According to a recent study done by Harvard Business School, you can improve customer relationships and sense of value of your services by being more transparent. What they’ve deemed the “labor illusion” explains that customers who see or understand what tasks are taking place while they weight, are typically happier with services rendered. Sometimes even happier than those who didn’t have to wait at all.
You’ve seen this concept used before though you may not have realized it, Kayak for example shows search results being aggregated as you wait to find travel deals. Rather than seeing a blank screen, you see progress being made while you wait for your final results. The study showed that in simply showing what is going on behind the scenes, customers are more willing to wait and tend to hold more value in the service provided.
Other companies have incorporated this theory into their strategies interacting with customers. Apple added a prerecorded sound of typing to their automated voice response system. The US Postal Service now shows customers each step postal workers take to help them. Even Starbucks has started requiring baristas to steam milk for each drink to show customer’s what process goes into making their cappaccino or latte.
So how can you incorporate this practice into your business? Often just touching base with your clients or explaining the process upfront can help you yield more satisfied customers. Check in to tell them where you are in the process or even share what you’ve done so far.
What strategies have you used in the past to ensure transparency and happy couples?