ethno-analytics

Experience Blog

The Ethnography of Experience

The HR Roots of Customer Experience

Where does customer experience live? For those who are CX professionals, they would like it to live in the hearts and minds of all workers in an organization. But, where in an organization does it live? And why does that matter? More specifically, what role does human resources play in customer experience? This was the topic of conversation at our most recent CX Frontiers.

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The Privilege of Running: Gendered Experience in Public Spaces

“I don’t like to run in the woods,” she replied. I had heard this before from runners. There are those who only run on the roads, put off by the uneven terrain, the twist and turns, the variable pacing required, and the sometimes unpredictable conditions. I figured she was a road runner, and not a trail runner. “Why not? You would really like it,” I persisted, thinking this was my chance to convince her and open up her running horizons. “Because I’m afraid of being alone in such a secluded spot,” she responded. 

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Race and Customer Experience

Customers are not only made and lost, they are also constructed and deconstructed in the point of contact. Watch Gary give a talk at the American Sociological Association meeting (appropriately in Philadelphia, home of the Starbucks incident) about how race factors into customer standing. Using cell phone footage posted online, he explores what can happen when a person's skin can become more important than his or her standing as a customer. 

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Cailin's Experience Review of Emerson Hospital ER

About a month ago, Cailin cut her leg open while playing around a scrap metal pile. Why she was playing around a scrap metal pile is a different story. But the focus of this Experience Review is her patient experience at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA. Hear how television channel in the waiting room can have a major impact, how a hospital smelled like a hospital, and small tokens of generosity can go a long way in making patients feel better.

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The Customer is Always Right (Except for All Those Other Times)

The customer is always right, right? Or perhaps it is not that easy. We collected some industry expert as in our first CX Frontiers event to explore this axiom of service and sales, finding the boundaries of where it applies and where it fails. Read the key take-away points that the experts settled on from their own experience in working with customers, clients, and crafting experiences.

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Exchanging Epic Experiences

When you are surrounded by High Peaks, there is a beckoning to explore what they have to offer. And there is a lot on offer. When you have an 8 year old who wants to go on some of her own “epic” adventures, it is time to scale down rather than scale up the challenge. In doing so, you can learn a lot through the eyes of an 8 year old scaling her first “mountain.” Find out what happens when you exchange epic experiences.

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Adventures in Travelocity

The whole thing could be chalked up to me trying to be a team player. The thought saving a few bucks on behalf of my school and departmental budget was attractive enough to try and find some cheaper travel alternatives. Being a savvy shopper led me to look for various options for flight and hotel. Travelocity seemed like a good enough option. I made my reservations for air and hotel well in advance of my travel dates. Another task crossed off the list. Or so I thought. Read what happens as Gary tries to navigate Travelocity customer service and avoid sleeping under an overpass.

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Brand Knew

The following is a guest blog by Rebecca Tinkleman, a graduate student in the Human Factors in Information Design MA program at Bentley University. Rebecca produced a wonderful ethnography on the Park Slope Coop, located in Brooklyn, NY. What is striking about her work is the extent to which the coop seems to violate every pretense of customer experience that we might think matters and is essential. Nevertheless, customers have a very strong loyalty to and identification with the coop. In this blog, Rebecca explores the reasons for this commitment to the coop.

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Re-Boarding Your Employees after "The Thrill is Gone"

Companies might think of their own version of renewing their vows with employees. The on-boarding process exposes a new hire to the company culture, the business objectives, building relationships with co-workers and managers, and overall identifying as part of the team. Re-Boarding, then, can refer to the process of reaffirming what drew them together in the first place.

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In Praise of the Mundane

An experience arms race is heating up. Companies are being faced with the challenge of trying to provide not only timely service and quality products, but also an “experience.” Staging experiences can be tricky business when considering that others are trying to stage their own experiences. In a frantic world of constant demands and changing terrain, sometimes you just want the mundane experience.

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The Social Status of Being a Customer

Defining what it means to be a “customer” should be relatively straightforward. A quick internet search for “customer” shows it can be defined as “a person or organization that buys goods or services from a store or business.” You come to a store to purchase something, and you are a customer.  Coming on the heels of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and coming up on Black History Month, it is a good time to consider the tenuous social status of being a customer.

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