Can your business change how a consumer feels about a negative experience by reminding them of the good times?

The idea of changing a customer’s point of view by placing their experience in a different context is based on the psychological concept of reframing.  In other words, if a client had a bad experience in one context, change the context.

Sterling Bone, an associate marketing professor at Utah State’s Huntsman School of Business, conducted research in reframing a customer’s point of view by beginning customer surveys with a positive question as opposed to the typical, what-went-wrong query.  What Bone and his associates found was if customer surveys formatted initial questioning to remind the consumer of positive feelings it translated to a positive change in customer activities and in traditional client satisfaction measurements.  As an example, the study cited a national retail chain who conducted a satisfaction survey that began by requesting a compliment. Participants of the survey completed 9% more transactions and spent 8% more with the company over the following year than customers who took the same survey without the request for a compliment.  In short, you may want to consider beginning your customer surveys with, “How did we please you?” 

Want to learn more?  The Harvard Business Review takes a deep dive into Bone’s research at   operation-reputation_logo_rev

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