“You haven't lost your smile at all, it's right under your nose. You just forgot it was there.” (Anon)
Roger Dooley wrote recently that the Japanese are developing robot babies and those inanimate objects can spark human emotion.
Consider the different emotions of the robot baby below. (People involuntarily smile when they look at the face with the smile and open eyes, and the opposite happens when they look at the sullen face of the robot baby.)
And these feelings are created by a robot!
(Positive emotion – 2nd from left. Negative emotion 2nd from right.)
If a fake (inanimate) object can create emotions in people, it seems that even an insincere greeting/contact/ service touch point would be better than none at all.
We love where we live, but the service is shocking. The local council and chamber want to encourage ‘buy local’ but it is doomed simply because people know a shitake mushroom when they are served one.
Just in the last week:
- A junior staff member blamed me (Moonyeen) when I returned a faulty shirt and said “you must have hooked in on a something and that is the reason for the tear in the shirt”.
- We stopped for a roadside takeaway, but when served on plates, we indicated that is was for takeaway. Instead of just making the change, she actually fetched the docket to verify our claim before wrapping the toasted sandwich in the smallest piece of paper she could manage.
- Space, and the fact that swearing would be inappropriate, prevents me from relating the service at the post office.
- The local coffee shop, may or may not greet you at all when you walk in, may or may not tick the loyalty card and in fact may or may not serve the coffee at all – because they ‘forgot’. And, I kid you not, actually hid the newspaper under the counter when I came in because I always read the paper with my morning coffee.
- The staffer at the bakery actually throws the roll in the microwave if you ask for it to be warmed up and then returns it with a fairly significant and obvious shove.
- The local newsagent treats us well - gives us special rates even though we are not account customers. But when they take a (well-deserved) break, it is a different story.
And it is not just us. We know we are critical – it comes with the territory when you run a mystery shopping for a living – but one of my trainees (age 18) wrote on his Facebook recently that he cannot wait for the time when he does not ever need to go and visit a retail store in his life.
I may prefer a robot behind the counter that will smile when you walk in, and will still smile even if you screw up the order and smile when the fixt it; even if it fake.
Other customers may just order online and be happy with a J - even if it is just an emoticon.
And if you think it is not happening in your business, I am really sorry to say you may have to think again.
I wonder how much those robots charge per hour?