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How we apply behavioral psychology to improve our clients’ results

RD’s Implementation Success team used experience serving over 9,000 customers to understand what behavioral psychology has to do with their success.

Some time ago, a co-worker shared a very good post on how to become an expert in customer acquisition. You can access it here: How to become a customer acquisition expert.

In the aforementioned post, the author comments that you need to guide your studies in T (image below), a model in which the top contains basic learning on some subjects such as statistics, programming, product design, positioning, storytelling and others. Among them is behavioral psychology — the subject of this post.

Once you’ve learned the basics of each of these subjects — of course, you can delve into the ones you’re most interested in — you should start studying topics related to Digital Marketing, such as CRO, copywriting, sales funnel and so on.

The topic of behavioral psychology naturally arouses the curiosity of most people, after all, we want to understand why we act in certain ways.

Having said that, I went deeper into several contents. Among them, some classic books such as Influence, by Robert Cialdini, and Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely.

Behavioral psychology and the area of ​​Implementation Success

Behavioral psychology basically studies what is hidden behind our actions.

Although Blue World City is rational and some economic theories support that all our decisions are calculated, several studies and experiments prove that there are factors that influence us. There are patterns in these factors and we can learn from them and use them to our advantage.

In the book Influence (As Weapons of Persuasion in Brazil), Robert Cialdini defines some of these factors and calls them triggers of persuasion. They are as follows:

  • Reciprocity
  • Consistency
  • social proof
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • I like

The book, by the way, can be a reference for several areas of activity, such as the sales area, for example.

To raise our behavioral psychology use cases, we held a round of conversations with the teams from the Implementation Success area of ​​Resultados Digitais (see part of our team in the photo below) which is responsible for providing implementation consulting to contracting clients the RD Station.

applied behavioral psychology

Several actions that we frequently take and that we believe to be effective with our clients can be framed in the persuasion triggers mentioned above.

Our use cases will be presented throughout the text.

Why do we do this?

When clients hire RD Station, our marketing automation platform, they also hire an implementation consultancy, which we call onboarding at Resultados Digitais.

The objective is to remove any technical barriers they may have with the use of the tool and to generate the first success for the customer, according to the expectations and objectives diagnosed at the time of sale.

If the client achieves its first success during the consultancy, which lasts one to two months, we consider that it was a successful onboarding and the chance that this client will continue to be successful in the future increases considerably. That’s why we want all our clients to complete their consultancy, achieving their first success.

To exemplify a first success in a very simple way, let’s use the following case: a client has a company and wants to get more clients through Digital Marketing. Therefore, the first success for him would be to generate contacts from potential customers using our Digital Marketing methodology, as well as mastering the main features of RD Station to be able to perform this work.

In view of this, the consultants in the Implementation Success area are responsible for guiding clients on the strategies to be executed and also for assisting in the use of our tool.

The client does the work and, if he does not dedicate himself weekly to the strategy, he will hardly get the expected result (if he does not have time or staff, it is also possible to hire the services of our partner agencies ).

It is also our duty to keep the client engaged in the project.

We discovered through a study carried out in the area that, among our clients who were not able to achieve results with Digital Marketing during the first few months of working with us, more than 50% had the lack of engagement as the main impediment.

Now that the importance of keeping our customers engaged has been contextualized, let’s go to the use cases of behavioral psychology techniques in the Implementation Success area of ​​Digital Results.

Our Use Cases of Behavioral Psychology Techniques

1. Use the strength of consistency to meet the schedule and achieve the expected result

When sellers make a sale and refer the client to implementation consultants, they prepare a note with a brief description of their business and goals with Digital Marketing.

As our sales process is consultative, we investigate the main difficulties of the client and map what he does in the marketing and sales area of ​​his business to understand if Resultados Digitais can help him and how.

Upon receiving the customer, it is essential that, in the first conversation, the implementation consultant validates the objectives mentioned by the seller and makes a more technical investigation.

After that, it is the consultant’s role to break down the client’s goals into a simple step-by-step, which is executable within the implementation period, which lasts between one and two months with weekly conversations.

