R2-D2 Whistles Excitedly: Watch Out, Product Manager! That Customer Is Lying!
Yesterday, we looked at an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that involved a cute–sneaky and dangerous–lil’ droid.
Today, we’re going to use that story as a springboard into a discussion on how to tell when your customers are lying to you.
The treacherous R2-D2 wannabe Goldie relays Jedi secrets to the evil General Grievous
Goldie: Cute But Deadly
“Goldie” (the droid pictured at the top of this post) looks and acts much like R2-D2: Spunky. Quirky. Speaks in beeps and whistles. But Goldie is a rat fink.
The sneaky lil’ droid comes undone when he clearly sides with the bad guys in battle. In other words, he outs himself. Presuming your customers don’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the evil cyborgs trying to kill you–how do you tell when your customers are lying to you?
First, let’s break down the lying a little.
Why All The Lying?
Why do customers lie?
Sometimes, it’s intentional:
- To get a better price.
- To unearth information.
- To get their friends’ accounts reinstated after a community Incident on your site.
Sometimes, it’s quite unintentional.
Think about the last time a salesperson at a retail establishment asked what you were looking for. How honest was your answer? And how complete was it?
The typical customer may go into a complex purchasing decision, such as buying a new car or a new computer, with specific idea in mind (“I want a family car…”)–but that doesn’t mean they’ve identified and articulated all the requirements (“… and it needs to hold fishing gear for six people.”).
How can you tell when a customer is lying?
First, look for physical clues…
- Unable to keep regular eye contact
- Tight lips
- Increased shrugging
- Arm crossing
- Balling hands into fists
Second, look for verbal clues…
- Being tongue-tied more than usual
- Increased usage of qualifiers (eg, “generally”, “almost”, “however”)
- Freudian slips
- Deny, deny, deny (eg, “Let me be honest”, “As far as I know”)
- Touching one’s nose
Watch for the signs–but don’t jump to conclusions based on one or two signs.
Remember to keep previous history in mind, too: Does this customer usually cross their arms and stutter in general conversation? Either they’re always lying to you or that’s just simply how they are.
On the other hand, if you catch them communicating via hologram with General Grievous, you know you’ve got a problem.