Archive for June, 2011

June 24, 2011

We KNOW You Will Like This: How Businesses Will Be Using Your Personality to Sell You More

Personality tests litter the internet. 

A rare few are legitimate, well-researched and appropriately worded tests that can give a pretty accurate indication of an individual’s tendencies and preferences in theoretically sound areas.  

Most are simply not worth the megabytes they take up – but, hey, if they are a fun diversion, or maybe start the process of informed self-discovery, then what’s not to like?

One online personality test however, based around respected and established research, is available free of charge to the largest social networking site in the world and is currently being used to collect information from any of its 687 million users who complete it and sign the disclaimer allowing it to be used. 

“myPersonality” is in fact a number of personality questionnaires developed for Facebook by graduate psychology researchers David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski.  At their last count, there are currently over a million monthly users of the questionnaire and a significant proportion allow the researchers access to their anonymised data.

In academic terms this is a goldmine – albeit one of a self-selected sample of Facebook users who choose to complete the questionnaire – and Stillwell and Kosinski go to great lengths to make both the data and the platform available to other researchers.  We can expect some fascinating research findings to emerge very soon.

However, Facebook users are customers.  They are targeted by advertisers constantly and they already give away much invaluable personal information that help advertisers target their audiences and send selective messages to those people most likely to buy.  Will big business be able to use the data on someone’s personality to sell to them better?

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June 3, 2011

I’m Happy, You’re Happy. Yet More Evidence that Satisfied Employees Make Satisfied, and Loyal, Customers

We have known for a long time now that there is a link between how happy an organisation’s workers are and how happy its customers are.  New findings published in the May 2011 edition of the Journal of Service Research demonstrate yet again that, when studied empirically, the links between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are undeniable (1).

This study led by Heiner Evanschitzky from AstonUniversity reveals further that when employees are more satisfied in their roles, the link between customer satisfaction and intention to buy from the company again in the future is stronger.  Satisfied employees mean that satisfied customers report more likelihood to purchase in the future.

In this study, Evanschitzky and his co-researchers examined satisfaction levels at 50 franchised retail outlets and so the employees in the study directly interacted with the customers.  It probably seems intuitively correct that as a customer, if you are served by someone who is happy in their job, then you may come away feeling more positive about the organisation. A process of social contagion could explain at least some of the customers’ satisfaction: they might have been picking up and adopting some of the emotions of the employees during their interactions with them.  In addition, engaged and satisfied employees may care more about providing a good service, and work harder to do so, leading directly to a better customer experience.

However, the effect of employee satisfaction seems to go deeper than this,

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