“Synthetic compassion can be more offensive than none at all.”

Twenty-five years ago, in his book Bureaucracy and the Modern World, Victor Alexander Thompson described a phenomenon most people instinctively recognize as the major challenge for the service/experience economy: “synthetic compassion can be more offensive than none at all.1 Authentic exchanges are noticeably different from synthetic communications. Authenticity has to be felt and driven internally, and unless one is a very, very good actor, faked attempts at authentic communication are quite obvious.2 This raises an obvious question: How do organizations get their service providers to deliver authentic customer service when they ...

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