Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Respond to Praise Thoughtfully

If you’re Domino’s Pizza, how would you reply if a customer posts on your Facebook page, “Best Pizza Ever!... Keep up the good work guys!”? Might you post, “So sorry about that! Please share some additional information with us… so we can have this addressed.”?
     Yep, that’s what Domino’s did.
     The Consumerist blog blames it on a system algorithm so accustomed to receiving grumbles about the product that it couldn’t figure out how to handle a compliment. Whether or not that’s true, the little episode reminds us of the importance of handling praise thoughtfully.
     I admit it’s not always easy to accomplish. Whenever one of my “Retail Profitability Tactics” participants comes up after a workshop and says something like, “That was really great!,” I’ve an unfailing urge to ask, “Could you please tell me exactly what I did well so I can be sure to keep doing it?” However, I don’t say that, since it would come across as me fishing for a compliment.
     I’ve found it works to ask, “How might I do even better?” That often gets the consumer of my services to tell me specifics. And if asking this question produces on the workshop participant’s face the appearance of a deer caught in the headlights, it serves to signal me that the compliment was given to make me feel good rather than for something I’d specifically done.
     I recommend you ask that same question when a customer gives you praise. But there are two steps I left out in telling you what I do and recommending what you do. Before asking for suggestions on how to do better:
  • First, stop for a moment and absorb the praise. Enjoy the gift. 
  • Next, say thank you. 
     Acknowledging the gratitude of the consumer with your own gratitude is not only courteous. It’s also a business builder. Researchers at University of Washington, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, San Jose State University, and University of Cincinnati found that when customers are aware of their gratitude to a retailer, they become more likely to purchase items from that retailer. Studies at Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi concluded that the greater the extent to which customers volunteered they felt grateful to the retailer for helping to solve a problem or satisfy a need, the more likely the customers were to praise the retailer to others and to say they intended to shop with that retailer again.

Click below for more: 
Encourage Specifics & Criticism in Word-of-Mouth 
Lock In Customer Gratitude 
Help Ecommerce Customers Thank You

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