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The Gap Between Promise and Reality In Service Experience
Photo of a person looking down on a cliff

A huge problem in customer experience design is in managing the gap between the promise of a service experience, and the reality of a service experience.

We are too often sold a utopian vision of perfection, one where we transcend ourselves, we are made better, the world is made better.

We can run faster, jump higher, smile more, look! kids playing with the dog under a sprinkler, a cool sunset, a better relationship.

Then we get home and the shoes we bought have threads coming out, they’re a bit too small, and maybe that neon colour wasn’t a good idea for walking the dog in the wet mud, my wife’s not a fan, and returning them is going to be a massive hassle.

This isn’t what I wanted!

Companies spend vast amounts on marketing to acquire new customers only to serve them up disappointment, frustration, pain, friction, and an inability or no time to do anything about it, and another customer is lost.

Fix the pain first. 

Customers are not easy to come by.

By Warren Anthony

Warren is a design leader working to improve our experiences with products, services and systems by putting people first. He leads the Experience Design practice at EY Vancouver, working with clients including the City of Vancouver, the Government of Canada and Microsoft. He's an active contributor as part of EY's Global Future Consumer and Future Cities teams. In previous lives he led strategy, UX and digital design teams at DDB London and FCV Vancouver scooping major awards for work with Hasbro, Volkswagen and Philips.

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