I’m continuing my high-level analysis with a look at which scenarios caused polarized reactions, and by segmenting the respondents based on the extreme scores they gave to different scenarios.
Some scenarios had a lot of agreement (most people gave the same score), whereas other scenarios split the population.
- The 50th movie scenario was not very polarizing. Fifty-four out of 138 people (39% of the respondents) gave it a 3. Twenty-three percent of the 138 people gave it between 0-2, and 37% of the 138 people gave it between 4-6.
- The prevailing attitudes regarding the movie theater scores scenario were that it’s creepy, and that it’s not enough (the employee doesn’t offer a free popcorn or ticket).
- The Home Depot paint scenario has an interesting polarity graph as well:
- Two scenarios had only 8 or 9 respondents that gave less than a 3. However, the answers ranging from “mediocre” (a 3) to positive (a 4-6) were split, with no one numerical answer receiving the majority of respondents.
- The attitudes from the free-text responses show that the airport extra info scenario is overwhelmingly found as useful (69 respondents out of 135 said something to this effect), with 22 respondents indicating that this extra information is boring or not special in their opinions.
- For the semi-frequent Starbucks guest, the respondents indicated that the personalized service (utilitarian service orientation) is useful (42 out of 116 said this) and that they like the personalization (49 out of 116 said this). Only 8 said it is creepy, compared to 53 out of 117 respondents on the hotel Starbucks.
- A couple of scenarios were more polarizing. On these two, the crowd couldn’t make up its mind:
- On the Target cereal sale scenario, respondents were split between saying it’s useful and creepy. Out of 154 respondents, 44 said it was useful, and 44 said it was creepy. (Ten people said both.) Additionally, 34 people said they liked the personalization aspect:
- The hotel Starbucks scenario is especially interesting to me because it very much probes the limits of creepiness and corporate chain store behavior. It’s also useful to compare the data with the data from the similar scenario, where a semi-regular visits his local Starbucks. In that scenario, only 8 people found it creepy, with most people remarking positively on the usefulness and the personalization factors. In the hotel Starbucks scenario, 53 out of 117 responses mentioned the creepiness, with only 32 saying they liked the personalization, and only 22 finding it useful:
- Interestingly, from the employee perspective, two scenarios didn’t get any scores below 3. That would be the hotel information scenario.
- One surprise is that in the Target cereal sale scenario, 11 out of 44 respondents said that the scenario made them uncomfortable. (the creepiness factor.) That was the largest number of respondents who said an employee-POV scenario made them uncomfortable. The employee-POV scenario that was second-highest in terms of making respondents uncomfortable was the makeup brand scenario where the employee gives the customer a free sample of the item that goes with the products she already has at home.
What does it all mean?
- I think that the fact that the variers so disliked the employee-POV local coffee shop scenario is a sign that the variers are a group of people that care a lot about the “human touch.” (I say this because the variers rated that scenario from the customer POV as a 4.2, same as the overall average. Therefore, I wouldn’t claim that the variers are upset by the creepiness factor; rather, they have a stronger affinity for “authenticity.”)
- I think they may also be a more utilitarian group. I think on scenarios such as the 50th movie, they were more likely to give a low number (instead of a 3) because of the uselessness of the personalization. (Also see the next bullet for more on respondents’ reaction to utilitarian benefts.)
- I think part of why the hotel Starbucks scenario fell flat is not only the creepiness factor, but also because the scenario didn’t emphasize the customer’s utilitarian service orientation. (The local Starbucks scenario did emphasize that, and many respondents mentioned the usefulness. In the hotel Starbucks scenario, Bob’s service orientation was not mentioned.) The fact that the respondents overwhelmingly gave it a 3 rather than a 0 or 1 makes me think that they found it more “useless” than “upsetting.”
- People clearly like and feel comfortable with more information. (The Hotel Info and Airport Info scenarios were some of the most highly rated.) This fits in with my interviews and fall-semester research 100%.