Reciprocity is the best policy. #TheMintCase

People are programmed to return kindness.

There is a sense of obligation to do something for someone who has done something nice for us. The Reciprocity effects are real.. Sometimes we know it, and sometimes it goes unnoticed.

If we understand this, it can be a potent weapon in winning customers in the marketing world.

Take the Mint Case, for example.

There was a study to test out the mints effect in relation to how much a customer tips at a restaurant.

As a benchmark, imagine that the average tip is 100B.

If a mint is given as complimentary with the bill, tips rise by 10% to 110B. Customers are happy with the mint, and they want to reciprocate the gesture by increasing the tips.

Now, if 2 mints are given, do you expect 20% increase in the tips?

The answer is no. It doesn’t work that linearly. The satisfaction of customers doesn’t double by the double mints they get.

However, if the waiter gives a mint, then walks away and comes back with an extra mint later together with the message of ‘this is especially for you’… the tip skyrockets.

That’s the power of reciprocity!