Q1) Where are the people from that shop here?
Q2) How do you make money blogging?
Q3) How old is your dog?
These are FAQ’s of me have always been easy to answer.
A1) Around here.
A2) Promoting products like Vitamix.
A3) Between 2 and five years old.
But upon closer examination, those questions are not what I’m being asked. The real questions are much more selfish than what I heard.
Real Q1) Do people like me shop here?
Real Q2) Should I be worried about you paying rent or that you’re going to ask me for money?
Real Q3) Can I pet her?
The lesson? Answer the question they asked. It’s rude to jump to conclusions. But, don’t be afraid to take a stab at the real question being asked. At best, you make a deeper connection. At worse, it’s a lot more fun.
At the airport, CVS or at the movie theater, you’ll find self-checkout. Self-checkout has its benefits. Most of those benefits, though, do not go to you or me. The customer. We don’t care about lower labor costs, less shrinkage or better analytics.
We, the customer, don’t like the imbalance of benefits associated with self-checkout. But this is not what’s so painful. The utter lack of updates we get during the process, especially when we’re waiting, is what’s so painful
At self-checkout, there’s nobody to give you an update. Good or bad. There’s nobody to say “We’re experiencing delays with the computer.” There’s nobody to say, “Customer assistance for an extra register please.” There’s nobody to say, “Ma’am, this credit card didn’t go through, can we try another?”
How can we get self-checkout machines to give status updates? We don’t need much. Something like, “I’m an expert, here’s what’s happening, here’s how long it’s going to be. Thanks for the patience.” Oh, that’s a job a machine can’t do?