Monday, February 16, 2015

Buttress Trust with Clarity

“Show me the money” has been part of our cultural lexicon for nearly two decades. Popularized by the 1996 sports film “Jerry Maguire,” the phrase became shorthand for an attitude of, “I’m not depending on trust in our business relationship.”
     Studies at Copenhagen Business School find that this attitude characterizes consumers now in their business relationships with financial institutions. The power of trust is significantly less these days than it was prior to the start of the 2008 financial crisis. People have come to believe their trust in their banks and investment advisors was misplaced before and have come to feel betrayed.
     Research at Athens University of Economics and Business in collaboration with National Bank of Greece indicates that a good way to reestablish the relationship between trust and customer loyalty is to use one of the oldest selling tactics in the world—the foot-in-the-door technique.
     FITD consists of starting out with such a small request that the shopper is very likely to say yes and then using this yes as a base for presenting a series of larger requests. Consumer psychologists have repeatedly found that getting a yes to a small request makes the person much more likely to agree to a larger request if clear payoffs follow that yes to the small request. FITD is a natural when it comes to building trust: Prove you deserve a little trust and the customer is willing to extend you some more rope.
     A difficulty with this, though, is that financial services can be what behavioral economists call “post-experience goods,” in which it’s hard for the consumer to evaluate the payoff until well after the purchase decision. It takes some time to show me the money.
     The solution is to buttress trust with clarity by following Gricean Norms. Herbert Paul Grice, a philosopher of language who, in his later years taught at University of California-Berkeley, postulated four norms: Here’s my version for financial institutions and other retailers:
  • Relevance. Give enough information to the shopper to allow the shopper to make smart purchase decisions. 
  • Parsimony. Limit the amount and pace of information to fit the capabilities and the preferences of the consumer. 
  • Truthfulness. Have sufficient evidence for the claims you make ready for presentation to the shopper in manageable chunks if the shopper asks for it. 
  • Clarity. Use words, phrasing, and the sequencing of ideas which minimize ambiguity for the shopper. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Betray the Betrayal Effect 
Put Foot-in-the-Door to Build Trust 
Build Post-Decision Trust Using FITD 
Post Dramatic Tales for Post-Experience Goods 
Relax Guardedness with Gricean Norms

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