Monday, June 11, 2018

Time Your Talk to Facilitate Transactions

Imagine that, while you are talking with the front desk clerk at a hotel, he tells you a story:
You know, some weeks ago one of our guests asked me when our bar opens. I was here in the reception when he called – at 3 a.m. I said that the bar opens at noon. About one hour later, the guest called again and asked when the bar opens. Now he sounded a bit drunk. Again, I said it opens at noon. After another hour, he called again and asked when the bar opens. I think he was more drunk this time. I said that the bar opens at noon, and that I could have room service send something up to the guest if needed. Then the guest said ‘No, I don’t want to get in…I want to get out! 
     Was that joke good enough to draw a chuckle from you? Would the joke give you more positive feelings about the desk clerk and the hotel?
     Now I’ll add some details. Let’s say the desk clerk starts telling you this story late in the evening when you’re checking in to the hotel and are anxious to get to your room. Researchers at Stockholm School of Economics and University of Oulu found in that situation, the joke facilitated perceptions of the desk clerk as a fun person, but lowered customer satisfaction with the hotel.
     The ready explanation is that hotel guests in this situation aren’t purchasing the services of a fun person. They’re paying for smooth hotel check-in, not a standup comedy routine. The astute front desk clerk—or retail store salesperson or professional practitioner—will time their talk to facilitate transactions. Further, even when the consumer isn’t in a hurry, humor can be a promotional vampire. The audience starts paying more attention to the joke than to the sales message.
     This doesn’t argue against ever joking around with a consumer. There are many situations in which a light touch eases a shopper’s decision making or dissolves a customer’s post-purchase doubts. Humor draws attention and generates word-of-mouth about the sales conversation. Humor heads off mental counterarguments. The shopper is too busy chuckling to challenge the sales pitch of the ad. And when happy, customers are more likely to make a decision to buy.
     Just remember that excellent timing counts when telling a joke, and also in when to tell a joke.

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

Click below for more: 
Humor Your Customers
Stake Out Promotional Vampire Risks

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