Let’s go back to the customer example mentioned above:

The customer wants to generate potential customers through Digital Marketing. The consultant will agree with him the following step by step:

  1. Creation of an offer to generate contacts on the internet;
  2. Generation of visits for this offer;
  3. Qualification of generated Leads;
  4. Analysis of achieved results.

The four steps will have clear deliverables, with deadlines established between the consultant and the client.

In addition, it is essential that the consultant alert the client if he is going off course and remind that the proposed actions are directly related to the client’s business objectives. This will bring confidence that he is on the right path and will make him more motivated.

This walkthrough is basically the scope of our implementation called Lead Generation. You can see more about her at the link below:

Implementation: Lead Generation

Why does this work?

Think of your young child (if you don’t have one, imagine you do). He kindly asks you to take him on a bike ride on the weekend. You say yes. He asks, ” Do you promise?” . You answer yes again.

If you don’t keep your promise, he’ll probably be very upset with you. After all, it has already created a great expectation and the gap between expectation and reality ends our joy.

Robert Cialdini explains that, within a society, consistent people are much better regarded. If we are consistent with what we say, we will definitely get more trust, respect, results and so on.

That’s why we all (or almost all) want to be consistent. Be it in the relationship with co-workers or business partners, with the family, in a love relationship and in many other cases. Our client, therefore, wants to be consistent with the plan that he drew up with the consultant.

This way of using the strength of consistency during implementation can also be considered effective when it comes to what Dan Ariely says about how to stop procrastinating in his book Predictably Irrational. He says the best way to get what we want to do is to set deadlines with other people.

For example, if you want to evolve in Digital Marketing, you can arrange with your manager to make a presentation to your team in two weeks about a subject you will study. It can even be a topic of general interest to contribute to the development of everyone.

Setting deadlines for actions agreed with the customer during implementation has the same effect.

2. Make the customer like us

Imagine having to spend two months talking every week to someone you don’t like. In the case of implementation consulting, you will still be paying for it. Of course, your energy and willingness to do the work will be affected (this can vary depending on your degree of self-knowledge as well).

Anyway, within the implementation area we have some customs that help us make the customer like us. These customs directly influence the customer’s motivation and, consequently, the results achieved by him.

Several customs are directly related to the Influence book’s explanation of how liking a person changes our behavior towards them.

We have several usage examples, but I’ll introduce my two favorites:

Affection and compliments

Everyone likes affection and praise.

We strive to give affection and praise to our dear customers. Of course, from time to time, we have to be realistic and give some ear-tugging, but we tend to look at the half-full glass. This is good for joy and motivation.

We like people who are like us. It’s not that we don’t like different people, but we get comfortable more quickly if one person shares similarities with us.

These similarities can be in opinions, experiences, shared tastes, way of dressing and so on.

We use similarity in different ways.

The manager of each team knows the different experiences of each consultant. Therefore, it centralizes the receipt of all clients and distributes them according to the profile of each consultant.

As an example, we can mention a consultant who has a degree in letters, had already taught before, is very creative and loves the education market. When an educational institution hired RD Station, it would probably be the one to do the implementation consulting with that client.

When the client starts talking to her, he will probably think the following: “I’m glad I’m talking to someone who already understands my reality well”. He will definitely have more confidence in her and, consequently, will be more motivated while doing the job.

Why does this work?

Robert Cialdini proves through several studies that our opinion of whether or not we like a person is influenced by the following points:

  • Praise;
  • Similarity;
  • Cooperation;
  • Association;
  • Physical attraction.

When one person likes the other, activities are more pleasurable and everything around that relationship becomes more interesting. Consequently, we are more motivated.

This motivation can even spill over into other aspects of life. You’ve probably witnessed a co-worker’s ear-to-ear smile when arriving at the office after a good date with someone the night before. Unfortunately, the opposite can also happen if the encounter goes bad.

So the job is easier for the customer when he likes you.

3. Show social proofs to the customer

Nothing better to motivate a customer than showing cases of companies similar to his. This facilitates the explanation of proposed actions and makes the client feel able to do a good job too. Believing that it is possible is fundamental to achieving something we want to achieve.

