Friday, May 18, 2012

For whom are you innovating?

Just a few weeks ago I had a short flight to Copenhagen. And again the check-in process keeps on surprising me. I am used to the self service terminals. It is still amazing that there are a lot of customer service repr’s needed to assist people with registering. Clearly the process to check-in your self is still not very easy and intuitive.

The same applies to checking-in your luggage. There was a new machine (see pic) where I could check-in the luggage myself.

I was really wowed by the technology. Incredible what is possible these days. What surprised me was that also to use this machine there was still a lot of help needed from customer service repr’s. Apparently they are not so easy to use for many customers.

This brings me to the following question. For whom are you innovating here? For the customers, or for yourself to save on labor costs? And are you really saving a lot of labor costs, as still quite a lot of customer service repr’s are needed to assist. I think the innovation (in this case) is for the internal organization only. If they had applied Design Thinking methodologies, they would have find out that customers prefer a totally different experience. As a customer I don’t want to use two different machines (which I find hard to use) and hope that I did everything well. I really would prefer that when I arrive at the counter I will be welcomed by a nice smiling customer service repr who asks for my ticket, passport and luggage and who checks it all in for me. While that is happening I will be seated on a couch and have a nice (and hopefully) interesting chat with another traveller. That would be a very great customer service experience!

So, for whom are you really innovating?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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