Should we put customer decisions before emotions?

9th Aug 2021
Associate Director Optima Partners
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Should You Put Customer Decisions Before Emotions?
Dr. Graham Hill

This is part of a series on 'Rethinking the Service Experience'.

Customers interact with companies to get their jobs done. We should focus on helping customers get them done better, rather than on trying to make them feel better.

There are a significant number of service experience designers who think it is more important to facilitate experiences that leave customers with a warm feeling, than design services that help customers get what they came to us to do in the first place. They are misguided.

Customers have jobs-to-be-done. They interact with companies to get access to resources that help them get their jobs done faster, easier and better. Providing those resources, whether information, decision support or something else, is the job of service design. In fact, that is pretty close to the service-dominant logic definition of what a service is.

The key to designing services is understanding what Wim Rampen calls the ‘decision journeys’ that customers follow during interactions with us. Decision journey enable customers to iteratively ask questions like: ‘Is the process working for me?’, ‘Am I getting the help I need?’ and ‘Am I making progress?’. If customers answer 'No!' to any of these questions, there is a good chance they will either switch to another provider or abandon the interaction entirely. It is only when we understand these decision journeys that we can design better services.

That doesn’t mean we should ignore emotions. As research by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio shows, we cannot make effective decisions without engaging emotions. But most of this is done subconsciously without us being aware that it is going on, let alone how it works.

If we design services that help customers get their jobs done better, it will be much easier to facilitate the experiences associated with them, so that customers leave with a warm feeling. But the service comes before the experience, just as decisions come before emotions.

What do you think? Should you put customer decisions before emotions?

#ServiceDesign #CX #Decisions #Emotions #Feelings

Original LinkedIn post:

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Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
09th Aug 2021 08:43

Further Reading:
Service-Dominant Logic, (amongst other models), has provides a theoretical foundation for much of my work building complex service systems for corporates over the past 15 years. If you haven't read about it you should.
Stephen Vargo and Bob Lusch's paper that started it all off...
'Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing'

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Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
09th Aug 2021 08:43

More Further Reading:
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio describes how emotions, feelings and cognition combine to make decisions in his book...
'The Feeling of What Happens'
(Chapter Two: Emotion and Feeling)

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Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
09th Aug 2021 08:44

Yet More Reading:
Parasuraman et al describe the relative importance of factors like Reliability, Assurance, Responsiveness, Tangibles and Empathy on service quality in their 1988 paper...
'SERVQUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality'
Every #CX practitioner should know the #SERVQUAL model

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