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I’m a huge fan of author Daniel Kahneman. His first book, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a great CX resource, even though it’s not about customer experience per se. The most valuable takeaway for CX pros is probably “The Peak-End Rule.” As Kahneman explains the concept, you can approximate how someone feels about an experience overall by averaging the peak point of emotions and how the experience ends.

His signature example is a colonoscopy. With that cancer screening, subjects who received a positive test result after the procedure rated the experience lower than those who received a negative result. That unwelcome news at the end of the experience led patients to recall the entire experience as worse, even though, rationally, the procedure was the same regardless of the outcome.

(All CX leaders should familiarize themselves with the Peak-End Rule. But I’m not gonna lie: Kahneman’s book is a tough read. However, it will make you a better CX leader if you invest the time and focus to tackle it.)

The Peak-End Rule is a terrific guidepost for CX, and Kahneman cites great research that applies to many of our clients. It works well for customer experience. Much of the time.

But… (more…)