All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back

By William J. Cusick | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Prime Time: How Framing
and Context Shape a
Customer's Experience

The customer perceives service in his or her own terms.

Arch McGill

We all like to feel we're in control of our emotions, our decisions, and our actions. Most of us are also convinced that we have free will, and that we consciously make rational decisions. It's human nature. Think of the decisions you make throughout the day. Surely they are based on taking in information and making reasoned, logical choices, aren't they?

But that's often not the case; it's just not how our brains work. The primary processing “machinery” that dictates our feelings and our behaviors is located in the irrational subconscious portion of our brains. We can't consciously access what is happening in the subconscious and, for a long time, we had no idea whether, or how, outside factors might influence our feelings or our decisions. However, research conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s has produced the most convincing evidence yet that a variety of outside factors—some very subtle—

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