Motivation > Action > Result

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If you have ever been asked to convince an 8-year-old boy to finish his dinner, which method do you think would work?

A. Tell him “Eat your supper, NOW.”

B. Tell him “Eat your supper, because food will keep you strong.”

C. Tell him “You want to watch your TV show, eh? Finish your supper now and you will get 30 minutes of TV time.”

D. Squeeze his nose tight, and stuff him like a turkey. If at least 10% of the food made it through, we mark it as a success!

As a mom, I have no shame to say I’ve tried all four methods.

The first two turned out to be fruitless monologues; the last one… Well, let’s just say I spent a great deal of time cleaning up afterwards with my kid still running around with an empty stomach and a dirty shirt splattered with pasta sauce.

Whether you like to accept or not, our customers are shockingly similar to 8-year-old boys; not that they are as remotely immature as kids, nor reluctant to understand what is good for them. Most of our users know exactly what tasks they want to accomplish and why. Except, they rarely align with what WE want from them. This is where the similarity comes from.

As user experience advocates, this notion is critical for us to understand. When we demand our users to take certain actions, we must first respect why our users step into our virtual doorstep in the first place, which often enough, doesn’t match with our business goals.

For example: We want our users to Sign in as soon as possible.

 How should we convey this to our users?

A. Tell them “Sign in, NOW.”

B. Tell them “Sign in now, because shopping as a member is very beneficial, such as personalized content, blah blah blah.”

C. Tell them “You want to pay less TODAY, and get exactly what you want FASTER?  Sign in first, and I will show ya!”

D. Plaster the phrase “JOIN US” from top to bottom like wallpaper. Oh! give me 40-pt font size, please?

Our users come to us because they see the potential of getting exactly what they want quickly, and with the best value. The term “value”, by the way, stretches beyond product pricing alone. These are the reasons they are motivated to stay a bit longer and click “Confirm Purchase” at the end.

So, to sum it up, we can pretty much come down to this:

If we want our users to do what we want, motivate them with something they care about first. Once they have done so, show them they will indeed get it, right the way.

And, if we can’t build a tangible relationship of what we want them to do with what they care about at the moment, it is OK to wait for just couple more screens until we can. Customer journey is more than just a one-page event. We will have the opportunity eventually.

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