When the Customer Is Stressed

​Berry LL, Davis SW, Wilmet J. When the customer is stressed. Harvard Business Review. 2015 Oct:86-94.

Certain customer experiences are filled with emotions. The more these can be anticipated and identified, the more organizations can design services to respond early to these emotions and better shape the overall experience. This article by IHI Senior Fellow Len Berry and co-authors defines high-emotion services as those that elicit strong feelings, like fear and anxiety, before the service even begins. They use the example of cancer care to illustrate four guidelines for better design of high-emotion services: identify emotional triggers, respond early to intense emotions, enhance customers’ control, and hire and rigorously train people who can communicate respectfully.

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