Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2018

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Page 13 of 51

F or anyone who's been a customer, these scenes might be familiar: A grocery clerk asks, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" A link at the bottom of a receipt promises a free drink in return for feedback. A restaurant manager passes by a table and asks if the steak tastes OK. Seeking customer feedback is nothing new. Most companies use surveys to collect customer com- ments and to measure customer satisfaction. And many of these surveys, according to a group of BYU Marriott researchers and their colleagues, are priming customers to look for the negative—what they couldn't find in the store, when customer service failed, and how the meat was too tough. What if instead restaurants asked, "Do you have any compliments for the chef ?" It's a simple shift that, according to research, could have huge payoffs—both for a company's bottom line and for the overall well-being of customers. In research that's spanned a decade and produced seven papers (and counting), this research team—which includes BYU Marriott marketing professor Bruce Money and organizational behavior and human resources professor Kristen Bell DeTienne—has gathered what Money calls groundbreak- ing findings in the field of customer experience research. Simply by adding an open-ended question to the beginning of existing customer feedback surveys, organizations may see an increase in customers' satisfaction, repeat business, and spending. THE POWER of POSI IVE How Fishing for Compliments Can Change Customer Behavior By Sara Smith atwood PhotograPhy By Bradley Slade 12 MARRIOTT

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