Behavioural economics

How a deeper understanding of human behaviour can transform your business

Most complex business problems boil down to human behaviour. Ultimately, how people behave strongly influences how products, services and organizational processes are designed and how stakeholders embrace them. That’s where behavioural economics come into the picture.

As emerging threats and opportunities transform the business landscape, organizations that harness the power of data analytics to understand what drives customers and employees to think or act the way they do will prevail.

Through behavioural economics, we can see how we don’t always make decisions in a rational and calculated way. We often use thought processes that are intuitive and gut-driven rather than deliberative and planned.

You can’t force people to be more rational, but by recognizing the power of personalization and anticipating cognitive biases using behavioural science and data analytics, you can design targeted, cost-effective interventions that nudge people toward better decisions and behaviours. It’s about addressing the inefficiencies that stand between you and the best outcomes for your organization and stakeholders.

Gallup research shows that companies applying behavioural insights principles outperformed peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin during a one-year period.

What are behavioural insights

PwC’s behavioral insights practice looks at using the science and knowledge of human behaviour to decide how to solve problems in order to get the best outcome for customers, employees and citizens. In the digital era, many businesses are faced with disruption from new and emerging technologies. While this innovation is exciting and is changing how we work it’s only part of the equation.  

Your people and processes are key to successful business transformation but are often overlooked. The value of truly understanding human behaviour across your organization is imperative to setting up your organization for success.

Our behavioural toolkit uses the power of applied science and data driven insights from reality to help you work towards your strategic initiatives.

The behavioural economics team is made up of highly-trained local Canadian practitioners as part of an integrated global network of behavioural teams.

We have worked on projects helping organizations across banking, wealth management, insurance, utilities, retail, not-for-profit and government sectors.

We work alongside industry and competency specialists to bring the best of scientific and empirical thinking with the best of practical and market insight. We work across multiple industries, including financial services, not-for-profit, government and retail.

We call it our whole brain approach and we believe it is with this suite of skills that we can be a great partner for your strategic initiatives.

Together, we can reframe the conversation, reinvent the way we design for citizens, customers, and employees, and reimagine service delivery and transformation that keeps people at the core.

Businesses are facing issues around:

  • customer data (i.e. how to collect, store and utilize it to their advantage)
  • security of that data
  • employee engagement
  • customer experience
  • technology adoption and integration

Below we have listed some of the ways in which we have used behavioural insights to help customers solve these problems and others.

Case studies

We have over 35 Canadian case studies and many more globally.

Highlights include:

  • We redesigned digital communication campaigns with customers to build their financial literacy on complex financial products, and encourage enrollment in short term savings by more than 400%.
  • We reimagined the claims management process to build tools that alleviate customer anxiety while reducing phone channel volumes by over 90%.
  • We conducted a behavioural segmentation to guide the design targeted and meaningful incentives to switch over 100,000 customers from paper to online billing.
  • We redesigned and implement a change management program to help build a culture for change and encourage adoption of a new platform in the workplace by 150%.
  • We reimagined an online platform to build customer understanding of complex insurance products, help navigate options to ensure long term wellbeing, and boost commitment to purchasing a policy by 300%.
  • We reimagined the claims experience for claimants on disability, and redesign communications and support systems to help them recover and get them back to work 27% quicker.

Related insights

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Contact us

Yair Weisblum

Partner, Customer Services, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 814 5892

Melaina Vinski, MSc, PhD

Behavioural Economics Lead, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 941 8383 ext. 16661

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