Last week I arrived at the Colman Dock ferry terminal in Seattle to head back across Puget Sound for home. My iPhone was at 9% power, so I thought I’d plug in and power up since I had a 30 minute wait for the next ferry. I searched and searched for an outlet. I was surprised that I couldn’t easily find one, so I thought I must simply be “blind.” I stopped over to the employees and asked where the outlets were. “No outlets,” was the response. I couldn’t believe my ears.I asked why and she quickly gave me the two reason. The first was that someone had plugged their laptop into an outlet, and some power malfunction ruined it. The other was that people would “hog” the outlets. The terminals simple solution? Avoid it all and just remove them. This is crazy. The ferries have outlets all over, yet the terminals eschew them because of fear and that people might actually use them! In today’s highly digital world, they do a disservice to their customers for selfish reasons.
Do we ever do that? Do we ever make decisions for our own self-interest and in so doing, do a disservice to our customers? Consider some of the kooky phone systems that require you to select from 7 different options, which leads you to another 4 options, which lead you to an outdated voice mail or a disconnection. Or how about arriving for a doctors appointment only to find that the office has double booked and you will be lucky to be seen sometime in the same day as your appointment? Sound familiar?
Make it easy for people to do business with you. Give them the power. You do this by making contact with you easy; access to you and your products simple; and a level of courteousness that might just overwhelm them with delight. Or, maybe you can at least provide an outlet for their phone…
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
This week’s quote –
“A vision without execution is merely an illusion.”
– Ron Karlberg