safety videos to get people to watch them again and have good feelings associated with your brand. You don’t have to reinvent the whole process at one time, but work on small changes to the current process to let habits work for you instead of against you.

  1. Encourage people natural pack mentality. With a few rare exceptions, most people don’t like to be a pioneer in a new behavior. Most people want to do what everyone else is doing because it feels more comfortable and safe. In addition, most Customers don’t like to feel like they are losing anything. So if the behavior you are trying to encourage is one that many other people are choosing, be sure to share that information with your customers.  Sometimes all Customers need to change their behavior to what you want is the assurance that others have made the same choice, and it worked out well for them.

  1. Take small steps to a bigger commitment. Change is hard for anybody. Trying to go for a whole new experience at one time is tough to convince any person of, especially a customer that likes the status quo well enough. A strategy that can help with this is to get a small commitment now with a chance to discuss more options later. Baby steps, as it were. One baby step might not be the kind of change you are ultimately looking for, but put a few of them together over time and you might be surprised how far you come with minimal stress for the Customer or you.

Customers are people, and all people can be motivated to do things. The key is to motivate them to do these things without being pushy or obnoxious, two adjectives that hardly ever evoke the emotions happy and pleased that we are all going for in our Customer Experience.

By encouraging Customers to want the same things you want, they will naturally be motivated to do what you want, which I hope is to create an experience together that leaves both parties happy and pleased.

What are your suggestions to getting people to do what you want? Please share your tips with all of us in the comments below.


Weinschenk, Ph. D., Susan. “How to Get People to Do What You Want.” www.psychology.today.com 1 August 2014. Web. 10 August 2014. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-wise/201408/how-get-people-do-what-you-want

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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