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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