After a recent study found that asking for a favour from consumers can increase sales figures, Sheffield-based sales and marketing specialists Syrac Inspirations investigates the intriguing effect of Reciprocity.
Researchers at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in the US recently found that asking a customer a favour can actually increase a business’ rate of sales. In a series of studies, the researchers asked sales people to ask their consumers for a favour when pitching a special discount such as requesting that they recommend their services or offers to a friend, or ‘liking’ their social media profiles. 65% of the time, consumers who were asked a favour followed this through with a purchase, whilst consumers who were pitched the discount alone purchased only 41% of the time.
For many, these results may seem surprising – especially as by their nature, consumers are already gracing companies with a favour by agreeing to purchase their products or invest in their services in the first place. However sales and marketing specialists Syrac Inspirations believe that there are many mutual benefits of asking a consumer for a favour, and are keen to outline the true impact of this reciprocity.
Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit and in business, it can even out the playing field for consumers and help them to feel more confident in their decision to interact with a specific business or brand. Asking a favour from a customer such as referrals to friends and family or social media ‘likes’ makes them feel part of a fair social exchange and builds greater trust, which increases the chances of them staying loyal to the brand.
Syrac Inspirations also believe reciprocity increases the credibility of a brand and the services / products on offer. This is because a brand risks a lot by asking for a favour at the end of a pitch. If their product or service doesn’t live up to the customer’s expectation, the customer will likely share their experiences with others and take offense with the fact the brand asked them for a favour which they lived up to, despite them not receiving the same standard in return. This could easily destroy a brand’s reputation. Therefore asking for a favour at this initial pitching stage outlines to a consumer that a brand is trustworthy, credible and capable of sticking to their word.
As specialists in personalisation, Syrac Inspirations believe reciprocity to be an important tool in creating a unique and memorable customer experience. The firm recommend using information gathered from interacting with the customer as a basis for asking a favour. For example if a customer mentions they have a busy lifestyle, ask them to download the company app. Not only does this benefit the business by opening up a new means of communication and source of customer data, it also allows the customer to stay connected to the brand on the move and shows that the brand has been paying attention and respecting their individual need.
Based in Sheffield, Syrac Inspirations pride themselves in their ability to form and maintain positive customer relationships for their clients. Through face-to-face customer communication the firm take time and care to get to know each customer they meet, and then use this knowledge to tailor a unique customer experience with meets each customer’s needs. Taking a personalised approach allows the firm to raise their clients’ customer acquisition and retention rates, as well as generating a higher quantity of sales and securing a stronger and more positive market reputation.