Inside the mind of today's consumer

By Ombudsman Services | Jun 24, 2019

Our sixth annual Consumer Action Monitor (CAM) report, published last month, harnesses pioneering new technology to give an insight into the emotions that drive consumers to complain.

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The use of Implicit Attitude Testing (IAT) allowed us to delve into the mind of the consumer and understand what they really think, what motivates them, what makes them satisfied and what makes them unhappy.

With the use of IAT, we’ve been able to paint a more in-depth picture of the complex modern consumer and generate a far more accurate and honest understanding of the ever-changing complaints landscape.

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How it works

IAT works by calculating an Emotional Resonance Score (ERS) against any response.

Traditional question/answer survey methods gather rational reactions of people, which may be rather misleading.

There are too many individual examples of this to mention, but let’s consider the failure of the election polls in 2015, 2017 and 1992; the idea that a Sony Walkman would never catch on; or indeed that Pepsi would sell more than Coca-Cola as a result of always winning the ‘Pepsi Challenge’.

ERS Score

We know that people, by their very nature, are led by other people - sometimes in a herd-like fashion.

They may also have a tendency when questioned to say ‘the right thing’, or the thing that they believe reflects them in the best light, morally and ethically.

The ERS score combines the proportion of people who think in a certain way, with the extent to which they’re emotionally committed to their view.

This unique human perspective to the data helps us to understand if people have felt obliged to give an answer that might not reflect how they actually feel – based on a whole host of conscious and unconscious decisions.

This is measured via speed of response to questions. Neuroscience tells us that the faster people answer a question, the more belief or emotional certainty they tend to have in the answer they’ve given.

Hand Shake Stat

For example, the IAT results confirm that an efficiently handled complaint secures loyalty, reflected in a high ERS of 77. The need for speed when dealing with complaints also scores highly at 72.

To find out more about IAT and gain actionable insights, access the 2019 Consumer Action Monitor report here.