Saturday, October 31, 2015

Advantages of the dive bar

My hotel in Los Angeles had a small dive bar in the back. I love small dive bars, so this was a nice treat for me. Business hotels where conferences are held always have bars that are way too geared towards executives on expense accounts and are sterile facsimiles of a good “joint” (see About Last Night for the true meaning of a “joint”).

Just one example. The bar was small so it had a limited selection of beer and wine. But the bartender was an expert on equivalencies. For example, I ordered an Angel City IPA, but they didn’t have it. But he knew that the Lagunitas IPA was closer than the Stone IPA in taste so he recommended that one. He did the same with my friend’s wine order.

This demonstrates all three levels of customer service empathy.
·         He showed cognitive empathy in his understanding of what attributes of a beer are important to a customer when recommending an alternative.
·         He showed affective empathy in his understanding that this would be important enough to customers to warrant investment of his time to keep up on beer and wine that his bar doesn’t serve.
·         He showed sympathetic empathy in his clear demonstration that this wasn’t a bid to get a good tip; he really cared.

This Week in EID - Episode 78

As you probably have noticed, we focused EID this week on the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society conference. The Proceedings are not up yet, but I will make sure to link to the specific papers when I can.

Monday and Tuesday’s posts came out before the conference started, so those posts are pre-con. Monday was about getting the most value from a conference. The source article was not from an HFES member, but I tried to focus the EID piece on the HFES meeting specifically. If anyone read it just before going to the conference, hopefully it was helpful.

Tuesday’s article was about game training and decision making bias. I was supposed to give a workshop on gamification at the conference on Monday, so the post was supposed to be on that. But my surgery got in the way. I think this was a good replacement for EID.

Wednesday covered the Tuesday conference keynote address by John Nance. He is a world renown speaker and showed why at the conference. He had lots of good anecdotes and videos to share. If you are interested in health care, safety, reliability and agile organizations, or aerospace, he is a good source.

Thursday covered the User Experience Day keynote address by Chris Pacione from LUMA Institute. His keynote was on design thinking. But rather than give the usual lecture, he broke everyone into teams and had us doing a problem framing exercise on the walls. We decided to ask forgiveness from the hotel afterwards rather than permission before because they have a rule against taping things to the walls. We used poster-sized post-it notes, so there was no damage or marks on the walls. No harm no foul, right?

Next week will feature some of the specific sessions at the conference. The award winning papers, the design prizes, the on-site competitions, and the other notable topics.  I look forward to writing them, so I hope you are looking forward to reading them.