Dr. Grant Packard and Dr. Jonah Berger analyzed how the use of concrete language shaped consumer behavior and satisfaction. Concrete language was defined as the use of “specific, tangible, and real” words.
An analysis of 200 customer service calls from a large American apparel retailer and 941 customer service interactions from a Canadian multi-channel retailer were conducted. In addition, three surveys of 1,102 crowdsourced employees were conducted.
Key findings include:
— Consumers were more satisfied with employees that used concrete language and thought they were more helpful.
—- Concrete language was defined as language that made people feel heard, made things more “memorable,” and made the “abstract” more “concrete.”
—- Abstract language was defined as language that referred to the “bigger picture.”
—- Concrete language focused on the “how” and abstract language focused on the “why.”
— Consumers that interacted with concrete language spent 30% more time with the retailer in the following weeks.
— Respondents perceived employees who spoke concretely as “more attentive to” and “understanding of” their needs.
Discover why concrete language impacts consumers the most
Read the original study here.