There are two questions you may recognise. You have probably been asked them yourself. But what you may not realise is the hidden power that these two simple questions have to influence your behaviour.
“Would you buy from us again?”
“Would you recommend us to a friend?”
At first glance these may appear like simple feedback questions to measure customer satisfaction. But they actually have another more ingenious purpose which plays directly into human psychology.
Dr. Robert Cialdini in his landmark book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ devotes a whole section on an individual’s innate need to act consistently. In our society we place great value in keeping our word, acting in line with past behaviour, and sticking to a story we have already told. And this need to act consistently has great power. People will often stick with an incorrect belief even after it has been proved completely incorrect, they will often follow through on a commitment even when it is completely inconvenient to do so, and they will often base a decision on the actions they have taken before – even if they know that it is not the best decision this time.
What Dr. Cialdini notes is that the power of consistency is that much more potent if written down or declared publicly. If you tell people you are going to do something, then you usually will. Much more so than if you just make a personal private commitment. And this is where those two questions gain their power.
By getting customers to outwardly declare that they would use you again or recommend you, you are actually increasing the chances of that happening. Especially if you make it clear that the feedback was received and thank the customer for their reply.
For as long as the customer remembers the commitment and remembers you, they will be more likely to act consistently with those two positive answers and less likely to be disloyal or pass up an opportunity to recommend you.
So why not add those two questions to the bottom of your own feedback form?. Its a small thing. But with marketing, it is often the small things that can make a big difference.
Article by Justin Firth