Understanding Cognitive Biases for Better CX

By: Peter Jakus

Our minds are constantly processing and interpreting the world around us.

We make decisions every minute about what is safe or dangerous, what is a priority and what is unimportant, what is interesting or ugly, and so on. We sort, we discard, and we make decisions thousands of times a day as we go through life.

Our brains do all of this for us, but they can only do so much. We wouldn’t be able to handle the sheer volume of data our brains sift through without the mental shortcuts they’ve developed. These cognitive biases guide us through our day. They can sometimes lead to poor decisions, but we still absolutely rely on them.

The savvy marketer must learn how to use cognitive biases to help shape how potential customers make important decisions about products. Understanding psychology in marketing and the decision-making process can help you nudge visitors toward a particular purchase online and can boost your revenue.

Couple that with outstanding customer service, and you’ve got an undeniably powerful one-two punch for your team.

What tool is perfect for creating marketing automation strategies to provide elite customer service? A customer data platform.

A customer data platform creates a unified customer database that can be accessed by other systems. Data is pulled from sources all over the company and combined to create a single customer view for marketers. This single customer view is then used as a baseline for marketing automation strategies that help recruit and retain customers for business.

Cognitive biases

What do cognitive biases have to do with customer data platforms? They specifically shape buyer behavior, and customer data platforms are tasked with tracking buyer behavior.

There are three cognitive biases that relate directly to customer data platform usage: social proof, choice overload, and goal gradient effect.

Let’s dive into each and see how your company can use cognitive biases to improve its experience with a customer data platform.

Bias #1: Social proof

Social proof is one of the most widely understood cognitive biases and directly relates to customer data platform usage.

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon seen when people copy others’ actions to imitate behavior in certain situations. For example, if you see your favorite celebrity wearing a shirt that you also like, you will be more inclined to purchase that shirt because of the celebrity’s endorsement.

This bias tells us that we are influenced by the behavior of others and that we take cues from those around us. If there’s a loud noise but no one around you seems alarmed, you’ll probably stay calmer than you would have otherwise. In the same way, your buyer may be strongly influenced by product reviews or other user-generated content like pictures, links to social media posts, and more on your site. There are a couple of strategies your team can use with your customer data platform to capitalize on the popularity of social proof in today’s society.


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