Explicit SDP-010. Explain Why This Error Just Happened

SDP-010. Explain Why This Error Just Happened

Episode description

In this episode, we delve into the importance of transparency and communication in service design, particularly when things don’t go as planned.

Daniele starts with a story about train delays in Switzerland, highlighting how explaining the reason for a delay can shift passengers’ emotions from frustration to understanding. This approach not only provides clarity but also humanizes the service provider, fostering empathy and patience among users.

We then discuss similar scenarios in airline operations, emphasizing how detailed explanations of delays can transform a negative experience into an educational opportunity. Understanding the complexities behind operational decisions, like flight delays due to crew availability or airport slot timings, can significantly alter customers’ perceptions.

The conversation also touches on the concept of serving different audiences with a single message. By explaining errors, service providers can cater to those who are indifferent, those who seek understanding, and those who are curious to learn more. This multifaceted approach ensures that a wide range of users feels acknowledged and informed.

We further explore the idea of not just owning our failures but also celebrating our successes. Acknowledging when things go right, as simple as announcing an on-time departure, can have a powerful positive impact on users’ experiences.

Lastly, we discuss cultural aspects, like Switzerland’s tendency to downplay successes and Australia’s tall poppy syndrome, and how these cultural nuances influence the way services communicate successes and errors.

This episode offers a comprehensive look at the significance of explaining errors in service design, providing valuable insights for anyone interested in enhancing customer experience through effective communication.

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:46 Why is it important to know why?
  • 02:31 From trains to planes
  • 06:08 Serve different audiences all at once
  • 07:44 Own our successes, not just our failures
  • 08:07 A cultural sidebar - Switzerland
  • 08:39 Tall Poppies in Australia
  • 10:17 Outro

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Daniele Catalanotto is a service design practitioner, the author of the Service Design Principles series of books, and the founder of the Swiss Innovation Academy

Guy Martin has worked with global companies and startups in a wide range of roles, including service delivery, corporate education, and leadership development.

Music by Mikhail Smusev from Pixabay

Thanks to Castopod, a Podcasting 2.0 and ActivityPub enabled host, for their support.

A production of Neolux Consulting