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The Intuitive Customer - Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Aug 15, 2020

Did you know that if you were to write a Customer Experience review on your mobile phone, it would be more emotional than if you did it on your computer? Did you also know you are more likely to tell me your email and or home address and your substance abuse history if I ask you on your mobile? 


You might be thinking that this can’t be true. However, recent findings by Shiri Melumad, Assistant Professor of Marketing for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that you would. It turns out that the technology we use to share information affects what we include in the content. 

Key Takeaways 

A few different reasons exist for this phenomenon, but what they have in common is they are related to how we feel and where we are when we feel it. Assistant Professor Melumad has a few different critical takeaways from her research for two published papers. 


  1. We are more emotional in reviews on our phones than on our computers. There are a few reasons for this, which include:
    1. One of the critical drivers of more emotional reviews on the phone is the phone’s size. The smaller screen and keyboard are more challenging to use, so people want to get to the point and write shorter reviews. The brevity enforced by the phone’s size means that what content makes it in is often emotional. 
    2. People who have experiences in the extreme are more likely to give a review. However, those who had an okay or satisfactory experience are less likely to provide a review. 
    3. Another influence on the content of the review is temporal proximity. In other words, the closer you are to the experience, the more emotional it is. After you get home, your emotions settle a bit, and your content output reflects that. 
    1. People are more likely to write a positive review than a negative one on their smartphone-generated content. This slant is the result of our self-presentational concerns. In other words, we don’t want to come across as a negative person. 
    2. The emotional reviews written on mobile phones are more compelling to readers than those written on a computer.
  2. Boundary conditions exist for this emotionality. A review of a refrigerator may not be as emotional as your written response to a current events story. There is always a context to your emotional evaluation that might make some information more pertinent in some instances than others. Professor Melumad says there are two important points about these boundary conditions, which include:
  3. People are more likely to disclose personal information on their phones than their computers. Everything from their current home address to bankruptcy history found its way into inboxes from mobile phones, per Assistant Professor Melumad.
    1. Have the phones with us all the time because they are small when compared to a computer
    2. Rely on the phone to help us stay in touch wherever, whenever
    3. Use the phone to maintain our closest relationships 
  4. We really love our phones. Our intense psychological relationship with our phones as a comfort device because we:
  5. Using your phone in public leads to Attentional Blindness, which describes how we are so absorbed in our activity, we are unaware of what is going on around us. Assistant Professor Melumad says Attentional Blindness occurs because our cognitive resources are concentrating on using the smartphone, leaving little room for other activity.

Recommended Actions

There are a few ways to apply this information on behalf of your organization, which include:


  • Realize that mobile phones can help with critical health-related disclosures. Assistant Professor Melumad says this phenomenon would be helpful in contact tracing for COVID-19. People would be more likely to use the app on their mobile. The same concept applies to gather medical information at a doctor’s appointment. People might be more forthcoming with personal medical information via the smartphone than they are with other methods.


  • Focus on smartphone-generated content for persuasive reviews. Study participants found the emotional content more compelling than other reviews. Also, it would be best to data-mine the survey to get more candid feedback on your experience since people tend to be more accurate about their wants and needs through their mobile devices. 


  • Remember that little things have big effects on customer behavior. Professor Melumad’s research reinforces our long-held belief that little things mean a lot in your experience. Figure out what you want to get out of your customer reviews, and use it to target customers appropriately for their smartphone-generated content. 

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About Beyond Philosophy:

Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.

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