Thursday, July 14, 2016

Prevent Store Brand Sabotage

When a highly regular customer stops doing business with you, there are many possible explanations for it. Researchers at University of Bern and University of Texas-Austin say that if the reason is a clash of the former customer’s value system with their perception of your business’s current value system, you had better be careful. The result could be what the researchers call Consumer Brand Sabotage. Unless you intervene early, the CBS individual becomes willing to devote substantial efforts to harming the reputation of your store.
     The dominant motives of most dissatisfied customers are to restore a sense of fairness and vent negative emotions. But the desire to destroy your business in those ready to engage in CBS arises from feelings of being betrayed. Their relationship with your store is often a strong one, the sort described by market researchers as being closer to a love affair than a fleeting fling.
     Catalyzing the consumer’s outrage is a sense of powerlessness, and thereby lies the way to head off the destructiveness: Restore the customer’s sense of influence by asking, “What can I do to make things right?” Just being asked and listened to can prevent the active sabotage. And if the answer you get involves actions you’re not able or willing to take, you can come back with a more reasonable alternative. In this dialogue, remember that what’s at the base is a conflict in values systems, so learn about the disgruntled customer’s values.
     But wait. If the customer has stopped coming into your store, how will you be able to ask them that? Well, you do it by reaching out to regular patrons who suddenly stop showing their faces. The outreach might require some persistence. In studies at University of Western Ontario and Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, former customers who felt betrayed often experienced shame and insecurity.
     If the CBS has already begun, you’ll want to actively counter it by correcting misinformation. Take comfort, though, in another finding from the Ontario group: People can decode an unreasonable complaint. The researchers present this example of a real posting: “I used to love [that store]. Let me tell you all why I plan to never go back there again; I hate them with a passion now,….” The studies found that readers of such a posting, which talks of “hate” and “passion,” will suspect that this reviewer isn’t objectively accurate and therefore not credible.

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

Click below for more: 
Break Up with Customers Graciously
Fling Shoppers for Thrills
Analyze Patterns of Complaints
Value Cultural Values
Lead Your Customers Through Changes Gradually

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