Tag Archives: emotions

Change, the emotional roller coaster, and user reviews

Customers emotional roller coaster

Customers emotional roller coaster

When buying new stuff, you as customer go to the emotion roller coaster of change. Let’s take a look what’s the effect on user reviews and how you can use it for your organisation.

We talked a lot about change and resistance on this blog and, of course, its correlation. There’s an old saying “The only one that likes change is a wet baby”, but we know that this isn’t correct. People change all the time: new work, new friends, new home, new city, etc. We can agree that there’s resistance to the change when the change isn’t welcomed by the ones that undergo it. In most cases when people don’t want to change, it’s a case of bad or not enough communication.

On the other hand, there are changes that we choose for ourselves. Think of, among others, buying a new smart phone or a new car. In those (and many other) examples we are free to choose to stay or to change. To keep our device or decide to use the new one. When we choose for a new device we still go through the same acceptance period as an unwanted change, only the lows won’t be that low.

As example, let’s zoom in on buying a new car. After careful selection between different models you decide to invest a large amount. You may even have to take a consumer credit for it. The tension builds up while waiting some weeks, maybe months for your new purchase. The first days will be great. No, they will be amazing. The car is better that your old car and drives very smooth. If you would write a review (eg. on a website) at this point, it would be good to great. Your judgement is clouded by the ‘buyers high’.

After a while you start experiencing the negative parts: the seating is not as you expected, the dead angle is not good visible and the door list blocks your side in the turns. You wonder how did you miss this while testing. If you would write a review at this point, it would be bad. Your review would highlight the negative parts and lacks objectivity.

Once you went completely through this acceptation curve some time has passed and as a not-so-new-anymore owner you’re quite reluctant to putting effort in writing an old review.

So you may start to wonder how you as an organisation can use this emotional roller coaster in your advantage. It seems like there isn’t any time suited for an objective review (in the way that a subjective review can be objective). As a potential customer you are also confronted with this. Dependent of at which point the reviewer was on his acceptance curve, the review will be dominated by his current feelings. So you cannot use the review to make your decision. Only if you’re aware of it you can see the extremes are documented, the highs and the lows. As a test, open any user review section of an online smart phone shop and browse to the reviews.

A Dutch car website, Autoweek.nl, has found a nice solution for this. On their website new car owners can create an online diary and document their experiences with their newly bought car. The user can add reviews to his online car diary when he wants and the reviews are sorted by mileage. Because of the diary speaks to the user’s intrinsic motivation, it’s kept up to date in many cases. The diary gives an overview of the highs and lows of the user experience and sometimes also covers exceptional cases that are not covered in a one-time review after buying. For example, a long trip to Austria in wintertime.

Further, other users can react on the reviews in a separate comment section too and they can rate the diary.

An example of such a diary can be found here: http://www.autoweek.nl/autoreview/35177/bmw-118d-business-line

When buying a car these diaries are thé source for getting your honest and balanced user reviews.  Give it a try!

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We read for you: The Right Decision Every Time

The Right Decision Every Time - book coverWe take thousands of decisions each day and you actually just took another one when starting to read this review (and you took another one after reading the first line). Some of these decisions are minor, some of these are major. With thousands of decisions a day you could say it’s an important part of our live, and of your job. Still, few people can state how they exactly make or made their decisions, and few people have actually got some education about decision taking.

Did you ever had the feeling that you took an important decision, but had immediate remorse after it? Are you awake at night thinking of what to do? You probably did not decide with confidence or aren’t aware of everything. The Right Decision Every Time gets you acquainted with some of the hurdles in the decision making progress: lack of a clear objective, lack of constraints, dealing with emotions, lack of a clear perspective and difficulty in selecting options.

The author, Luda Kopeikina, proposes to use a decision map which you fill in during the process, and it’s really simple. Each of the steps will make you explicitly reflect about it.

Some important takeaways from the book:

  • If you have to make a though decision, go into what is called “the Clarity State”. Clear your head, focus on the decision, no multi-tasking. The key in making great decisions is to focus your physical, mental and emotional resources.
  • It’s ok to get emotional when you’re taking decisions. You are not a robot. Acknowledge the emotions and figure why they matter. Detach and use them.
  • The decision objective is not the decision question! Eg. “what is the best way to spread Root Cause Analysis best pratices?” –> “what is the best way to help people start with doing RCA?”
  • Think positive: formulate your constraints as objectives to overcome the concerns they are based on. Eg. “I’m concerned for the acceptance of the metrics” –> “Constraint: gain acceptance for the metrics”.
  • The clearer your decision definition, the better you can work with it and defined possible options.
  • If you’re still in doubt after deciding, you probably didn’t take everything into account.
  • Make sure it’s clear to you if you need to make the decision, or that only your advice is needed.
  • If you assume, you make an ASS  of U and ME.
  • Try to look at the decision from another perspective. Expand your view. Take a longer time frame. Turn the decision around. Why would happen if you would not take it?

So is this book a good read? Well, the main focus of The Right Decision Every Time is on getting into the Clarity State, so the major part of the book handles this state, its importance and how you can reach it. The book has many example stories so you can see how the decision map is used in practice, but after reading it I had the feeling a whitepaper could have been a better medium than a 250 page book.

Additional reading

How to Make the Right Decision Every Time

The Right Decision Every Time at Amazon.com

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