What we should know about our customers, clients, stakeholders, and employees


In December 2019 many of us knew something about a virus that started in Wuhan province in China. Little did we know where we would be today. In reference to disruptive industry trends, this is right up there.

We have all grown accustomed to virtual meetings, online discussions, social distancing practices and face masks. However, these also changed how we relate to one another. Ad hoc office discussions, or in-person client meetings resulted in connections and a deeper understanding of co-workers and organisation dynamics.

The current restrictions on in-person interactions rely more on language and asking detailed questions to gain a similar understanding of the person, in context.

The changed nature of interaction and communication result in different approaches to connecting with people. Several models developed over many years are now dusted off and re-evaluated.

Theories such as transactional analysis, leadership development models, emotional quotient (EQ), and ways to increase empathy skills are poised to increase understanding, insight and the development of empathy within new normal conditions.

One such model is the Johari window. A model that was first released in 1955. The name Johari is a combination of the two developers’ names, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. The model is particularly relevant to strengthen the relations between people or groups. They developed a quadrant view which is an expression of the known and unknown attributes between people, groups, organisations and their clients.

The general practice is that a person (respondent) receives 56 attributes that describe behaviour or personality traits. The person has to select six. Every other person in the group also selects six from the same list in reference to the respondent.

The Johari Window process involves allocating the six attributes from every person in the four quadrants. Where attributes overlap between the respondent and the other participants they are placed in the Arena quadrant, and so on.

Relations are strengthened by sharing more detail about the attributes that are less known about the respondent to increase cohesion in the group.

Let’s put this in the customer or consumer context of an organisation and see if we can gain a better understanding at a larger audience scale using the Tx5® solution.

Tx5® developed five behavioural clusters by distilling those through an iterative test/re-test process. The behavioural groups provide the entry point to start the evaluation process of what is known, hidden and unknown about customers and stakeholders.

  1. Arena Quadrant
    The Arena quadrant is what is known by both the consumer (person) and the organisation. This is usually the different players in the market, or at least the major ones and what products or services are on offer. In broad terms, this is what is available in the public information domain and often supported by marketing messages that drive awareness and knowledge. This is the broad social and contextual space. Tx5® refers to this as the context dimension.
  2. Blindspot Quadrant
    Blindspot is what is known by the organisation but remains hidden from the person. This is usually based on purchase data or website visits. Customers may be aware that the data is collected at some level but they will most likely be unaware of how it is processed and used.

    This quadrant generally includes demographic characteristics and may perhaps be more sophisticated to include last purchase, income (and from which to determine disposable income averages), preferences such as brands, shopping days, basket size, and many other features about the person developed through the transactional history. Of course, if these purchases are linked to a loyalty or membership programmes, the more detailed the information base.

    Why then is it called Blindspot? Because even though there are many known aspects, they are all outer expressions of behaviour. These aspects do not shed light on the inner motivations of the person (consumer). Tx5® accounts for this in the Consider dimension, the space where values, drivers, fears and historical learnings all come together to determine decisions. The confluence of experience.
  3. Façade Quadrant
    The Façade is what is known by the person but not the organisation. In other words, this is the space that the organisation is unaware of. This aligns with the third dimension of the Tx5® model, the behaviour dimension.

    What made the person buy that brand and not the other? How does the inner workings of the person translate into behaviour? The organisation can certainly track the outcome of the behaviour which informs and expands the Blindspot quadrant, but it is all post facto. It is always playing catch-up.

    The protocol to infer the post facto behaviour is often based on assumptions, which may, sometimes, be right. For instance, a competitor brand runs a promotion and therefore the organisation’s sales decrease, the assumption is made that people responded to the promotion. Logical and most likely correct.

    But why did some stay with the organisation and not go to the competitor? We may call this loyalty or great customer retention strategies, but these may not always be right and the inference about motivations wrong. These may be based on the correlation between brand character or image and, more importantly, behaviour.
  4. Unknown Quadrant
    The fourth quadrant, the Unknown, will always be there. It is likely that for many organisations and people, this quadrant increased in size as many new questions started to emerge since the start of COVID-19.

    What new models should be considered? What does the retail environment look like five years from now? How should customer satisfaction measures be changed or modified to accommodate the new world order? Or, as in the opening illustration of this article, how do we keep employee teams together when all we see of one another every day are faces on screens or perhaps just grey blocks with names?
  5. Conclusion
    Tx5® brings the three dimensions Arena, Blindspot and Façade closer together and provide greater insight into the motivations of people, expressed through behaviour. Tx5® enables the organisation to better predict (rather than assume) the next step and to address future unknowns that may suddenly emerge, as COVID-19 did.

Let’s talk…

Please note that Tx5® is a commercial behaviour segmentation tool, it is not a psychometric test.

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