In addition, in the Implementation Success area, we have an internal document that brings together best practices from customers from different segments. During implementation, we separate the ones that make the most sense and share them at the right time with the customer.

Going back to the educational institution example, if they have a website with a lot of visits and they use it poorly, we can show the pop-up that a similar customer placed on the website using RD Station and generated over 300 contacts in a few days.

We have proven several times that this strategy makes the client feel more capable of carrying out the proposed actions during implementation and, consequently, perform them more easily, contributing to the achievement of the expected results.

Why does this work?

Robert Cialdini, in his book, proves through experiments that we look to others to make our decisions. More than that, we look at people just like us.

When we get to know a person up close who did something that we thought was very distant, we started to believe that we could also do it.

Could this explanation justify the fact that, a year after Gabriel Medina was the first Brazilian to be world surfing champion, Adriano de Souza (Mineirinho), who was already in contention for over 10 years, was also champion?

I do not know. But it fascinates me to think about how much social proof can influence our behavior.

4. Use the power of reciprocity to increase customer commitment

What happens when you get a really nice birthday present from a friend?

When his birthday comes around, chances are you’ll remember that and want to give him a nice present too.

Despite being a simple example, the strength of reciprocity exerts a great influence on our behavior.

During the relationship with our customers, we try to give them different “gifts”. These gifts are a little different from what we are used to giving to our friends. I’ll cite two examples of “gifts” we often give to customers:

Technical help

When the client starts operating the RD Station, it is necessary to make some technical configurations in your website manager and in the server where your domain is hosted.

Configurations are simple and take a few minutes to complete. However, depending on the client’s maturity level, he may have difficulty executing them or requesting them from the responsible for the website.

In several cases, we set aside a special time to do this together with the client or even with those responsible for their website.

Help on any matter outside the scope of implementation

The customer may be in need of deeper analysis of the ads they’re running on Facebook, or they may need help contextualizing a new employee with RD Station and the actions being taken.

Although these actions are outside the scope of the contracted implementation, we know that if we do this for the client, we will generate great value. Therefore, it is common for us to set aside a special time to help them with this.

The two examples mentioned make the client feel grateful for the extra help and commit more to the proposed actions. Consequently, it will increase the chances of getting good results.

We cannot fail to mention the gifts of our marketing team

All areas of the company are concerned with treating our customers in the best possible way, but the marketing team goes further and gives presents to our customers, this time more similar to those we give to our friends.

In the book Influence, Robert Cialdini explains that the power of reciprocity is present within all of us because our society evolved through favors.

A simple example would be having two people: one who makes clothes and one who grows vegetables. They exchange clothes and vegetables. This way, the two are able to dress and eat at the same time.

Today, one of the most valuable exchange currencies is time. We can give our customers gifts that save their time. That way we’ll make them want to give us presents too.

5. Be an authority

We all tend to listen much more openly to people we think are experts or authorities on certain issues.

The Inbound Marketing work that RD has done in recent years already plays an excellent role in customer service. Most of them have already read the educational contents of this blog. Thus, when the customer talks to us, he wants to talk to an expert on the subject.

To ensure that the implementation consultant team is authoritative in matters discussed with clients, we carry out several actions in the company as a whole and in the area itself (each area of ​​RD has its own rituals).

Among them, I want to highlight my two favorites. The first is an action by the company as a whole and the other is an action by the area:

Get ready

During the first month at the company, every RDoer (the affectionate nickname we give to all employees of Resultados Digitais) undergoes very well-structured training by the Talent Management area in conjunction with other areas of the company.

In addition to content in video, text, spreadsheets and others, every RDoer puts their hands dirty to run a Digital Marketing project and makes several simulations of the work they will take on.

Below is the photo of the last Get ready group. In July, we hired 42 people. All of them ran a Digital Marketing project!

Every quarter, we have a defined budget to invest in training for the area. These trainings are usually online and face-to-face courses, events and workshops. We also have available courses from Escola RD, which is evolving more and more.

In addition, RDoers have the profile of seeking to learn on their own and, in many cases, they end up learning that way.

