Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stay Aware of the Drive to Share

A nurse opens the door from the examination area and announces to those in the waiting room, “Mr. Frederick. Congratulations. You are the one-hundredth patient who has come to our clinic this month, so you get to see the doctor now, ahead of any here who arrived before you or scheduled earlier appointments. Come on in!”
     Consider the reactions other patients in the waiting room would have to such an announcement. Then please consider Mr. Frederick’s reaction. You might think that once inside the door, he’s pleased he didn’t have to wait longer. On the other hand, while running the gauntlet between those other patients from his seat into that door, Mr. Frederick’s likely to feel mighty uncomfortable.
     Researchers at University of Oregon and University of British Columbia analyzed situations in which a consumer receives preferential treatment in front of fellow consumers. It could be the hotel registration clerk who says to a guest, while others who just checked in are still there, “We’re upgrading you to a suite at no extra charge because we just now ran out of regular rooms.” Or the sales clerk who gives a shopper a coupon and says, “I have only one of these for a special discount, so I’ll give it to you.” For the researchers, it was extra free samples handed to some consumers without explanation.
     It would seem that the recipient of the preferential treatment should feel great. And it’s true that if you’re providing a reward in a way which allows the customer to share the reward with others, doing it in front of the entourage increases the psychological value to the customer. But the Oregon/British Columbia researchers found that unless the reward could be shared, most recipients were less satisfied with the product or service than if the treat had been delivered outside the earshot of other consumers or if a good reason was given for the action.
     Other research at University of British Columbia, along with University of Alberta, indicates that in our doctor’s office scenario, Mr. Frederick’s discomfort would be even greater if the chairs were arranged in a circular than in an angular pattern. Whether in a waiting area, lobby, or dining area, a circular arrangement activates consumers’ drive to share with others and conform to the opinions of others. An angular arrangement activates an acceptance, and even a preference, for being superior to onlookers.

Click below for more: 
Make Your Shoppers Feel Special 
Offer Exclusive Price Discounts Cautiously 
Reward the Customer in Front of An Entourage 
Win First Place As a Secure Third Place

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