Words are important because they dictate those mental images (and thus the customer’s decisions).
Using Concrete Words
As an example, you should write concrete tasks in your calendar as opposed to vague tasks:
- Vague: Study for chemistry
- Concrete: Review past exams in chemistry
Concrete tasks are easier to imagine, so they seem easier to do.
A new study verified this idea in sales (Packard & Berger, 2021). Customers were more likely to buy a shirt when the salesperson described the shirt in concrete terms.
Vividness Is Important
It is important that the customer support team uses concrete terms.
Oftentimes, their messages will describe general/vague capabilities:
- General/Vague: I can’t add a new product to your order. But you can cancel the current order, and then add a new item.
But this response is general/vague. A better response:
- Concrete: I can’t add those jeans to your order. But you can cancel the shoes, and then add jeans to the order.
Both responses convey the same information, yet — as the researchers verified — the second response creates happier customers that spend more money.