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Customers do not perceive losses and gains in absolute terms, but depending on their relative segmentation

Ex: When gambling people would rather win $5 twice than $10 once, and lose $10 once than $5 twice

Principle 3 : Segment the Pleasure, Combine the Pain

More generally, longer but fewer pains are better accepted than shorter but more numerous pains (for an equal total)
Ex: In hospitals, patients feel better spending more time in one waiting time, if they can avoid more waits afterwards (in examining rooms for instance)

In the meantime, the fewer the steps to reach the final stage of a service, the less the pain of waiting Finally, it is better to bring as many pleasure moments as possible to the customers and less, however long, pains to them: it is a two-half principle
Ex: Disney's theme parks: long but effort on distraction during the waiting lines, despite short but intensive rides (hence, good memories)

Principle 4 : Build Commitment Through Choice

Encouraging people to commit themselves in a process make them feel happier, particularly in uncomfortable ones
Ex: choosing the arm for a blood donation

When associated to the service they receive, when involved in the decisions, they feel less helpless, less hopeless and finally more committed to making the process work People are more likely to be satisfied and cooperating when they have a choice
Ex: In hotels that propose an alarm clock or a wake-up call Ex: At Xerox Servicing, customers have a choice over schedule for a repair

Principle 5 : Give People Rituals, and Stick to Them

Even if it is implicit, people tend to be ritualistic: rituals in a service reassure them Rituals are specific moments in the relationship between the provider and the receiver that, implicitly, establish professional credentials, set expectations and enable feedback
Ex: Not getting regular calls from the consultant on a project (customer viewpoint), or not returning phone calls immediately (service supplier viewpoint) can be the reason of a failure of the service

What matters the most in a service encounter is the customer's perception, and few things can be adjusted to improve them Not only behavioral science, but also empathy and imagination should be used to improve the way a service is delivered Even if they are not always obvious, the paramount things that enhance the experience form the customer's viewpoint could be summarize as following:
a strong finish bad experiences out of the way early segmented pleasures and combined pains a commitment to the service through personal choices strong rituals