Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Delighting the customer

A while back I wrote about innovation in elevator technology.  Recently, I noticed the opposite in the heart of innovation: Silicon Valley. 

I was at the San Jose airport car rental center.  The rental center sees a lot of traffic and they have graciously installed what looks like a dozen elevators (it is actually a bank of 8) over a wide area.  There are several locations with buttons for summoning the elevators.

What is interesting about this arrangement is that when one calls an elevator, irrespective of which set of buttons you use to summon the elevators, any of the bank of 8 elevators could answer.  Seldom have I seen an elevator close to me answering my call.  What this means is that the user has to walk all the way (lugging their luggage) to the elevator.  Some times, the elevator moves away by the time you reach it, making it even more annoying. 

We all know that large traffic only enters the ground floor at the same time: whenever a flight lands.  The elevators be programmed so that any idle elevator car always comes to the ground floor to wait.  It may be a bit inefficient, but makes the customer delighted.  Imagine walking into the rental center to find one or more elevators with open doors waiting for you!  That should put a smile on anyone's face. 

Another feature that can be incorporated is assigning a bank of 4 elevators to the closest buttons.  San Jose has two banks of elevators and they could be separately programmed.  Paired with the previous suggestion, this will delight anyone visiting the Bay area.