I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.
—Antonio Porchia, Voces
Many service firms advocate the mantra TLC—think like a customer—in designing their service interactions. The problem is that they don’t have a good handle on how customers really do think and as a result miss opportunities to become truly excellent. Indeed, while most successful service companies address the obvious things that affect customers’ psychological attitude toward the service, such as courtesy and responsiveness on the part of their employees, they could do much more if they understood customer psychology at a deeper level.
The developed world’s ...