Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ventilate Frustration When Promoting Self-Control

Retailers ask shoppers to exert self-control:
  • Weight-loss programs, for example, keep their customers by convincing the customers they can make sacrifices and then seeing to it that they do.
  • Merchants who allow purchasers to pay off an item over time, such as on layaway, depend on the person disciplining themselves.
  • When the retailer is selling to children who aren’t footing the bill, the retailer almost comes to expect the child to say, “I don’t want this one or that one. I want all of them, and I want all of them right now.”
     In those sorts of situations, strengthen the relationship with the customer by providing outlets for frustration. Even something as small as allowing the customers to ventilate their anger briefly can help. And realize that something even as small as needing to make a series of choices can lower the frustration threshold.
     Researchers at University of Minnesota and Florida State University asked a group of consumers to declare shopping preferences: “Would you rather have this red T-shirt or this blue T-shirt? and on and on. An equivalent group of consumers were asked instead to rate the items: “How would you rate this red T-shirt on attractiveness?” and on and on.
     Each of the study participants was then asked to perform what amounted to a self-control task, such as drinking a healthy, but terrible tasting, beverage. The researchers found that the consumers who had declared their T-shirt and other preferences showed frustration much more quickly on the subsequent self-control task.
     Picking up the thread from there, researchers at Northwestern University and University of California-San Diego documented how shoppers who exert self-control want to ventilate anger. Study participants who convinced themselves to choose an apple over a chocolate bar as a snack became more likely to later prefer to see a movie about revenge than a movie missing that theme. Those who chose a reward of groceries over a reward for a spa session showed an elevated interest in looking at angry faces instead of fearful ones.
     When the shopkeeper acknowledges the shopper’s frustration, this can ease it. But keep it brief and end on a positive note. Research at University of Maryland and Yale University indicates that too much talking will lock into the shopper’s mind the anger they’re experiencing, and those negative memories make it less likely they’ll buy from you in the future.

Click below for more:
Avoid Locking In Bad Moods
Lock In Customer Gratitude

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