Monday, June 5, 2017

Motivate the Rushed Toward Motivated Reasoning

In making sales, you’d like to minimize the surprises, especially the unexpected item returns. How helpful, then, that researchers at University of Miami, University of California-Riverside, and Baruch College are alerting us to a circumstance where we could get blindsided: When a shopper in a hurry, thrilled with the item we’ve recommended, turns strongly against the purchase as they later encounter information about the alternatives. The surprise is the researcher’s finding that the stronger the customer’s enthusiasm about that initial alternative, the stronger the subsequent rejection.
     The explanation has to do with what social psychologists call “cognitive dissonance.” Consumer psychologists usually know it as “buyer’s remorse.” When someone chooses a product, they often later have doubts that they made the right decision. This is more likely when they later get information about the good features of the other possible choices.
     Still, why would the people who are most thrilled with the first alternative have the strongest doubts afterwards? It would seem that they’d be the ones most likely to defend their initial choice to themselves and others. In fact, this is what generally happens when a number of alternatives are considered all at once before the choice is made. In this situation, those who are most confident about their choice will have the least buyer’s remorse.
     But when a shopper in a rush finds relief in selecting the first alternative presented so they can move on, information they’ll encounter later about other alternatives produces the greatest amount of dissonance among those who were most convinced they made the right choice. These are the customers who, when the time pressure has passed, will come back to your store wanting a refund or exchange.
     How to avoid the problem? Well, at the start, do recommend to the shopper the alternative you believe will best serve them. If the customer’s in a rush, lead with that one. Still, encourage the rushed shopper to slow down enough for you to show more than one alternative and to give information about all the choices. But if needing to handle the issue later, the researchers suggest you engage the customer in a counterpart of cognitive dissonance which is called “motivated reasoning.” Discuss with the person why they made the choice they did and why you supported their decision at the time. Reignite the passion and relief your customer experienced at the time of original selection.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Beware the Rushin’ Language
Close Out the Purchase
Avoid Recommending If Strict Return Policies

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