I've been away from my office for a week, but it feels like a month, things are so backed up.
This morning, trainer TK (aka the princess of pain) wanted to know why I didn't get any hotel workouts in... at the time, just getting enough sleep felt like a victory. Some experiences are very immersive, and don't leave much room for anything else. A good vacation is like that, but so are some conferences, and some of my work projects are like that.
Immersive experiences and simplicityHere's the thing - many of your target customers are in some kind of immersive experience. Their day to day life is often pretty immersive if they have children and work.
They simply don't have any mind-share to spare for you or your needs. Maybe it's some procedure that seems simple enough to you (a mail-in rebate form, for example), but that bit of effort has to displace some other important thing.
My take: no matter how simple you think your form, your procedure or your communication is, you need to make it simpler. If we have to set it aside for later, later might never come.
The Bathroom Blogfest pretty much plunged on without me this year, and there was even a sponsor!! [Although I did get to dabble in logo design again, see left. It was more fun than the reports I needed to write].
Simplicity of operation seems to have gone too far in public johns, IMHO. We all stand waving our hands under automatic sinks that don't come on, trying to get soap from automatic dispensers that won't dispense, and waving frantically at automatic towel dispensers that aren't whirring.
Mostly the automatic dryers seem to work, but you have to hang on to small children lest they get blown over by the high speed fans.
Inside the stall, it's much worse. If the automatic flush doesn't happen, you may look in vain (as I did a few days ago) for a manual button. Why these little buttons are so well hidden is a mystery. As often as not, these units flush twice, which is hardly a water saving.
Encountering these mysteries in several airports, I empathized with the newcomers who must be mystified by these devices. If we can't figure it out, what hope does a foreigner have? It's not like there are signs that explain what to do.
My take: We have a lot of weird obsessions about bathroom fixtures that could keep a team of anthropologists busy for years. I strongly suspect that the automatic switches have more to do with not touching the untouchable than with any real efficiency.
Good bathrooms are good for business
McDonald's is one of the few places you can count on a good bathroom, and that's motivated me to stop there on many occasions. And in the spirit of reciprocity, of course I buy something too.
Linda Wright has actually written a book about this topic,
My take: I haven't read the book, but I totally endorse the concept. When you are talking bathrooms, you are talking about a need felt by 100 per cent of the population.
Blogfest Blogger list
Participating bloggers for the Bathroom Blogfest ’09 include:
• Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads http://www.customercrossroads.com
• Reshma Anand at Qualitative Research Blog http://onqualitativeresearch.blogspot.com/
• Shannon Bilby at From the Floors Up http://fromthefloorsup.com/
• Shannon Bilby and Brad Millner at My Big Bob’s Blog http://blog.mybigbobs.com/
• Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop http://www.laurenceborel.com/
• Jeanne Byington at The I mportance of Earnest Service http://blog.jmbyington.com/
• Becky Carroll at Customers Rock! http://www.customersrock.net
• Leslie Clagett at KB Culture www.kbculture.blogspot.com
• Katie Clark at Practical Katie http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/
• Iris Shreve Garrott at Checking In and Checking Out http://circulating.wordpress.com/
• Julie at Julie’s Cleaning Secrets Blog http://cleaningsecrets.greatcleaners.com/
• Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution http://www.resultsrevolution.com
• Maria Palma at People To People Service http://www.people2peopleservice.com/
• Professor Toilet at Professor Toilet’s Blog http://www.professortoilet.com/
• David Reich at My 2 Cents http://reichcomm.typepad.com/
• Bethany Richmond at The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com
• Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose http://spiritwomen.blogspot.com
• Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology http://experienceology.blogspot.com;
• C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com
and Simple Marketing Blog http://www.SimpleMarketingBlog.com
• Linda Wright at Lindaloo.com: Build Better Business with Better Bathrooms http://lindaloo.com/