At least, that’s what a team of American/British researchers found, as reported in the November 2014 Harvard Business Review.
What does this mean for us in support?
What the researchers found was that customers’ satisfaction with their food increased 10% when the cooks could see the customers (but the customers could not see the cooks) and 17% when both parties could see each other. Interestingly, customer satisfaction did not increase when customers could see the cooks but the cooks could not see them. And it seems that the food really got better, with cooks making the food “just in time” as opposed to stocking up (and risking overcooking). The cooks who could see the customers told the researchers that they felt rewarded when customers appreciated the food. And customers appreciated the effort that went into the food when they could watch the cooks.
- We don’t cook (for our customers, that is) but we can use video calls.
- Consider asking customers to upload their pictures and store them in the CRM system. (And perhaps vice-versa: I once sent a holiday card to all the technical support contacts of an enterprise software company with a picture of the entire support and services team (with no names). We got loads of compliments on it and many a support call in the following months started with, “where are you in the picture?”)
- Anything we can do to personalize interactions is useful.
- Share customer compliments and appreciation notes. Being appreciated is the ultimate reward.
Customers who show appreciation most likely get better service!
Are you surprised by this study?