Understanding friction and reward in customer experience – Interview with Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard of Uncrowd

Friction Reward

Today’s interview is with Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard, co-founders of Uncrowd, who are the the world’s leading experts on friction versus reward. Richard and Rocky join me today to talk about Richard’s new book: Friction/Reward: Be your customer’s first choice, the work that they are doing at Uncrowd and why we should pay attention, particularly when it comes to creating a better customer experience.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – CEOs have to come to accept that CX is their responsibility – Interview with Jeanne Bliss – and is number 320 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Richard and Rocky:

  • Richard has recently published a new book called Friction/Reward: Be your customer’s first choice.
  • All of our decision making as customers is governed by the ‘arse ache’ involved in doing X with the benefit derived from doing X.
  • There is a desperate urge to chase down the maths that describe behaviour.
  • The Friction vs Reward (FvR) behavioural metric that they have developed is inspired by the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in combination with Bentham’s Economics Utility Theory.
  • Friction is anything and everything that is in between the customer and them achieving the mission that they’ve set out to to achieve.
  • Some frictions are good. Some frictions are bad, but each friction has a level.
  • The key is to figure out what is the combination of all of the frictions and all the rewards in a given mission.
  • For example, if you did a journey map for buying and owning a pair of Dr. Martin’s your very simplified journey map would go something like:
    • Number one: Buy Dr. Martin’s.
    • Number three: You have the most incredibly comfortable boots you ever owned in your entire life and you never want to wear anything else.
    • Number two: My feet are bleeding and my skin is raw.
  • Now, if you’re doing standard retail journey mapping, you would look at that pain point (number two) and would want to do something about that like making the boots out of softer leather, for example. But, that would destroy the product.
  • Richard and Rocky’s approach models and combines the areas that best suit the frictions in the business and the areas that best suit the rewards and then they are able to identify the relationship between each individual element.
  • Their Friction/Reward method through the combination of economics, behavioural science and some very complex maths allows you to understand, measure and improve every single customer interaction.
  • Example: they were taken by Microsoft, as part of a support programme, to see one of the world’s top ten retailers a couple of weeks ago and before they went they run some numbers on this grocer and on a real world situation.
    • To do that they created a mission from out of the air and chose a bunch of locations. They then ran their model. What they uncovered was an opportunity for this grocer to steal a shopper mission from a rival that would make them 31 million pounds in additional operating profit over three years. Moreover, what they had identified was that by reducing a couple of frictions and increasing some of the reward side elements they had a really strong chance of pulling this particular mission away from this rival.
  • The book was written to put the basic structure of the metric out there so that anybody could have it.
  • There are a bunch of templates and download links in the book.
  • So grab a copy of the book and run your numbers through it because you will find some truths in it just through that process.
  • Richard’s Punk CX word: I’ve been thinking about this a lot and want to say….. fuck big data, because one of the reasons we exist at all is that people have been bogged down by massive, massive, massive swathes of data without really thinking about what the question is they’re trying to answer. Data is the start and the end of all knowledge. But you’ve got to right size data. You’ve got to choose the data that’s appropriate for the question you’re trying to answer. Stop trying to get a single view of a single customer because Adrian Swinscoe is not the same person who woke up this morning as the person who’s hassled at lunch or has just read an article about sustainability.
  • Rocky’s punk CX word: a welcome surprise.
  • Richard and Rocky’s brands that epitomise a punk CX ethos: Microsoft for the way that they’ve turned that business around in terms of its attitude and what it is now doing, Nintendo and all of the craft brewing companies that are now emerging.

About Richard and Rocky

Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond
Rocky Howard
Rocky Howard

Richard Hammond has been in retailing since 1985 and is now the co-founder & CEO of Uncrowd. Rocky Howard has 25 years worth of experience in the technology industry and is now the co-founder and CTO of Uncrowd.

You can find out more about them here and here on LinkedIn and do grab a copy of Richard’s new book: Friction/Reward: Be your customer’s first choice.

Finally, say Hi to them on Twitter @UncrowdUK.

 

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