Tuesday, July 31, 2012

People hate change - like "new" products

It´s said that in times of social media, brands are now sensitive to customer feedback, that they are mouldable, adaptable into becoming their best to serve. Bah! Most times, when a customer points out something that could be improved, the company owner or staff starts to defend themselves. And miss an opportunity to become better!

Sometimes I see how a café or a shop could benefit from doing things in another way. Like the silly system we have in Sweden, where we stand in a queue to get a coffee, while the same person who takes your order also makes the coffee, hence the queue is a prison for sometimes ten-fifteen minutes when you have to stand there, waiting for 8 people´s lattes to be produced.

I´ve never seen anything like it in any other country. In Australia there is one person who takes your order, charges you cash, and another who does the coffee. While waiting you can go and sit down, or at least not stand in a line, humiliated like a sheep.

Every time you somehow point this out (in a nice way), the café owner starts saying "no, can´t do that". An instant reaction. An impulse. "No, can´t do that".

I know change is hard and we are biologically created to avoid it, but for an entrepreneur it´s a mystery. I´ve many times tried to point out how much better it would be to turn the chairs in another direction, word things differently to attract more customers or say another way of organizing would be smoother, but no matter how smooth my voice, or big my smile is, they look at me as an enemy. I´m trouble. I have opinions!

It is an interesting psychological phenomenon. Customers react in the same way. Try to give them a new option and they will say "No, can´t do that", and their smart profrontal cortex part of the brain will come up with heaps of arguments. While in fact, it´s their emotional selves, their fear of change, that is running the show.

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