Monday, May 1, 2017

Step Away from Calling Stephen Stephen

How bad is it to call a shopper by the wrong name? We know that using the right name enhances the sale. Calling a shopper by name underlines how you’re treating them as an individual rather than as a member of a herd. In fact, people’s self-esteem and their propensity to buy is heightened not only when their name is used, but also when they are shown or given products with brand names starting with the first letter in their own names. Our name is a set of sounds very familiar to us, and when we hear the set used in a pleasant way, our distrust dissolves.
     But is it better not to use the name at all rather than use the wrong name or mispronounce it? Yes, advise researchers from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Temple University, and University of Alabama. Interest in purchasing from a merchant dropped more sharply when the wrong name was used than when no name was used.
     How readily the good intentions can get mangled. If you see the name Stephan, and say “Steff uhn,” how deeply do you offend the “Stee vuhn” standing in front of you? If you hear the name “Chris” and then write that on the sales slip, will Kris be irritated? Or if you assume Chris is one gender, and it turns out you got it wrong, what’s the damage? More importantly, what can you do to avoid or repair the damage? Because of the power of using the name, I don’t advise you to give up the practice.
     The researchers say the damage comes from feelings of disrespect, so the remedy is to show respect. If you get the name wrong, apologize and ask the shopper’s help in getting it right. Then take care to be accurate next time.
     Another way to show respect, the researchers found, was to probe for personal values. I’ve seen success doing this by asking shoppers their reasons for selecting certain items over others. It’s best not to ask the questions in a “Why?” format. When asked, “Why did you make that choice?,” some consumers get defensive, as if their judgment is being ridiculed. Instead, use a phrasing that assumes the shopper is making a good decision: “What is important to you when choosing a product like this?” or “In what ways do you find this one to be better than the other possibilities?”

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

Click below for more: 
Name Your Customers
Sign Up Customers for Store-Self Identity
Praise Your Customers
Value Cultural Values

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