Customer Experience News & Trends

The power of compliments: 2 cases that have serious business impact

Never, ever hold back on dishing out a compliment to customers, colleagues or employees. Two experiments show why it pays off in business to give sincere compliments.

Who doesn’t like to be complimented? A kind word justifies choices and efforts we’ve made.

More importantly, recent research found it’s a way to greatly improve performance. The “social rewards” actually help people perform better on their next endeavor. It works just about as well as cash, researchers said.

For customers, compliments can reinforce their choices, intelligence and opinions. Pumping up any one of those helps customers trust and like you more.

But it’s easy for studies to look good on paper. It’s real-life examples like these that make the power of compliments come to life.

College guys become “Compliment Guys”

Purdue University students Cameron Brown and Brett Westcott spent time every Wednesday dishing out compliments to passersby on campus for several years. They’ve told fellow students everything from  “nice shirt” and “you have great curly hair” to “You deserve to have a great day.” They’ve stood in the middle of campus, telling staff and personnel “Keep up the good work” and “Thanks for all you do here.”

The pair even took a ten-stop tour, holding their “Free Compliments” poster board and dishing compliments in parks, cities and even on a bridge.

What an impact. Students rerouted themselves between classes just to hear the compliments. Kodak caught on and sponsored their tour just to spread the goodwill. People smiled and felt better about themselves every Wednesday.

Celebrate the positive

To combat negativity at his high school, Jeremiah Anthony took to Twitter. He started tweeting positive messages and compliments via the handle @westsidebros about his friends and classmates. Then the account became a social media outlet for everyone involved with the school to throw out compliments. So far, there have been more than 3,000 messages about classmates, events, staff and goings-on at Iowa City West High School.

Students are happier. Teachers are happier.

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