Tennis great Jimmy Connors famously said, “I hate to lose more than I love to win.”
His aversion to loss isn’t limited to elite athletes. Distaste for losing motivates politicians, gamblers, businesspeople and importantly, ordinary consumers. And unless you recognize its power, you may make critical mistakes with your customer experience.
Prospect theory explains why we hate losing more than we like winning. As described by Professor Daniel Kahneman of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School (and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics), we have a tendency to evaluate things in terms of gains and losses. We don’t like losing – even more than we enjoy gaining a similar amount.
To illustrate this, Kahneman gives us the example of betting on a coin toss. If you told college students that they’d lose $10 if the coin came up tails and then asked them what they’d have to win on heads to make the bet worthwhile, they’d say $25. This means that for people to be willing to risk losing, they have to have a chance of making much greater gains if they win.
Childhood bullying gets a lot of attention these days, but bullying and other bad behavior can be just as destructive in the workplace as on the playground.
Over the years, I’ve seen people with poor social and interpersonal skills unnecessarily make life miserable – not just for themselves, but for everyone else in the workplace. For managers and executives, poor relationships with employees and customers are one of the surest ways to undermine any efforts to create a positive customer experience.
Creating and maintaining work relationships isn’t hard, if you just remember a few simple rules that you probably learned before you were even in your teens.
1.Do unto others…
Or, as my mum would say, “treat others the way you would want to don by”. In business, that means treating fellow employees, customers and others with the courtesy and respect you’d like to receive from them.
Some people love to tip and others do, but begrudgingly. However, it appears that nowadays everyone is expecting a tip even if they are just serving you at the checkout!
When you see a tip jar by the cash register what do you think? To me, the tip jar says “I deserve a tip”. But it says quite a bit more, too, and none of it good about your Customer Experience.
When ordering at a cash register, we Brits tend to feel a tip is not necessary as we offer gratuity when waited on at a table. However, I also recognize that when I am in the States, tipping rules are different.
The tip jar is there nonetheless. Now, as a customer, I must decide. Tip now, even though it’s not a situation where I would perceive a tip to be necessary, or ignore it and risk appearing rude to the person making my taco/latte/sandwich.
Say I go ahead and tip. How much do I tip? The loose change I get back from the cashier? A couple of dollars? 20% of my entire check? What is customary for the tip jar next to the cash register?
In our customer experience consultancy, we find there’s one thing that consistently prevents companies from adopting a more customer-centric approach.
It’s not (as you might guess) cost!
Instead, the problem is priorities, and specifically the priorities of people who make critical company decisions. You see, as people move up the chain of command, they get further and further removed from the average customer. Executives spend their days dealing with big-picture strategic issues, personnel management and company finances. They’re not greeting customers or closing sales. Even lower level employees at company headquarters are far removed from day to day exchanges with customers.
And unless there’s a concerted effort, decisions made at headquarters tend to be about the company’s goals, not the customer’s needs.
Turning this around doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply a matter of reminding the people “in the office” that customers matter. Here are 7 ways to do just that.
A lot of people give the millennial generation a hard time, but when it comes to customer experience, the millennials’ thinking is spot on.
While we older folks spent our 20s and 30s buying new couches, bigger houses and fancier kitchen gadgets, millennials are spending their money on concerts, vacations and dinners with friends. In a survey for the event promotion site Eventbrite, 78 percent said they’d rather spend their money on an experience or event than a product. About three quarters of respondents said they’d made some of the best memories of their lives at live events, and a similar number said that going to live events deepens their relationships with family and friends.
As a customer experience consultant, this tells me that millennials understand something very important about happiness and customer experience, and if retailers and brands don’t listen, they’re going to struggle.
The thing that millennials seem to get has been described by Cornell University professor Dr. Thomas Gilovich, who has been researching the connection between money and happiness for longer than some millennials have been alive.
I have lied about this. I’d wager you have, too. Moreover, per Groupon’s latest survey, most people lie about being happy about the gifts they receive at the holidays.
When I read this study, I wondered if we lie to people about our gift receiving experience, isn’t it also likely we lie about other experiences too? Does that also mean our customers lie to us about how they feel about their Customer Experience?
For my part, I’d say the answer is a resounding yes.
The Groupon survey revealed many significant findings:
73% of respondents admitted to faking their reaction to a gift on a regular basis
Eight out of ten people will pretend to like a gift they receive even when they don’t
Only ten percent of respondents said they would tell the truth if they didn’t like a gift
Women are more likely to fake it than men (77% vs. 63%)
Only 8% of the 55 and older group would tell the truth about how they feel about a gift received.