Using the tools provided by science

Personality profiling is undoubtedly one of customer experience’s most commonly used tools ‐ however recent evidence shows that it should come with a warning.

The good side of profiling is undoubtedly its ability to raise awareness of the differences, strengths and weaknesses that helps the majority to be more understanding of others’ needs and improves influencing skills.

The not so good is the potential for some of the more dominant and single minded amongst us to use this as further evidence that ‘this is the way they are’ and they cannot change. Even more worrying is that this is often accepted.

Another area where science is at odds with common practice is leadership, management and team building.  All three desperately need to be reviewed and brought up‐to‐date in many of our leading organisation, as our present day understanding of motivations, behaviours and leadership highlights some current practices as having their roots in the industrial revolution.

Science also gives us the ability to understand one of the fundamental debates in experience management. Do we use hard evidence or gut reaction to guide our thoughts and decision? The answer would appear to be gut reaction (intuitive thinking) but only when we have been exposed to sufficient experiences and evidence. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is a good source of knowledge on this subject.

The challenge for customer experience practitioners is that we may have  the ability to make intuitive decisions where others don’t.

Strategies that may help in this regard are increasing the exposure of others to experiences and evidence, but also by building trust and alliances through inclusive pilots and trials.

From The QoE, September 2012, ‘Tools of the Trade’

Note: A good read on viral change is The Alternative to Slow, Painful and Unsuccessful Management of Change in Organisations by Leandro Herrero.