Buyer’s Remorse, How Can Trust Affect It?
I had a really interesting conversation recently with a chap who is involved with a hearing loss advocacy organisation. We were talking about people with hearing loss, their wants and needs and general experiences. He said something to me about trust and buyer’s remorse that struck me profoundly. In essence he said that trust had a great effect on buyer’s remorse.
He spoke of a hypothetical situation where someone has purchased a set of hearing aids at €4,000, meets someone who has purchased a set for €1,400. The person who has paid the most money feels ripped off and buyer’s remorse sets in. Destroying the trust between the dispenser and the Patient, the break down in trust can then be exacerbated if the rehabilitation is in any way difficult and results aren’t instantaneous.
It was quite serendipitous to meet this chap, because I had just posted an article on Audiology Engine called Engendering Trust in Your On-line Presence. So trust in relation to healthcare provision had been on my mind. I just hadn’t made the leap in connecting buyer’s remorse and trust breakdown before.
This was a new way for me to think about buyer’s remorse, I never really was conscious that buyer’s remorse at its core was really a break down in trust. This conceptual thinking turns buyer’s remorse from something we can barely effect into something that we can plan strategy for.
How Do You Overcome A Breakdown in Trust?
The question really is how do we engender trust that can’t be broken? Because if we do that, we should not have to worry about a breakdown. I have spoken about that in other articles on different channels and I don’t plan to go over the ground I have covered elsewhere. Honestly contrary to rumour I don’t like to hear myself talk. What I would like to explore is how we directly respond to the scenario that the chap highlighted. The four thousand versus the fourteen hundred pair.
Information At The Right Time is The Key
I think that information delivered is the key to that scenario, but more importantly, information delivered at the right time. If we try to prove the price after the fact, we are on the back foot, we are seen as talking sales. However, if we supply the information before the fact, we are seen as providing information. A quite smart Scottish Bloke named Prentice taught me that. Don’t let it go to your head you like me are still an F.I.B.
What Information Though
That is an interesting question, the issue here is that buyers don’t have the knowledge to understand the product. It is a classic example of the principal-agent dilemma. If we are doing all the right things in our Practices and our consultations we have taken steps to engender trust. That trust extends to our abilities and our commitment to doing the right thing for the Patient. Does it necessarily extend to trusting us not to over price? I think that is something we should explore another time.
Even if it does, the consumer in this case may be forgiven in wrongly thinking that a hearing aid is a hearing aid is a hearing aid. How do we make sure that the consumer knows that is not the case and how do we make sure that the consumer knows that for instance, one Phonak hearing aid is not necessarily the same as another Phonak hearing aid?
Getting The Level of Information Right
I think the key is delivering enough information to deliver an appreciation of the factors without putting them to sleep or over-loading them. The information needs to be delivered at an early stage, either after the decision to buy or at the fitting. I know that many will do this already, but with the idea of trust in mind perhaps we should look at how we do it.
Providing Written Information
I think that it is important to supply written information to support your recommendations. I think that it will help greatly in the scenario discussed at the beginning of this article. The information should include manufacturer brand, technology level and type. I know there is an argument that this information just encourages price shopping or comparison.
However, if it is the difference between the continuance of a long-term relationship with a consumer and a return because of lack of knowledge. Isn’t it better to give the information in a clear and understandable way?