Newsletter #029 • 13 March 2019
Customer Centric
The weekly digest for the customer-obsessed
Dear Earthling,

This might shock you, especially coming from someone who writes newsletters for a living, but I have two thousand 👏  six hundred 👏 seventy-three 👏  unread messages on my personal email. 

Assuming this may have triggered your virtual OCD, I feel like I owe you an explanation.  

Despite my best efforts to tame my slavering wildebeest of an inbox, the emails keep on coming. Even if I delete and sort every last one of my unread messages, I know I will awake the next day to at least an additional 200. 

And so I’ve learned to live with an infinite and infinitely expanding list of unreads.  I read what I want and respond as much as I can. 

What’s fascinating here is that, although I’m excellent at dealing with what experts call “inbox infinity,” I would never be able to do the same on social networks like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. 
So, what’s the difference? Why do I frantically reach for my phone when I see a WhatsApp notification instead of ignoring it, as I often do with email? Why is the first step of my morning routine to check my phone and see what’s happening on social media? 

Well, behavior design and the science of persuasion might have something to do with it. This article about “The scientists that make apps addictive,” from 1843, The Economist’s lifestyle magazine, explains how tech giants harness researchers’ insights to keep us groveling for more. 

Give it a read and let me know what you think.


🔖  This week's top picks 
😍 The scientists that make apps addictive
When motivation is high enough, or a task easy enough, people become responsive to triggers such as the vibration of a phone, Facebook’s red dot, the email from the fashion store featuring a time-limited offer on jumpsuits. The trigger, if it is well designed, finds you at exactly the moment you are most eager to take the action. If you’re triggered to do something you don’t like, you probably won’t return, but if you love it you’ll return repeatedly – and unthinkingly.

Give this article a read and find out how behaviour design and the science of persuasion has enabled companies like Uber, Facebook, and Instagram, to get customers hooked to their products.
👐 All Hands Support
All-hands support has been an Olark institution. They’ve been sharing responsibility for chat and email support across everyone on their team — everyone, including developers, designers, marketers, and their CEO — since the company was founded in 2009. It hasn’t always been easy, but, in their opinion, it’s always been worth it. How have they made it work?
📬 Don't reply to your emails
The case for inbox infinity. There is simply no way for anyone with a full-time job and multiple inboxes to keep up with the current email climate.
🔮 How we’ll invent the future, by Bill Gates
MIT Technology Review asked Bill Gates to choose this year’s list of inventions that will change the world for the better. Here are 10 breakthrough technologies, that according to Gates will shape our near future.  
From conversion to retention: industry experts on improving your onboarding
If your product is to survive and your business is to grow, improving your user onboarding must always be top of mind.
💡 Speaking words of wisdom

Put hot triggers in the path of motivated people.

— B. J. Fogg, behavior scientist and author. 

Pssst, tweet me.
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