Monday, October 28, 2013

Sleep Away from Customer Irritation

Ryanair does not want to disturb your deep sleep. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the airline has changed its procedures so the crew will take care to dim the cabin lights and refrain from all but safety announcements before 8 AM or after 9 PM on flights.
     This from the airline which was rated last month as providing the absolutely worst customer service among 100 British corporate brands. The airline that refused to waive the fee when a passenger asked for an earlier flight after he’d learned that his family had been killed in a fire. The airline whose CEO is said to have considered the idea of having passengers stand during flights, holding onto a subway-style rail, so more could be stuffed onto the plane.
     No wonder Ryanair passengers got irritated. And, no wonder Ryanair wants to help the passengers sleep it off.
     Other types of retailers may be unable to reply to customer irritation by inducing slumber. But they can still make use of “the sleeper effect.” In the 1970’s, psychologists gave that name to a phenomenon they noted in political campaigning: When the arguments for a candidate were convincing and the person making the arguments was irritating, the consumer would at first not be at all convinced, but after a period of time would forgot about the source and be persuaded by the message.
     Subsequent studies found that the sleeper effect works in a range of selling situations. Research centered at University of Illinois-Chicago Circle described the conditions essential to produce the sleeper effect. Here is my translation of the findings into the steps you—the retailer—can take to activate the sleeper effect when you think you’ve irritated a customer to whom you’d like to make a sale and an apology doesn’t do the trick:
  • Briefly state the one reason for purchase that you believe will be most compelling to the shopper. 
  • Ask the shopper if she has any questions you might answer. 
  • If she isn’t interested in making the purchase, say something like, “I know a purchase like this can be an important decision. Please think about it and then visit us again.” 
  • If you’ve contact information for the customer, wait one month, then send out an e-mail or postal mail invitation to come in to shop with you. To avoid reactivating unpleasant personal associations, sign the invitation with the store name, not your name. 
Click below for more: 
Provide Group Support with Customer Discomfort 
Put Customers to Sleep After Irritating Them

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