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Check-ups make you feel better

<font size="2"> <p></p> <p>This morning I had a full <strong>medical checkup</strong> for insurance purposes. I was prodded, poked, tickled then drained of blood and other liquids. Although I was confident of my fitness level, these tests are always slightly scary - I'm sure everyone treats them with trepidation. I had eaten sensibly for a week before the test, laid off drinking, went for a run - that sort of thing (as if it would make a difference...). The final test had me hooked up by 12 tentacles to a hi-tech ECG machine, with a display like the one above. </p> <p>It led me to think that the very act of testing humans always has other effects. It's analogous to the <strong>Schrödinger's Cat</strong> thought experiment (in a nutshell: finding out or <em>measuring</em> the state cannot be done without the observer interfering with the experiment </font><font size="2" face="Courier New">—</font><font size="2"> the measurement system or observer is <em>entangled</em> with the experiment. More <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat">here</a>, fact fans). In this case, by testing me, I considered the state of my health and made some (admittedly feeble) attempts to impress the examiner by doing some workouts beforehand - so it may not have been a totally accurate assessement of my steady state health. </p> <p>My speciality is the gauging of customer sentiment. So what is the Schrödinger Cat issue with surveying customers? </p> <p>I believe that by the act of asking a customer a simple question post-purchase has a strong effect. Firstly, the act of following up a transaction is a basic human politeness - as we were taught when young to write a thank-you letter to Auntie Ethel. Secondly, asking for their opinion on the transaction forces the customer to recall the experience and make a judgement call. In the case of good buying experience, the customer should find the act of recall enjoyable, making the connection with the brand in the mind a positive one. So you get a free marketing hit. </p> <p>In the case of a poor buying experience, the question may trigger "buyers remorse", a form of cognitive dissonance. Or customers may take the opportunity to vent their anger. He or she may regret the purchase, but at least if you act on the <em>"Vox Clientis"</em> (Voice of of Customer), it gives you a second chance to correct it. Disatisfied customers may go on to badmouth you, but if you ask, you are able to gauge the percentage that might do. </p> <p>So as I sat there, pedalling my way to 300W and my stress limit, I mused on how similar our <strong><a href="http://www.customergauge.com/"><strong>CustomerGauge</strong></a></strong> application is similar to the ECG machine. Both have multiple monitors, automatically checking "heartbeat" and stress levels, provide insight and help to ultimately improve. In our case, it's taking the pulse of the customer, and giving them an instant check-up. For the customer, it's a chance to think about their own "purchase health". </p> <p>Oh, and after spending 20 minutes on the stress test machine, I am pleased to say I passed it with flying colours. At 42, I'm delighted to report that they found me fitter than as a <a href="http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-fit-as-a-butchers-dog.html">butchers dog</a>, apparently. </p> <p> </p></font>

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