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What motivates people to take action?

What motivates people to take action?

ABC’s 20/20 recently aired a story regarding children growing up in poverty in Appalachia.    I didn’t catch the show, but shortly after it aired happened to be watching a follow-up segment that was being reported on Good Morning America. The follow-up was to report that the story had struck a chord with the viewers and an unexpected number of people had been motivated to take action. While listening to the stories of people all of the country being proactive and wanting to get involved and help out these children, I thought that there are some potential learnings here that we as customer advocates could apply to our goal of motivating people to take action.

Why were the viewers of 20/20 motivated to do something? The story that they saw was compelling. It hit upon the emotion of the audience. It was relevant to the times we are in and the economic challenges that we are facing as a nation. As customer advocates we can leverage the same “production techniques” when sharing customer feedback with our organizations. Consider the following:

·         Know your audience: What information do they care about ? What do they need to know to do their jobs better? What insights can you provide to them that they can’t afford to ignore? Focus on the stories that will make the information relevant to your audience, as opposed to just sharing facts and figures.

·         Make your message clear: Make it easy for your audience to understand and walk away with the intended message and action. Don’t cover-up the message with an overwhelming amount of data. Be concise and to the point.

·         Demonstrate what change will mean: Identify for your audience what the impact of their action will be. Financial and social impact can be difficult for people to ignore. Quantify the estimated ROI of the actions that you are proposing.

You’ll know when you have hit the mark. A passive audience will be transformed into an active and participatory one…just like the 20/20 audience.

Melissa Meier
Vice-President, Client Service

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