Elevate the positives or eliminate the negatives?

In The Power of Moments, Chip and Dan Heath cite a 2016 customer-service study by Forrester, the market research firm. The study demonstrates how focusing on what’s working—rather than what’s broken—can transcend team dynamics and make a big difference to a company’s bottom line.

The Heaths suggest that, at any given time, companies devote their limited resources to one of two customer-service approaches:

Approach 1: Eliminate the Negatives. Focus on turning unhappy customers into neutral customers.

Approach 2: Elevate the Positives. Focus on turning neutral and somewhat happy customers into delighted customers.

Forrester estimates that, on average, companies spend 80% of their resources trying to Eliminate the Negatives. In other words, they focus on what’s not working and try to get it to work a little better.

Unfortunately, their instincts aren’t guiding them down the best path. Companies that choose to Elevate the Positives generate 8.8x more revenue than their Eliminate the Negatives counterparts. They focus on what’s working okay or well and they get it to work really well, turning more of their neutral or somewhat happy customers into delighted customers. Then, they watch these newly delighted customers spend a lot more money.

Next time you hear that most of your customers are satisfied and some of them aren’t, spend more time with the happy customers and find out what’s making them so happy. Then make sure everyone on your team knows where the customer happiness is coming from, so the behaviors that led to the happiness can be replicated.

I hope this helps!



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