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The New Psychology Behind Customer Service

Humans are complicated; this fact becomes even more obvious when they are thrown into a ‘situation’ with customer service (any conversation with customer service is initially perceived as a situation). The pressure that comes from needing a problem solved, is akin to outing a raging flame, according to blogger Seth Godin. “Customer service (whether you’re a school principal, a call center or a consultant) can’t begin until the person you’re working with believes that you’re going to help them put out the fire on their head.”

The psychology behind every customer interaction points to the fact that decision making is almost always an emotional event. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio discovered that those with damage to the emotional centre of the brain were unable to make simple decisions. His research concluded that every choice we make has a bunch of feelings behind it.

Therefore with this understanding, customer service interactions should be smooth sailing — once a brand ensures that every step an interested party takes is a positive one. But it’s not always that seamless, because like we previously mentioned — humans are complicated. It’s not always easy to predict what will make them happy.

The phenomenon of customer service began in the eighteenth century when folks started saving copper coins to give to merchants in exchange for goods. Contact with customer support primarily consisted of face-to-face interactions. It wasn’t until 1894 that phones were added to the mix. It was a simpler time.

These days, however, the playing field is much more technologically dexterous and so are people’s expectations. 

The Self-Talk Method

Tackling the issue of customer satisfaction means coming up with inventive ways to draw them in. One useful tactic begins in their heads.

Heard of self-talk? It’s something we ALL do on a regular basis; our inner voice is one that silently prefaces everything we say out loud and speaks when we can’t find the audible words.  

Finding a way to address a customer’s inner voice and encouraging them to speak to themselves about a product could turn a consideration into a lead.

“If you can get customers to say it to themselves, by thinking, they’ll make quicker decisions,” writes Tagove.

Promoting self-talk could mean taking the human element out of it, because whether we want to admit it or not, speaking to a neutral chatbot takes the pressure off of reciprocating in a conversation with another person. It also allows time for inner thought.

A New Generation

Such a process fits well with the upcoming generation’s needs, only 29% of millennials like talking on the phone to customer service. While their desire to speak through chat has risen by 9%.

Self-talk and self-service are looking more and more like the future of customer interaction, and constantly evolving tech is eradicating legacy procedures. Gone are the days of copper coins and switchboards, today’s customers require less friction.

Via: Aspect Blog, Seth Godin, Tagove, User Like.