March 16, 2011

Sound as an element in experience design

Another quick post since I am spending most of my time writing my dissertation. I thought this was a good example of using sound as an element of service design.

Making the queue part of the experience: Disney Edition

I'm in the thick of dissertation mode, but I found this video interesting and wanted to post it just to be able to record it.

March 2, 2011

Dinner and a Movie - Mash-ups

Service Encounter Onstage recently blogged about the benefits of combining two experiences into one - a dinner AND a movie. AMC calls is "Fork and Screen".

I think the premise is solid; however, I think it is folly to think that since I do movies well, I can easily do food well or vice versa.  Certainly the nature of the experience is different, the first being the tangibility of the food vs the intangibility of the movie - if the food is no good the blame falls on the theater, if the show is no good the blame will fall on the movie producer.  Ordering and eating food is an active customer action while watching a movie is passive.  I wonder if combining these two disparate forms of experience is a good idea from a management stand point; at the very least it would raise a lot of questions about how quality and experience theme be maintained, how are customer expectations managed, how do HR policies change etc?

Something like this came up in class the other day as a joke.  We were discussion the intangibility of services and compared a massage to an auto repair shop. Massages are very intangible because you leave with only a feeling of relaxation, but no physical product.  I always thought that an auto repair was pretty tangible because you do get a car back when you are finished, but a student pointed out that because it is difficult for customers to know if the car is actually fixed or if it needed what was said to be fixed, it was very intangible and customers leave feeling stressed.  So we came up with a recommendation of a massage at the auto repair shop to relive stress of the unknown.

All this talk of combining things reminded me of a term "Mash-up" made popular by the television show Glee.  the idea of a mashup is to combine elements of two songs to create a new better song - maybe the melody of one song with the lyrics a rhythm of another  In their words:
"A 'Mash-up' is when you take two songs and you mash them together to create an even richer Explosion of Musical Expression."
It seems to work best if the two songs have something in common enough for the audience to pickup on the clever combination of the themes of the two songs.  Perhaps similiar advice might apply when considering combining two experiences.  Maybe a dinner and a movie might fit better together than a massage and an auto repair?

Here's a clip of some Glee mash-up action.  Enjoy!

March 1, 2011

Analytics of a Service

The good news is that I have recently accepted a faculty position at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California!  I will likely be teaching business statistics, so in preparation I have started an additional blog to record some idea to share with my future student along the line of business statistics.  In the meantime, I'll keep posting here too.  In honor of this new blog, I found a great clip from IBM touting the use of analytics in a healthcare setting:

  We had a great discussion in my operations management MBA class yesterday about what I identify as 2 main frameworks that can be applied to practical service operations management.  I call them analytical and behavioral.  Under analytical we discussed queuing, revenue management, optimization, simulation, data modeling, etc, while under the behavioral framework we have to understand motivation, experiences, emotions, needs, etc.  Because customers are often in the service process, ignoring the behavioral aspect can be detrimental.  Additionally, behavioral aspects of a service cannot be delegated to the marketing department alone, instead the discussion of the experience desired for customers has to be a part of the operations management priorities or it won't be executed.   This clip discusses how a hospital in Toronto has been able to record and analyze data from a new born from the instruments that surround it. The difficulty in the behavioral side of service operations management is that measurement is hard and near impossible in real time.  While it is fairly easy to count how many people are in a line at a give time, it is not easy to tell who is upset about it and who is not.