Why So Complicated?

Airport loos and flight lounge loos, I reckon they are the worst ones, closely followed by upmarket hotels.

What am I referring to?

The taps in the washrooms. Why do they make them so difficult to turn on and off and to blow dry your hands?  Do we really need the customer experience to be that difficult?

No, we don’t.

Look, I admit I am both technically and technologically challenged. You won’t find me fixing things around the home with MacGyver like ability.… But I’m not alone in feeling this way, as I discovered when reading an article by US author and speaker Jay Baer on How hotels create a WTF customer experience.

In it he explains that some years ago when he first started his blog, each time he visited a hotel he would post a picture of the shower controls. He began this adventure after feeling the need to actually phone down to the front desk for instructions. I can relate to that!

More recently he stayed at a fancy hotel in Florida. I’ll let Jay Baer explain:

“A quick glance into the shower became a double-take, as there seemed to be a surplus of knobs and options. I flashed back to my long-ago call to the front desk for a shower step-by-step. But upon further review this time I found … A-HA! A TREASURE MAP!

 “That’s right, this hotel had so much trouble with guests not being able to figure out the shower that they produced an infographic of instructions.

“It is reasonable for you to be thinking at this very moment, ‘Why didn’t they just change the shower controls?’ I suspect this is another in an endless line of customer experience decisions made based on short-term budget thinking, rather than intermediate and long-term customer satisfaction.

“I present for you here the actual treasure map:

“Again, I’m not super mechanical or anything, but the Treasure Map wasn’t particularly helpful, especially when I was confronted with the actual shower controls… Even with the map, I alternated between being scalded and frozen!”

As Jay Baer concludes, it’s safe to say that if you need a sign, plus printed instructions on the valve to operate the shower, the shower itself is a poorly designed and chosen customer experience.

The Lesson: Customers don’t want more effort. They don’t want you to create more stress in their lives. They want you to reduce the effort and in so doing to enhance their experience.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at http://www.terrifictrading.com/terrific-newsletter/. Alternatively, email info@terrifictrading.com.