Psychic Income: Motivating Customers to Help Themselves

Karlina's Blog


Psychic Income. What is it?

This term is best defined with an example. Dell has an online community support forum where customers can go to ask questions and find answers to technology inquiries. The unique aspect about this forum is that the people providing answers are other customers who have had similar experiences.

Jeff Stenski is a design engineer who spends the equivalent of 123 working days per year posting answers on Dell’s community support forum. When asked why he is so dedicated to this community he replied, “I actually enjoy helping people. That’s what got me hooked: When you help people and they say ‘thank –you’” (Bernoff & Li, 2011).

What Jeff has expressed is his own form of psychic income. He participates for gratitude. When it comes to online discussion forums, there are various types of psychic income that can motivate people to participate. These include recognition or…

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