The power of nudging and subliminal messaging? Underestimate it at your peril

Retail Financial Services

Retail Financial Services


Moderator:  Simon Cocker – Simon Cocker Consultancy

Expert:  Antony Elliott – The Fairbanking Foundation

Key findings:   

  • Using behavioural economics (BE) can assist in providing the consumer with what they want. Richard Thaler has just been awarded the Nobel prize for his contribution to this topic and is also the author of the best selling book “Nudge”
  • Various non FS examples provided by AE (and is in his handout) on how to influence consumer behaviour; one being putting a picture of a fly on an urinal reduced the cleaning costs due to spillage by 80%!
  • There are dangers to using BE especially when cross selling and upselling. A stark example of this was PPI!
  • Should be used to provide customers with salient information and also to advise them the consequence of doing nothing (very effective in the collections arena)
  • Good discussion on how to apply this to the FS market; whilst seen to be of value for retention and selling certain products, concern was raised about investment products and where regulation sits in terms of how is advice (if any) being given
  • Challenger banks have been using it to help reduce new card account enquiries by being proactive with the answers they give online. Also use of “waiting lists” for new products meant people didn’t want to miss out and demand increased.
  • One of the unanswered questions raised by the group was “how long does nudging and delivering positive customer outcomes take to be embedded into an FS organisations DNA?”
  • Journey mapping maybe a way to achieve this
  • AE concluded the discussion by saying that after 10 years FS has moved into a positive place from a customer perspective but the industry really needs to capitalise on this by now exceeding customer expectations.