Who knew? Emoticons work!
Put ‘happy’ faces [ 🙂 ] in emails to clients when you’re thanking them for paying promptly and
‘sad’ faces [ 🙁 ] in emails if they don’t keep to payment arrangements.
WHY – reason #1
Research published some time ago in the journal Social Neuroscience revealed that we react to emoticons in the same way we react to seeing an emotion expressed on someone’s face.
In a study run by Dr Owen Churches, from the school of psychology at Flinders University in Australia, 20 subjects were asked to look at images of people’s faces and smiley face emoticons while electrical activity in their brains was examined. Similar face-specific brain activity was triggered when participants looked at images of faces and emoticons in their conventional setting.
Researchers showed the participants smiley faces, along with real faces and strings of symbols that shouldn’t look like faces, all while recording the signals in the region of the brain that’s primarily activated when we see faces. This signal, called the N170 event-related potential, is the highest when people see actual faces, but was also high when people saw the standard emoticon :).
“This indicates that when upright, emoticons are processed in occipitotemporal sites similarly to faces due to their familiar configuration,” the researchers write.
WHY – reason #2
South Lanarkshire in Scotland has 226 Vehicle Activated Speed (VAS) signs.
They reward drivers who drive under the speed limit with a smiley face. Those who drive above the speed limit are met with a sad face.
It’s a simple concept and one that appears to be paying off. Since implementing the personalized smiley feedback to drivers, speeding in the area has decreased by 53 per cent.
Just doing this ISN’T going to influence all of your account customers to pay you on time! But … it IS another of the many ‘little’ things that we do that makes our non-confrontational method of account collections so VERY powerful and effective. As irrational as it might seem, it appears we enjoy making people happy and prefer to avoid making them sad.