It is somewhat easy to get a grasp what people want, what do they like and what they don’t shadowing them and performing contextual interviews. It is considerably harder to find out why people like what they like.
In todays world, the consumers are bombarded with more stimuli than ever. Attention spans are shorter and as Professor Luiz Moutinho says, they are doing more shopping and less choosing. Getting the consumer on the first step of a service encounter is harder than ever.
So, understanding customer’s likes and preferences in addition to ones jobs could lead to creation of ever better services.
Since early 2000 large corporations have started to utilize methods from neuroscience to peer into the consumers brain to better understand how we make decisions and attach emotions to brands.
The brain works the same way when it attaches emotions to people and brands.
Briefly, measuring ones emotion toward a person or a brand, the activation pattern of brain is compared to known regions of brain that activate or deactive during pleasure, arousal or dominance (see the PAD emotional state model).
Currently many of the studies are being done using big fMRI scanners, that require the patient to lay still on a bed watching images and clicking buttons while the magnetic scanner hums and makes loud clacking sound around the test subject.
Not very useful for decoding the service experience.
Luckily, in the near future the newer generation of neuroscience tools, like Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) caps and headbands allow the consumer to walk and experience the service first hand, while ones emotions are captured.
Think of for example testing a new product, which includes co-creation component, e.g. flat pack furniture. Since there are so many variables in the co-creation process, it is hard for the consumer to express all the feedback which one could at the end of the test.
Capturing emotions during the service encounter helps designers quicker to pinpoint the desired and unwanted features that has value to the consumer.
By peering into the consumer’s brain the corporations are able to create evermore attractive services and products for us. Hopefully they will use these new found powers responsibly.