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Hi Liraz, please tell us how you realized your passion for Neuropsychology and Behavioral Economics?

Liraz

I always knew I wanted to become a psychologist and was already reading Freud and Lacan at age 14. “I remember I used to picture myself in my clinic, giving therapy sessions and applying the psychoanalysis therapy that is hardly in use today,” she recalled.

After two years of practicing child psychology, I realized my real passion lay in understanding cognition and decision-making processes. Having gained a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Haifa, I was keen to move beyond the theory. I wanted to be able to start with a research question and reveal how the findings of this research resulted in practical implications that influence the way we do things.

What many companies fail to understand is simply having access to a lot of data about online consumers is unlikely to generate helpful insights. You need the right tools to make sense of that data, and the right tool is the psychology of human behavior, how they think, how they make decisions, what motivates them.

You have spent the majority of your career analyzing the customer behavior and delivering actionable insights for business stakeholders. What was the most significant pattern that you noticed in consumer behavior that can be applied to an array of industries? 
Liraz

The industry has long been trying to base predictions on past behaviors to understand customer experience. Most of the time, these assumptions lack context. Instead of making assumptions based on past behavior, brands need to remember that there’s a comprehensive and rich data set detailing what your customers are doing on your website and their intent and mindset, which is ready to be discovered and acted on. Digital body language is a combination of all the digital gestures and micro-signals made by customers, from which we can identify patterns and anomalies to determine their behavior, mindset, and intent. Being able to interpret digital body language is a must-have standard for the next wave of digital commerce. By combining data and cognitive intelligence, businesses can gather rich insight into their customers’ digital body language and behavior. This allows brands to understand customer intent and make the most of every digital interaction, be it on a desktop or a mobile device, to impact the customer experience and drive tangible business outcomes positively.

The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed everyone to copious amounts of distress. What according to you is the best way to maintain sanity and think straight in this catastrophe?
Liraz

Some coping strategies are more effective at combating COVID-19 stress than others. “positive reframing,” “religion,” and “acceptance” were identified as better ways to sustain a positive outlook in the face of the pandemic than other coping strategies such as “venting,” “substance use,” and “planning.”

A controllable-by-self appraisal describes the view that the situation created by the pandemic is largely controllable through one’s choices and actions. This is similar to what some psychologists refer to as possessing an “internal locus of control,” or a belief that you are in control of your future. People who endorse this appraisal are more likely to believe that preventative measures such as wearing a mask or washing hands frequently are effective at preventing the virus from spreading. The researchers found this appraisal to be associated with higher levels of life satisfaction during the pandemic.

Believing things are largely under your control, that they are under the control of others, and/or viewing the pandemic as a challenge to be surmounted could be relatively beneficial ways of thinking about the world during this uncertain and challenging time.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or efficiency hack during the COVID-19 crisis? 
Liraz

Working from home is becoming more of the new normal in these times. Working from home has added levels of stress and frustration. Two of the most common issues include the need to feel productive by traditional work standards, as well as the problem of being distracted. Productivity & Reality Checks Feeling unproductive or as if you are just going from one endless Zoom meeting to another can create a sense of frustration, lack of efficiency, and even a lack of motivation. The challenge for people who measure their productivity in traditional ways is to develop a new and more accurate measure for the real-time situation. Even if you are working in an essential service, understanding that productivity and processes are now changed is critical. To help yourself to have a reality-based expectation for the day, week, and month, start by making lists of what you need to accomplish during the time period. Keeping a record of your daily, weekly, and monthly goals provides a way to track productivity in a different way from what may have been done in the past. Checking off items as they are completed too provides a clear indicator as to your accomplishments.

You are an excellent keynote speaker, and have various research papers published on top business magazines. What goes into your thought process when devising the concoction for the said company’s plight?
Liraz

I always start by thinking about conversion as a process and not a single action. I Think about conversion differently. We need to move away from the idea that conversion is single action — to purchase online or not. Conversion is a journey influenced by experience. In fact, the higher the percentage of positive interactions a customer has throughout their journey, the higher the chance that the customer will construct a positive memory they will carry with them even after the experience ends.

Even though we’d like to believe that all human behavior is as clean and tidy as a row of numbers, the reality is most of our decisions come from gut feelings and hunches. If we don’t accept this, we’ll never move forward in our quest to truly understand human behavior. Data analysis should be driven by expert knowledge and psychological theory instead of applying the “let’s just try and see” approach. For marketers to use data effectively, they have to zoom out and remember that a one-direction, one-size-fits-all approach to reading data will almost always sell themselves short.

Conversion is a process comprised of many stops and starts. Conventional data scientist wisdom has looked at conversion as a single action or event, isolated in time.

The path from initial brand exposure to checkout is long and usually takes a few touch points for the user to convert. We need to stop talking about conversion rates, and start talking about conversion cycles.

For companies to truly zoom in on their customers and gain valuable insight that can pad their bottom line, they need to remember that when a customer visits their site, the site visit is only one tiny data point in a maze of factors that will ideally lead at the end to conversion. 

But if the company can identify where the customer is in her conversion process when she is at that specific data point in the maze, then they will have a valuable tool to effectively influence her behavior.

We caught a sneak-peak of your latest venture, Stealth mode Startup. It says, “Stay Tuned”, can you share some details with us, what to expect from it?
Liraz

My new adventure helps people form new and healthy habits and make sure they stick. As we approach the end of 2020, we may find ourself reflecting on our past resolutions. According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Healthier eating could save the United States more than $50 billion a year in health care costs associated with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and related illnesses, according to a new study.

An unhealthy diet is one of the leading risk factors for poor health and accounts for up to 45% of all deaths from these cardiometabolic diseases, the researchers noted.

At ConverCx we leverage behavioral models, cognitive psychology & conversational-AI to interact with patients, nudge & support them to form routine daily activities & habits.

Routines allow you to ensure regularity and achieve your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

We developed an innovative methodology to establish commitment by using a digital coach that personalized the trigger, the timing, and the reward to form new habits and maintain them. Different users go through different ‘Behavioral Change’ process. 

The more routines we have, the easier it will be to make unexpected decisions and cope with new challenges. Apart from achieving goals, habits give us security and stability.

Our brains love routine. Routine allows you to follow the same route to work every day while your brain does other stuff — like preparing your presentation for tomorrow’s board meeting. Routine is valuable to your brain because it frees up resources. And that’s why our brains reward us for routine, encouraging us to create more of them.

For example, after we flip on a light switch (the action) several times and the light comes on (the reward) — our brain learns this is what it should expect. The next time we flip the switch, and the reward comes, we get a small burst of dopamine. After several of these loops, a new association is created. This behavioral pattern becomes literally etched into our neural pathways, and a new habit is formed.

Some parting words of wisdom?
Liraz

I will rely on Albert Einstein, who says that we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Disha Bhattacharya is a seasoned content writer prolific in engaging the customer with her content in any given realm of writing. With 6 years of Freelance Content Writing and 3 years of Marketing Management experience up her sleeve, she believes in transforming businesses with her well-researched, SEO-based, innovative content. A story-teller at heart and a perfectionist by nature, she rolls out informative content with a personal touch that provides an entertaining read to the audience.

Posted in Interviews By Disha Bhattacharya   Date November 5, 2020

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