I recently found out that the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion has been updated for the first time in about 20 years. This is a fanastic book and by all accounts a classic that has influenced and affected all other sorts of marketing and influence books, as well as how companies do business. (Check it out on my list of favorite Experience Design books).
It inspired me to write a post about how each of the
seven eight principles might be used to make a better experience for visitors of The Eureka Room. These are just some of the many ways I could use the principles in my design process.
When someone gives you something, you feel compelled to reciprocate.
- During the ushering. (“Ushering” is the term I use for the period that includes the experiences of arrival, entering the house, and being in the waiting room). When they walk in, give them something: a sticker, a business card, a drink, etc. Start off with hard chairs and then bring in some more comfortable ones for them. You are about to ask them to participate and you want to make sure they are as receptive as possible.
- During the program, I can give them something to hold or wear or otherwise have the feeling of being given.
- After the program, give them the sticker, etc if I am trying to get them to sign up for the email newsletter or give a review.
- After they leave send them something useful via email or snailmail. Include an ask for a review or referral.
Commitment and Consistency
If you’ve made a public showing of a behavior or a written commitment, you’ll be more inclined to do things that show you are consistent with your previous behavior and statements.
- During the Ushering. The safety form they sign at the beginning could be accompanied by a form that acknowledges this is a participatory experience and they agree to participate.
- During the programs I already use this in ways like: I invite them to do an easy movement at a prompt. Then I can ramp up the difficulty once they are already feeling safe and comfortable doing that movement.
- After the program: I could ask them at the beginning if they like to support small businesses. Or just thank them for doing so. Then, afterward, I can ask them to support me by rating online.
Or behavior is greatly affected by the behavior of people around us.
- Before they even buy tickets I can offer testimonials and visitor #s and photos of previous happy visitors.
- On arrival I can restate how many people participated (not just visited, but participated). I could show them pictures of happy people who have visited.
- In the waiting room, before we enter the room, there could be a ritual that involves each person making some kind of commitment. It doesn’t have to be verbal. It could be each person deposits a coin (that I give them) into a slot to show that they are ready.
- During programs I can model on screen or in voice-overs what to do. I can even put in a recording of a crowd saying the “catchphrase” that the visitors will be invited to say.
- During the program: Inviting people to do things in unison before inviting them to do it solo will help make the behavior acceptable.
- During the program: Background laugher and cheers are always good. Both in a program and in the waiting room.
If you like someone or if you find similarlities between yourself and someone, you are more inclined to do what they invite you to do.
- Across the board, I can make the language, colors, and marketing in a friendly tone or one that appeals to be ideal visitor.
- When they arrive, I can have an attractive space and I can dress well and be well-groomed and attentive.
- Compliments. Always work. Even when it’s obviously flattery. From the first awareness to the last memory let them know you think they’re awesome.
If someone exudes intellectual, moral, legal, or other authority we are more likely to take their advice.
- Before the visit, talk about how I’m an expert at IRL Exprience Design. The years involved, the blog, the story that says “listen to this guy – he will help you have fun”
- In the waiting room, I can be dressed well. I will tell my story of how this has been tested and it works and show confidence that what I am doing is “going places”.
- During the program. I generally like the narrator to take low status so that people feel safer to take the invitation. However I can still have the crazy narrator take the reins and just tell people what to do. They indulge him but also feel smarter than him. I don’t think the program needs to be authoritative directly. But it should not have technical glitches or physical flaws that are not clearly intended.
- Follow ups. Continue to talk about how you are the expert and you’ve been working on a lot of stuff. Be sure to share the details. This will help those that want to be a part of it understand they are getting on board a winning boat.
The FOMO is real.
- Before: Limited availability to visit. Limited time programs. But be honest. Maybe even make it clear that we start with or without them.
- Waiting room: Make it clear to them that this is one moment in time. They will remember and that we have limited time on earth. Make this hour special and cherished for that it hasn’t been this before and won’t be again.
- During: This can be used to create a sense of urgency in the program. Scarce time is the main one. But since I don’t want people to feel anxious, I need to make sure I’m useing in correctly. Making them feel FOMO during the program will mostly likely backfire. Making them feel excited about something that “doesn’t matter” is probably the best use of time scarcity.
- Before or After the program. Let them know that they are one of the first few to experience it. Draw attention to anything they are the absolute first to experience (eg, this particular cut, this order, etc). Invite them to be a part of it… email, reviews, etc. People want to know they have just done something that matters – assure them it does.
- After: Offer special limited stickers or pins to those people that want to support or have a souvenir. For those that sign up for the email list or pay extra. Offer the ability to sign the guest book with comments to record their visit or show they were first.
- After: Let them buy a pack of tickets at a discounted price for their friends to come visit.
We want to be a part of and identify with groups.
- Before: Set up all the “people like us do things like this” that I can in the marketing, etc.
- Waiting room: Have posters or signs or other indicators that continue this theme of weird IRL XD. Put them in the introduction video as well. Talk about “the group” or “your group”. (Combine this with the “this is a special moment” talk to bond the group). Call them “elite” or “special”. Define the “out group” who is not interested and does not get these things.
- During: This one I’m not as sure about how to do, since the program exists in its own world. Making things collaborative helps but that’s not exactly what this means.
- After: Allow them to buy swag and signifiers. Allow them to write kind words in a book or on the internet. Let them take photos in the Eureka Room.