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Positive Reinforcement: How to Turn Customer Behavior into Sales

A PwC study shows that 71% of American consumers would still rather interact with a person than a chatbot or other automated solutions when it comes to their inquiries.

While customer service automation has certainly made a significant impact, support representatives are still a top choice for consumers when looking for a personalized and immediate response. Not only that, but call center agents also help companies boost their customer’s experience and satisfaction, which is why the nature of their job can affect company sales.

When on the job, agents must always practice patience and understanding towards clients. However, you can’t avoid challenges. There can be concerns when it comes to closing deals or bad engagements with some customers. As such, you must constantly develop new strategies and practices.

Apart from developing a better script and creating lucrative deals, one effective way you can capitalize on conversion opportunities is to understand the psychology of your customers. In this guide, we’ll discuss the concept of positive reinforcement and how you can use it to your advantage.

What Is Positive Reinforcement and How Does It Work?

In B.F. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning, positive reinforcement is the addition of a pleasant stimulus to encourage certain behaviors. When the subject performs the desired action, they associate it with getting a reward and do the act more often.

A simple example of positive reinforcement is when you hold open a door for someone, and you receive praise and thanks. When that person affirms your actions, you feel good and appreciated, which will lead you to hold open the doors for other people in the future.

Positive reinforcement is also when dentists offer lollipops to children who visit and get their mouths checked. By providing a reward after checkups, kids will be encouraged to come back and be less scared during the next visit.

5 Ways Positive Reinforcement Can Affect Sales

Positive reinforcement towards customers can impact your sales because you delightfully encourage them to transact with you. Whenever they feel good during an interaction, your brand’s relationship with them deepens, translating into desirable behaviors. For further details, let’s look at the ways positive reinforcement can affect sales.

1. Positive reinforcement encourages action

The backbone of every rewards program is positive reinforcement. Brands use this psychological principle to generate high average order values, promote repeat purchases, and strengthen connections with each customer.

Using positive reinforcement through a rewards program creates a strong link between the action you want the customer to take and the benefits they can enjoy. With a consistent strategy, your customers will be conditioned to repeat the behavior you want them to do (e.g., referring friends or making purchases to earn points) because they want to continue getting rewards.

2. It attracts new customers

With positive reinforcement, you can turn new customers into loyal patrons, as studies prove that 74% of consumers choose to interact with a company that has a strong rewards program. There’s a high chance that first-time buyers will return when they get perks from making transactions with you. Hence, you must leverage each customer interaction with positive reinforcement to drive and retain new customers.

3. It helps keep your best customers

When you find money on the street, it puts you in a good mood, whether it’s only a dollar or a hundred dollars. According to psychologist Norbert Schwarz, “It’s not the value of what you find. It’s that something positive happened to you.” This psychological behavior can also apply to customer incentives.

Your company can’t have customer loyalty if your customers don’t emotionally connect with you. To create an emotional connection, they must feel a sense of belonging and have positive experiences. Showing gratitude through positive reinforcement will elicit emotions, regardless of the incentive’s value.

Your rewards don’t have to be grand. Just by positively reinforcing your customer’s actions with offers will keep them coming back to your business.

4. It creates brand advocates

When your customers are happy, they become brand ambassadors or people who refer your company to their family, friends, and even social media followers. According to studies, 92% of people believe in word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family over any type of advertising and marketing. As such, you must create a positive reinforcement strategy that shows how much you value your customers.

5. It brings back lost customers

There are many reasons why customers stray. If you want them back, you must give them a great reason to do so. You can lure inactive customers with enticing offers and rewards. Your strategy must be worth their time, or else they won’t bite. With this, you can personalize the offer or leverage their historical data by finding out why they left in the first place.

How to Use Positive Reinforcement to Your Advantage

Now that you know how positive reinforcement can encourage your customers to do more for your business, you must know how to use this psychological method to your advantage. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Build a loyalty program

With a loyalty program, you can explicitly specify what kind of customer behavior you’d like to see. It’s a concrete framework that motivates your customers to continue patronizing your brand.

A successful loyalty program should make your customers feel extra special whenever they transact with you. You can add incentives like birthday deals or free classes. As such, they’ll feel connected to you, and your company will keep a low churn rate.

2. Send thank-you notes and specialized offers

A small gesture, such as a thank-you note via a follow-up email or a card in your customer’s next order, can bring in big dividends as it strengthens your emotional connection with them. With this, you can add specialized offers and personalized recommendations to give a sense of exclusivity. This helps distinguish your brand from competitors, increase retention, and boost customer lifetime value.

3. Provide excellent customer support

When you give your customers the help they need every time they need it, you create a delightful experience that encourages them to reach out. Keeping their satisfaction high will lead to repeat purchases and more referrals.

According to a 2020 Walker study, customer experience will outweigh price and product as the key brand differentiator. When your customers feel valued by the company, their price sensitivity will drop, and they will be more willing to spend more.

4. Improve your return process

Offering a product return policy increases your customer’s order tendency. However, if you don’t handle it properly, they can become frustrated, and you risk losing them for good. As such, you must apply a customer-focused return policy. You can do this by:

  • Making a simple and seamless exchange process by having your customer service representatives ready for all situations;
  • Covering shipping fees; and
  • Offering a generous return/exchange window.

Your brand’s return and exchange process is a crucial part of your customer loyalty and retention efforts. Avoid frustrations and lead your customers to repeat purchases by offering them an exemplary return process.

5. Incentivize loyal customers with a referral program

A referral program bridges your loyal customers and the new ones. It encourages them to share their love for your brand and incentivises both the advocate and the referred friend. The rewards can be free products, discounts, or cash rewards. Customer referrals have a domino effect. When implemented successfully, it can lead to exponential sales growth.

Use Psychology as a Competitive Strategy

Positive reinforcement plays a significant role in strengthening your sales strategy. When your support agents get to know your customers and understand how they think, your representatives maintain retention, acquire new buyers, and turn customer behaviour into sales.

Ensure that your customers are taken care of by partnering with a call center in the Philippines with customer support experts who take the time to understand your audience. Contact EB Call Center today for reliable and top-notch service.

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