Thursday, July 8, 2010

Put Foot-in-the-Door to Build Trust

Every retailing transaction involves the customer placing some trust in the retailer. Sometimes, as with online banking, a significant amount of trust is required. Research at Athens University of Economics and Business in collaboration with National Bank of Greece suggests that a good way to build higher degrees of trust is to use one of the oldest selling tactics in the world—the foot-in-the-door technique.
     FITD consists of starting out with such a small request that the shopper is very likely to say yes and then using this yes as a base for presenting a series of larger requests. Consumer psychologists have repeatedly found that getting a yes to a small request makes the person much more likely to agree to a larger request if benefits follow that yes to the small request.
     FITD is a natural when it comes to building trust: Prove you deserve a little trust and the customer is willing to extend you some more rope. The Athens/National Bank findings indicate you can make FITD more efficient with tweaking: The researchers investigated the role of trust in consumers’ accepting Internet and phone banking. Consumers were assessed for their beliefs that the bank was trustworthy, their showing evidence of extending trust, and their intentions to use the newer banking services.
     The research conclusion is that convincing the consumer you’re worthy of trust is important, but to grow that trust most efficiently, get the consumer to behave in a trusting way. The advice for retailers is to make a point with customers when they show trust and their trust pays off. Not only keep your promises to the customer, but also point out to the customer that the promise has been kept and there have been benefits to this.
     FITD to build trust is especially useful:
  • With online retailing transactions. Researchers at Universit√© de Bretagne-Sud in France find that FITD carries over nicely to ecommerce transactions.
  • With new products, delivery methods, or usage methods. Move from the familiar toward the unfamiliar in a series of trust-building steps.
  • With consumers who are skeptical about innovations. The venturesome innovators say, “I want the latest, even if all the problems haven’t been worked out.” The respectable early adopters say, “I want a taste of where the world is heading.” But the rest of your shoppers need to build bigger trust before they take a bigger step.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Make the Sale a Slice at a Time
Keep Your Promises
Encourage Customers to Be Innovative

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