5 October 2012

Ritual and the service experience

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The interplay between efficiency and quality in a service experience is often what separates a merely transactional interaction from a valuable and pleasurable one, writes Patrick Quattlebaum of Adaptive Path.

“The former gets the job done; the latter does so while creating a more human connection and an enduring relationship between service provider and customer. Unfortunately, in most cases efficiency wins out. Most organizations lean heavily on analytical methods to define rigid processes and procedures that are designed to reduce waste and increase predictability in service delivery. This approach views the organization as a machine to be fine-tuned and the customer as a rational actor who enters and exits processes like a rat in a well-designed maze.

Yet, customers are less rational than they would like to admit and more complicated (i.e., human) than process engineers would prefer. Much of this derives from how the unconscious mind affects behavior. […] And, the unconscious mind is not only molded by individual experience, but by societal norms and rituals deeply embedded within a culture.”

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