Micro-commitments is generally a subject area that I find controversial. It always stirs up passionate discussion. However, I think the discussion helps to create a customer-centered customer experience culture. It creates the kind of customer experience culture that causes organizational unity and engagement and delivers the experience that customers seek.
How often do you see a commercial on TV or bump into an ad on the internet and think to yourself, ‘Wow, I gotta check that out.’ So you end up clicking on the ad or visiting the company website, and before you know it, you have a few hundred dollars worth of a product that you will probably use once or twice?
You may regret buying the product later, but at that moment, you feel the excitement, and you feel like you are putting your money to good use. In one of my CX Quick Tips Videos, Using Micro-commitments to Improve CX Culture, I talk about the different techniques you can use to drive your customers’ micro-commitments.
According to The Sales Hunter, the micro-commitment strategy is built around finding ways to gain the customer’s agreement with little things during the course of the sales process. A micro-commitment might be as small as confirming a time for the next meeting, or it could be more extensive by getting their feedback on a report.
While I support these techniques to improve your customer experience, I also encourage you to use them ethically.
What Are Micro-Commitments?
Micro-commitments are nothing new as they are something you encounter almost daily. They are things that cause you to personally engage with your own self-health, focusing on your finances or loved ones, and they cause you to pull out your wallet, money, PayPal, credit, or debit card.
They cause you to act in a way that you otherwise would not act. Micro-commitments will help get executive buy-ins. They contribute to employee engagement, improve CX, and they help us reaffirm and affirm people’s thoughts, beliefs, and efforts. Micro-commitments, persuasion, influence, and Neural Linguistic Programming are used on you all the time, sometimes for evil and sometimes to create conflict.
With the dual political system in America of Republicans and Democrats, these micro-commitments are getting thrown around all the time. If you watch the news, you are getting it all the time. You have to become aware that you escape the danger of falling victim, and you also do not repeat them.
I often encourage people to take better and more positive actions. You have to be positive with intent and action. I stopped whining and complaining about why customers don’t engage and whining about not having employee engagement. I realized that micro-commitment is the way to go in a bid to deliver a customer experience that differentiates. Personally, micro-commitments have been a differentiator both personally and professionally.
It would be best to use them because it’s all part of our default mechanism system. Always make an effort to be more intentional every day to getting micro-commitments so that you get better buy-in at home, work, with your team, and customers. Micro-commitments are important when building a customer-centric culture.
Micro-Commitments Happen to You Often Than You Think
Micro-commitment by default happens to you from a very early age. It is what you hear within your own home, within your own friends, and then repeat those. Often, if you are older, you hear yourself saying some things that you know your parents have said and might have even irritated you, but they could have been a type of micro-commitment where they were trying to get you to do something.
Most parents raising teenage children find themselves using micro-commitments, though not in a positive manner. Often, they even undermine their own desire and intent because they want the best for their children just like you want the best for your employees, teams, and organizations, hence the need to use micro-commitments positively.
Approach it simplistically by asking an executive about what they consider important in CX and then positively using them to convey other pieces of information.
Research has shown that incremental commitments can boost charitable giving, increase show rates for blood drives, and reduce smoking.
In a seminal study, a team posing as volunteer workers canvassed a neighborhood and asked residents to put a large “Drive Carefully” billboard in their front yards. Most residents, over 80%, refused to do so, mostly because the signs would have obstructed their homes’ views.
However, researchers had better luck in a nearby neighborhood by first asking residents to display a smaller, three-inch sign that read “Be a Safe Driver.” This request was met with almost universal acceptance. Then, two weeks later, when researchers returned and asked this second-group of homeowners to put the large “Drive Carefully” billboards in their front yards, 76% agreed to do so.
Natural Language Processing as Part Of Your Customer Experience Culture
In a contact center space, you often hear something common from a technology perspective. If you have speech analytics, you use some other type of self-help using speech as its underlying mechanism. Many technologies convert speech to text, and you can use that to create a better CX.
According to Statista, the worldwide revenue from the natural language processing (NLP) market is forecast to increase rapidly in the next few years. The NLP market is predicted to be almost 14 times larger in 2025 than in 2017, increasing from around three billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to over 43 billion in 2025.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is something that you might hear more of as you get involved with a call center if you are not exposed to technology. It is how you take a natural language and convert it into something that can access your database. There are several examples of Natural Language Processing in customer experience. It may be able to present particular cues to your agents for helping them serve customers. If there’s a self-help scenario, it provides customers with the information they need to be served.
Another type of NLP that the customer experience industry uses often and critically important is Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming Can Improve Your Customer Experience Culture
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is something that many marketers, advertisers, public speakers, and authors use to influence the public. It makes people think about their idea and approve their thinking. Political parties and the people writing speeches are using it all the time to influence the public.
One person who uses this technique that I find fascinating is Tony Robbins. He is a long-time Neuro-Linguistic Programming expert. This has been why he is so impactful in his philanthropy, but it has also helped him a multi-millionaire; the good thing is that he uses Neuro-Linguistic Programming for charitable deeds.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Micro-commitments is vital. It enables you to be proactive in creating that culture that is going to deliver CX.
Micro-commitments are vital in creating a customer experience culture that is beneficial to your business’s profitability. However, it is also important when using micro-commitments you use them ethically. Customers are becoming more and more aware of all the tricks businesses use to influence their buying decisions.
Using micro-commitments unethically can eventually backfire and damage the image of your brand. Use them wisely and ethically!
Watch My Video on Micro-Commitments
- What examples of Neuro-Linguistic Programming have you noticed in your day-to-day interactions at work?
- Do you think using Neuro-Linguistic Programming to influence customers’ buying decision, and at what point is it unethical?
- Which Brands do you think use micro-commitments unethically, and should the use of all these techniques be regulated?
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.