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Best Practices

Weird Psychological Tricks to Make Customers Happy

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Did you know we all have a magic threshold to  happiness, and that when we reach this ratio of good-to-bad events we turn from alright to happy? Do you know the best drink to offer at a client meeting to increase their good will toward you?

We’ve discussed  unusual ways to be a better project manager, but another necessity to be a great project manager is to ensure you’re great to your clients and customers.

Take a look at these weird psychological tricks to make customers happy:

1. Offer a Hot Cup of Coffee or Tea

How many times have you offered a drink to customers before you sit down to have a meeting? Well did you know that you are doing yourself a disservice if you offer them a soda versus a hot chocolate?

Studies  have shown that we associate people’s character strongly with the feelings we experienced while meeting them for the first time. Go on a first date at an amusement park if you want your partner to think you’re adventurous. Likewise,  offer a hot cup of tea to a customer if you want them to think of you as a warm, trustworthy person.

Dr. Simon Moore from London Metropolitan University confirms this tactic: “It’s basic conditioning – warm sensations are nicer than cold sensations and if you feel something nice you transpose it on something else.”

Start your relationship with a client on the right foot by offering them a hot beverage, and transpose good will and trust right off the bat. After all, it’s easier to keep a customer happy who likes you versus the other way around.

2. Trick Them!

Okay, maybe not  trick them. But give them pleasant surprises as often as you can. I’m sure you’ve noticed that happiness is relative. Hearing you got an extension on a project deadline makes you much happier than just having more time from the beginning. Bank on this fact of life to benefit your customer relationships! Here are some ideas how:

  • Provide an initial timeline for your customer’s project and finish it two days early.
  • Add in a service, that they didn’t ask for, but you usually provide, after, as a free bonus.
  • At the initial project meeting, flag one cherry-on-the-cake request as potentially problematic to complete. Complete it.

Nothing makes a client happier than when reality exceeds their expectations.  Be aware of this fact while you are defining reality with your client, so you know exactly how to surpass it.

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3. Keep their Happiness Ratio in Balance

Scientists who study happiness (yes, they exist) have discovered a very interesting ratio. Apparently the question of how to be happy isn’t as subjective as we may think.  The golden ratio to happiness is 3:1.  That is, for every one unhappy emotion, we need three positive experiences to keep our mood optimistic.

Keep this ratio in mind when delivering bad news (hey, it happens) to a customer. Deliver the bad news, and then proceed to offer three promising strategies on how you will deal with the issue, or three areas of the project that are going well.  Three pieces of good news will counteract the one piece of bad news, and the customer will feel happy overall about your meeting.

Do you think these suggestions are nuts? What are some surefire ways you use to establish rapport with your customers? Share below.
Image credit, www.WeisserPhotography.com,  Flickr

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