The Eye Inward and the Eye Outward: Introducing a Framework for Mood-Sensitive Service Encounters

Pelin Esnaf Uslu, Pieter M.A. Desmet, Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein

Abstract

This article introduces the concept of mood sensitivity: a service agent’s ability to detect mood during service encounters and customize their interaction style accordingly, with the purpose of improving service encounters as a whole. We report on an experience sampling study that explored the role that mood plays in service provision. Eleven service providers from various fields (education, healthcare, government) participated. The study yielded four general components of service encounter mood sensitivity. The first two represent “the eye outward”: (1) being perceptive of the client’s mood and (2) being able to manage the client’s mood by strategically adjusting one’s interaction style. The other two represent “the eye inward”: (3) being perceptive of one’s own mood and (4) being able to regulate one’s mood to protect personal well-being and avoid negatively impacting an encounter. Our framework of mood sensitivity during service encounters integrates these four components. For each component, opportunities are proposed for the development of tools, training methods, and design interventions that can support service providers seeking to develop their mood sensitivity.

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Uslu, P. E., Desmet, P. M. A., & Schifferstein, H. N. J. (2022). The eye inward and the eye outward: Introducing a framework for mood-sensitive service encounters. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 8(1), 118-146.