The connection between the physical world and the metaphysical world was a topic that has fascinated humans for hundreds of years. Aristotle suggested the soul was the seat of psychic activities. He also felt that activities in the physical world first have to occur in the spiritual world (Elders, 2006). This connection is the basis of modern metaphysics and the ideals that are embodied in the psychic's work. Many, such as Aristotle presented actions in the physical world as evidence of what has happened on the metaphysical plane. Since the time of Aristotle, science has abandoned the idea of self-evidence (Dougherty, 2006).
Now a new interest in the study of metaphysics has arisen. This new interest is the result of new information into the study of quantum physics. Quantum theory and cosmology are only beginning to be explored as possible explanations for psychic ability, ghosts and other manifestations of sub-atomic reactions (Coale, 2006). This new area of science may someday provide an explanation for psychic phenomenon that may meet the criteria for acceptance by the mainstream scientific community. However, at this time, much of this information only exists in theory.
Quality in Professional Psychic Reading
As with any other business model, the psychic reading profession is a service industry. The seeker comes to the psychic in search of answers to their most perplexing questions. Usually, these are questions for which other means of obtaining the answer have failed. The product that the psychic produces is a service. Like any other sector of the service industry, the likelihood that they will return is based on their perception of the value that they received as compared to the cost. One must remember that the "cost" to the customer entails both a monetary cost and a cost in terms of time set aside for the reading.
The goal of the psychic is to build a steady customer base from repeat and expanding business. Therefore, many of the same principles apply that are associated with any other service. Loyalty is a function of customer switching costs, price, advertising, and relationships (Polo & Sese, 2009). All of these factors are important in the ability to retain psychic customers. Switching costs are extremely low in this business sector. Competitors often compete based on free readings, lower prices and other special offers. The switching costs from one psychic to another are extremely low. It is difficult gain a competitive advantage using price and incentives alone.
Advertising is another element of both the ability to attract and retain customers. Often this is a matter of budget constraints. The larger companies can afford mass advertising, such as television and radio ads. However, the small psychic reader is often restricted by their ability to advertise. Working for a network is one away to alleviate these costs and effectively have the chance to build one's clientele and take advantage of the advertising opportunities of the network.
As one can see, the first three elements of customer retention are difficult to leverage to build and maintain a customer base. Switching costs are low, price competition can drive down prices to the point where it is no longer profitable, and advertising can be daunting for the small reader. This leaves only one aspect of customer retention that can be leveraged to grow existing clientele and to build repeat business. The psychic reader must rely on the ability to build relationships with their customers in order to compete.
Unlike other businesses that can utilize metrics to track performance, the psychic often does not have that option, unless they are part of one of the larger networks. The psychic must be able to understand the characteristics of their customers in order to optimize the delivery of their service (Briggs & Grisaffe, 2010). In order to deliver a reading that will be perceived as valuable to the customer, one must determine what it is that the customer wants (Howden & Pressey, 2008). For the psychic, this often occurs in the first few minutes of the reading. The psychic must gather enough information to ascertain the customer's needs and wishes, but they must not ask too many questions or the customer may begin it question their legitimacy and abilities.
The first step to developing a customer relationship is to determine exactly what the customer wants. Often this is determined by the question or topic for which the client asks a reading to be done. Other clues may come out in the general conversation, which can be useful in this aspect as well. The second step in relationship building is to create value for customer. This means answering their question using the gifts and talents of the reader. The customer must feel that they have had their matter addressed as fully as possible within standard ethical bounds. They must feel that the reader was competent and able to "connect" with them. They must come away with a feeling that the reader was compassionate and that they cared about the seeker and their situation. These elements are the most important for building customer relationships that result in repeat business.
Quality in Psychic Reading
Creating customer value depends on the ability to produce what the customer will perceive as a quality reading. In the previous section, we discussed several of the attributes that constitute customer value. These attributes will serve as the basis for our definition of a quality reading and one that is likely to result in repeat business. Hoopes (2010) talked about the definition of quality as a life philosophy. He said this about developing an attitude of quality towards everything that we do in life.
"The attitude we take towards any task or undertaking reflects on how we view the self.
The completed task is the outward image of our self. A task done with quality and completeness corresponds to a quality and completeness within " (Hoopes, 2010).
The psychic can bring this attitude to the reading and realize that every reading is an outward reflection of their inner balance. The attitude that the reader projects is an essential part of the quality equation. In some situations, the psychic may be limited by a time factor, such as on the phone lines, where a seeker pays for a certain amount of minutes. In this case, the reader should keep this in mind and try to bring the reading to a close so that the caller will not feel that there is something that is incomplete. At no time should the seeker be reminded of the time limits placed on the reading, or the money that they are spending. This will detract from the quality of the reading.
Client expectations -- a matter of perception
One of the most difficult aspects of providing a quality reading for the psychic reading customer is that the quality of the reading is a matter of perception. The client's perceptions, worldview, and prior life experiences can have an impact on their interpretation of the quality and value of the reading. These are factors that are outside of the psychic's control, but they do have an affect on the quality of the reading and the feeling that a client walks away with.
The customer comes to the psychic to learn something. They may have a specific question that they want answered or they may want a general reading about some area of their life. The questions that a customer asks can be divided into two categories, general and specific. Some examples of general questions are as follows. Is there a God or spirit world? Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? Is there an afterlife? What is reality? These questions draw on the psychic's own personal viewpoints as well. The gifted psychic would be well-advised to become well read on the philosophy and various viewpoints on these and other issues so that they can be incorporated into their readings. Many times, the psychic will use their gifts to provide insight that this specific to the seeker and their situation. It is not advised to give textbook answers to these questions, but to attempt to relate them to seeker and make certain that the message is personalized.
The second type of question is a bit more challenging for the psychic than the first type of question. It requires them to use their gifts to draw out specific information in relation to the seeker's specific question. Some examples of specific questions might be similar to these. Will I get the promotion? Is the guy I met my own true love? Is my husband cheating on me? Should I move to Colorado? Questions such as these ask the psychic to tap into the metaphysical realm for real answers. The client will expect specific information and will likely ask about periods and such. If the psychic is wrong, the client will not be likely to return. In some cases, the client may not like the answer given. In this…