Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dump Sadness on Some Dumped Shoppers

When your shopper’s been dumped, they’ll probably want to be indulged. It was in spring 2005 that Ben & Jerry's ice cream shops introduced customers to a special selection of new flavors. With names like Chocolate Therapy, Apple-y Ever After, and The Last Straw, these flavors were not, as it happens, designed to stimulate the romantic urges we associate with spring. No, the Ben & Jerry’s folks intended the new flavors to soothe rather than stimulate. The retailer aimed to maintain their reputation as what an entire sorority had called their “breakup ice cream brand of choice.”
     Researchers at University of California-Berkeley, Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil, and KAIST in South Korea agree that when enduring emotional distress from intimate relationship problems, many consumers do seek positive aesthetic experiences, such as cheerful music and zany comedies. However, the researchers also uncovered circumstances where the shoppers preferred sad music and tear-jerking movies. This occurred if the downhearted aesthetic experience gives a feeling of understanding companionship.
     A salesperson who is not overly upbeat helps as well. If store staff exude a positive mood, it increases sales. But there can be too much of a good thing when the customer is feeling down. Research findings from Northeastern University indicate that, with one important exception I’ll tell you about in a moment, a customer who is in a bad mood is unlikely to buy from a salesperson who clearly appears to be in a much better mood than she herself is.
     Many customer service gurus preach that salespeople should exude the nonstop cheerfulness you’d see in Mickey and Minnie Mouse at a Disney theme park. But if I’m feeling downright irritated and irritable because I’d much rather be home in bed resting instead of hunting down a cold remedy, my irritation fairly explodes with some salesclerk who fails to even acknowledge my horrible state.
     Customers want to spend their money with retailers who will confidently help them solve problems. A way to show that confidence is for the salespeople to project a positive approach. But with the one exception, the salesperson’s mood should be just a little more upbeat than the customer’s. The exception? The research says that when the shopper is feeling truly desperate, he has no objection at all to dealing with a highly cheerful salesperson. This is an instance where misery doesn’t want company, but instead prefers a can-do attitude.

Click below for more: 
Be Just a Little More Upbeat Than Your Customer 
Lift the Spirits of Your Customers 
Cry All the Way to the Bank 
Kick Out Customers Using a Welcome

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