Thursday, October 8, 2015

Irritate Me Rather Than Ignore Me

Why would people become more likely to repeat a consumer behavior that had earlier been acknowledged with a mildly annoying sound or mildly unpleasant sight? Because it is better to be acknowledged than ignored.
     The researchers at University of Chicago, University of Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Madison who documented this effect even found that after a while, what had been annoying or unpleasant was actually rated by the consumers as pretty nice. The pleasure of acknowledgement came to trump the irritation.
     And talking about “trump” brings to mind a related phenomenon with The Donald. When presidential nomination contender Carly Fiorina was told Donald Trump considered her ugly, she replied, “[J]ust maybe I am getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls.” She’d been acknowledged. It’s in the tradition of Simon Cowell insulting a previously unknown singer during “American Idol,” and comedian Don Rickles producing big grins from audience members by calling them hockey pucks.
     I’m most certainly not recommending you go out of your way to irritate your shoppers. But I do recommend you go out of your way to acknowledge them and their actions, even at the risk of mildly irritating them.
     A while back, I conducted a two-day “Profitability Tactics for Small Retailers” seminar with a set of business advisors from the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network. The objective of the seminar was to equip the business advisors so they would help their retailer clients implement profitability tactics I preach.
     During the evening between the two days of intensive training, a pair of the business advisors from out of town supplemented their retailing knowledge by shopping at an IKEA store. At the cash/wrap, the two shoppers experienced an unsettled feeling. There was no sound accompanying the completion of the purchase. No sound of a cash register, although the sound from a cash register is not something most people would seek out in other circumstances. No acknowledgement from the cashier, who had promptly moved on to the next customer, although these two shoppers weren’t really interested in a prolonged post-purchase dialogue with the cashier. It was the absence of acknowledgement which struck them sufficiently to bring it up with me the next day.
     Imprint memories in shoppers’ brains as they enter your store and then again through each step of the purchase process. Acknowledge the shoppers and their actions.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Sound On When the Purchase is Completed
Acknowledge People Waiting in Line

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