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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Your table (or salesman or colonoscopy) is ready for you now

I’ve spent much of the past few weeks on the road, and I’m catching up on a few of the trend newsletters I subscribe to. I found a pretty cool story in Springwise, for example.

You know that little plastic buzzer thingy a restaurant gives you to hold while you’re waiting? The one that lights-up and vibrates when a table is available and it’s your turn to be seated. Turns out that almost all of us own one of those things… in the form of a mobile phone.
Using a tool most of their customers already have—a mobile phone—a clinic in Quebec has made a very simple innovation. If it looks like your wait will be longer than anticipated, they encourage you to wander away (for shopping, refreshments, whatever). When your appointment time is known to be imminent, they give you a call, email or text message. (No more frustrated patients losing their patience.) Click here to read more.

Implications: I can think of many ways to use this concept. If a customer leaves their car with you to be serviced, why not give them a call on their cell phone about the time the car is ready to be picked up? If a customer must wait for your staff to grab their goods in a warehouse after paying... why not invite them to wander a while longer in your store, and let them know you'll call when it's ready. Same thing for you, Target Pharmacy: Why should I have to check-back five times after placing my prescription order? You should just call me once it has been filled!

If you're already doing this, are you promoting it?

Mike Anderson

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