It is common practice for consultants who have participated in some type of training without the rest of the team giving a presentation on key learnings to the rest of the team. If you have studied something on your own, it is also common for the consultant to share this knowledge.

We often call people from other areas of the company (and even from outside) to make presentations during our team meetings.

Recently, the captain of the Brazilian rugby team at the Rio Olympics, Júlia Albino Sardá, came to speak with one of our teams of consultants about discipline and dedication to achieving something that is very much wanted. See the photo below:

applied behavioral psychology

Last month, some of our consultants participated in events in São Paulo about kanban and scrum and contributed to improvements in the area:

applied behavioral psychology

applied behavioral psychology

Mariani Cavalini contributing improvements in the area after returning from Scrum Day.

All these actions contribute to the development of the individual and the team as a whole.

Why does this work?

If I were to sum up in one sentence the goal of all this effort, it would be to provide the best experience for our customers.

In addition to having a direct relationship with the expected results when hiring our service, some side effects are generated.

One such effect is the authority that is exercised by the consultant over the client when he or she shows complete mastery of the subject of the conversation. Of course, there may be room for doubts, but we must be confident in demonstrating that we know the way forward to resolve these doubts.

One of the triggers of persuasion cited by Robert Cialdini is authority. In the Implementation Success area, we use it to make the client confident with the consultant and with the Digital Marketing plan drawn up.

6. Use the power of scarcity to accelerate results

When we want to go to a show, for example, and we know that tickets will sell out quickly, we will try to buy it as quickly as possible. We do this because we know that if we don’t get the tickets as soon as possible, we may miss the opportunity.

All implementation consultants have defined deadlines when hiring RD Station. After a few days, the client receives a welcome and introduction email from their consultant.

In this email, we send the following information:

  • Explanation of the first steps with some activities for the client to do before the first conversation with the consultant;
  • Link from the consultant’s agenda for the client to schedule the first conversation;
  • Implementation deadline;
  • Some other “rules of the game”.

Once this is done, we were able to reinforce that the implementation has a deadline and that the client has everything to start taking advantage of what he hired and running in search of the desired results. Most customers will realize the importance of fully participating in the implementation, as this is a service that will soon end.

In previous experiences, we had “eternal” consultancies and the analyzes showed that clients took longer to succeed and advance in the success milestones of our Digital Marketing methodology.

Furthermore, there are studies that say that the faster a customer achieves their first success, the longer they will stay with your company. The forerunner of this theory is Lincoln Murphy. You can access his content on the Sixteen Ventures blog .

It is clear that after the first success, it is necessary to continue contributing to the customer’s success. Having said that, we can say that it is good for the client to use techniques that make them perform tasks more quickly.

Why does this work?

Robert Cialdini explains why scarcity demands such a force on us in the following way:

The thing we most want to have are the things we can’t have. We can make a comparison with that old saying that your neighbor’s grass is always prettier than ours.

With a certain degree of self-knowledge, you can prevent this force from influencing you negatively. However, you can use it to get what you really want.

If we treat our daily activities as “unique opportunities with limited time”, we’ll definitely focus on them with more determination and agility.

Nuno Cobra, former physical trainer of athlete Ayrton Senna, in his book Semente da Vitória says that every day we exercise we add a little sheet to a pile of paper. If we stop exercising one day, it’s as if a wind hit this mound and some leaves flew.

In the long run, if you maintain consistency at a good frequency for a long time, your paper pile will be high and you will have accomplished your goal of staying healthy. It would be much more difficult and tiring to have to lift a small pile of paper in no time.

We can compare this with our activities at work: would you be more dedicated to certain actions of your day to day if you knew that consistency in your deliveries will make a total difference in your final result?


You can use behavioral psychology in different aspects of your life. Throughout this text, we show how we use it to improve our clients’ results.

If you work in the customer service area, sell products or provide services, I hope our lessons were useful. If you are a customer who has already gone through the implementation, I wish this text made you feel nostalgic remembering it. At the same time, if it’s still being implemented, I’m hoping the text has motivated you to work even harder during the process.

I hope that you enjoyed! Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below. 🙂