6 Key Success Factors of Service Choice
In a world where data and analytics are available at our fingertips, people still make daily choices from an emotional point of view - including purchases. How can businesses leverage this power of emotion through their service?
We assume the decision processes we use to choose everything from a restaurant to the clothes we wear are based on good evidence and reliable data. The real fact is: even executives with MBAs and years of data analytics experience make emotional decisions day in and day out.
It would be a tidier world if all important decision making were primarily computational—but, it’s not. We are emotional every waking moment – and it is more often that people make daily choices from an emotional point of view than from a logical one.
So to be successful, companies should understand the constancy and power of emotion in the decision-making process, then draw on that power to improve service to the customer.
The power of emotion can be leveraged to improve service using six key factors:
- The Last Impression Defines the Service Experience and Determines New Choices
The goal is always to leave the customer with a positive impression. When a problem does occur, apologizing for it and fixing the service breakdown are a customer’s minimum expectations. Handling the situation exceptionally will create a strong, positive experience; strengthen the relationship; and increase loyalty.
- Get Unpleasant Things Over as Quickly as Possible
One of the most common mistakes that service providers make is in not knowing how to present unwelcome information to customers correctly. The best way is to always present the reality to the customer. Customers want clear, accurate information, so successful service providers are clear about what the organization is unable or unwilling to do. That way, there is no confusion about what’s possible.
- Make Sure the Claims Made About the Service Experience are Credible and Carried Out
Customers want to feel they’re in capable hands and that promises will be kept. They want things to be right the first time. Should something go wrong, customers expect a quick and thorough recovery.
- Merge the Pain and Divide the Pleasure
The more parts of a service experience are broken up, the more pain or pleasure we experience. What this says is that if we can combine all the painful parts of a service transaction into a compact, single timeframe, we can reduce the perceived significance of the pain. And if we divide the positive parts of service experiences up as much as possible, we can amplify the pleasure for the customer.
- Include the Customer in the Choice and be Respectful
As everyone knows, you increase buy-in when you include people and allow them to help choose a solution or make a decision. In business, smart managers empower their employees, which in turn, build efficiencies and improve morale. In the same way, service providers who allow customers to make their own choices, or some degree of perceived choice, have happier, more committed customers.
- Create Comfortable Behavior Patterns and Deliver Service Seamlessly
The familiar pattern or ritual needs to: be meaningful. Secondly, it must have a pleasurable consequence. It must lead to a memorable positive experience that the customer wants to repeat over and over again. No one would choose to repeat a pattern that causes pain if it was avoidable. One of the most common ways companies can create comfortable behavior patterns is to satisfy customers’ needs for seamless service.
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