All customers are control freaks.
It’s a basic human tendency. People operate out of a model to feel autonomous and in control of their environment and actions.
And so, anything service providers can do to reinforce people’s sense of control over the direction of the customer experience, is helpful. I recently conducted a weeklong staff training program with about three hundred hotel employees. Interestingly, in each of our sessions, the most suggested technique for preserving control was giving customers options. Framing answers to their requests and complaints and problems in multiple choice form. Quantifying and objectifying the situation to put their nerves at ease.
For example, if a guest wasn’t happy with their room, the concierge wouldn’t immediately offer to put them somewhere better. Instead, they would ask the guest which of the following three types of environment they might prefer.
The room on the top floor with the balcony, the room on the third flood adjacent to the fitness center, or the room at the end of the hall where it’s quiet and secluded.
Because who are they to assume they know what the customer wants? Better to put the ball in their court and allow them to take ownership over the problem. Because until customers see their own fingerprint on the solution, they never fully feel in control of their environment.
Ultimately, the more choices we allow customers to make, the more they feel in control. The more they feel in control, the more they believe they’re actualizing their potential. And the more they believe they’re actualizing their potential, the less likely they are to write a scathing online review about their experience.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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