Customer Service Blog

One Word that Enhances Cooperation by 57%

Harvard Psychologist, Ellen Langer discovered a surprising way to gain cooperation. In her study, researchers would interrupt someone making photocopies; asking if they could make their copies first. Only 60% of machine users would comply. Next, researchers would interrupt another user, this time adding a phrase beginning with the word, “Because…” Apparently, it didn’t matter what came after the word. Even saying, “Because I’m in a hurry,” resulted in 95% compliance – a 57% increase! The lesson – anytime you’re asking a customer, co-worker, or family member to do something, remember to add, “because…” and you’ll gain greater cooperation. Not bad for remembering a single word!

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