I’ve been traveling and speaking and traveling and speaking lately. It’s great because I’m still very passionate about the messages, but honestly? It can be exhausting.
Just this week, I went to Wisconsin to deliver a keynote for an agency and their clients at a corporate event. It was a longer drive than I anticipated (thank you, construction!) and I was really tired when I arrived on Monday night. I decided to suck it up and use the treadmill in the teeny, tiny workout room. One was broken (is that a rule for hotels?) and the other had no working incline and was missing the headphone jack, but I did my best. About half-way through my run, I noticed the label. Each treadmill was labeled with “TRD #1” or “TRD #2.”
I got to thinking. What caused them to require these labels? And who was asked to label them in the first place? And why did they choose something so boring?
Just think of the possibilities!
The entire room lacked any real personality or attention, but think if someone had taken this small, typically overlooked moment and turned it into something fun and memorable.
I have a few ideas for what I would have printed on the labels for these treadmills:
“YOU ARE ROCKING THIS WORKOUT!”
“THANKS FOR BEING HERE. I WAS LONELY!”
“HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT!?”
“I’M TEDDY THE TREADMILL. WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”
Just think of the smiles a simple label could produce. Imagine the pictures and emotions used when retelling the moment a label gets noticed. Simply put, the boring labels are missed opportunities to not only brighten someone’s day, but to produce a memorable experience with your brand.
If they changed NOTHING else in the little neglected space, this could still work.
There are opportunities all over to surprise and delight your customers through special microinteractions. And before you discuss how overworked your employees are or how budgets are crunched, I challenge you to think differently. Think differently to deliver the same message with the same resources but in better ways. The label can still go on the treadmill, but with care.
Microinteractions matter because we all have those nights like I had. We ended up in traffic, we are tired, and we just want a little humanity. Sometimes a thoughtful label is all it takes.
Have you checked your experience for missed opportunities?
I challenge you to consider that question RIGHT NOW and change one, small thing. It’s not as hard as we make it. If you don’t feel like you can change the customer experience, then change something small for your colleagues. Create a small, meaningful moment and watch the magic happen.