Swipe, scan, satisfaction!

Do you frequent a local coffee shop? Sandwich shop? Fast-food restaurant?

Do you order the same thing a particular way?

Have you ever been with someone out to lunch or dinner and they don’t even have to be asked what they would like, the server/restaurant knows exactly what the person wants and has it at the ready for their arrival?

This is often the treatment that famous people receive or perhaps your 75 year old grandfather who has ordered a stack of pancakes, black coffee, and 1 boiled egg at “Joe’s Cafe” every Sunday for the past 60 years.

What if that could be changed? What if you could be treated as a VIP? Or honestly, just a loyal customer?

Here is the idea – you know those key chain cards? The ones from Stop & Shop, Shaws, CVS, etc – what if those had more than just a barcode but instead were more like the miniature credit cards that came around briefly?

And here is the data that you could load up on there – Name, Date of Last Visit, Favorite Item, Item Ordered Most Frequently, the possibilities are endless so I’ll stop there.

So at the drive-thru, or in the restaurant (if they implement kiosks like the “Buy Your Ticket Here” stands in movie theaters) you just swipe your card, select your favorite item (which you can update online through the company specific portal) and then step drive up to the window to pay. Customer service goes even further because now the person working the window can do numerous “little” things to make you feel appreciated starting with calling you by name instead of by order number.

In the restaurant instead of waiting in line, you walk up to the kiosk – swipe your card, select your order, pay, and wait to pick it up.

This will do numerous things for these establishments. Here are a few off the top of my head:

– Increased customer recognition (Hi Joe! Welcome back, I see you are going with the Large Hazelnut today. Enjoy!)
– Increase customer satisfaction with order specifics (details can’t be lost in translation if it is already put into the computer essential by the customer – so no more “Wait you did say you wanted pickles with that correct?”)
– Sales data – Imagine being able to tell what your 18 – 24 year old segment of men/women are ordering and how often – hello marketing potential that is PERSONALIZED.
– VIP Status – if you have this service and your friend doesn’t, imagine their envy when they see you process your order in a matter of a minute then being welcomed by the server/clerk by first name. (See Hi My Name Is… for my thoughts on how much that could make a difference in society.)

And one final thought (this could be risky but beneficial) for the fast-food crowd, imagine if the nutritional stats were also shown online for you to see and realize that you are drinking a liquid meal at Starbucks. You may lose customers or your customers may demand you change your menu to be healthier. Either way, it leads to a healthier America. It would be a wake-up call that this country needs right now when it comes to nutrition and daily meal choices all thanks to a little key-chain and a computer.

That’s my idea for the day – who says it couldn’t happen?

Rock on,

Joe

You can’t lose your finger.

Today is a quick and easy idea.

Ditch the car keys.

Ditch the key fob.

Your smart device/mobile phone can use its signal/app to unlock/lock, start, or “panic” your car. That replaces the key fob.

The keys do what? Unlock the door, and start the ignition. In newer cars, you don’t need a key – the key fob alerts the car you are there and you simply push the start button, this function can be replaced by your mobile phone/smart device.

Right but, if I lose my key fob that means anyone can steal my car. Ah ha! Welcome to the idea of the day, new security feature for your automobiles which are slowly becoming computers with wheels – finger print scanner. Laptops have then as logins, why not automobiles?

With technology today, I bet you could put a finger print scanner on the dash, next to the steering column – where you need to insert two fingers (a la Disney turnstiles) and the car from there can determine that it is indeed the owner of the car (or an authorized user) AND can tell if you have been drinking (using whatever technology it is that can tell when Lindsey Lohan has been drinking).

This way now you don’t have to worry about your keys…they are those things that are attached to the end of your arm and if you misplace those, chances are you wouldn’t be driving anywhere anyways.

That the idea for the day – who says it couldn’t happen?

Rock on,

Joe

Hair, hair EVERYWHERE

You know when this blog has taken on a life of its own when for 2 days in a row it has topped 21 views. Twenty-one, needless to say…I am psyched!

Ok so while I was getting my hair cut all nice for Memorial Day weekend in D.C. (which will undoubtedly be an awesome weekend) I noticed something about the floor…hair.

Hair. Lots and lots of hair. One of the stylists there actually commented that one other stylist was out today because she had slipped on a piece of wet hair and hurt her back. Sounds like a terrible workplace hazard to have to worry about slipping on the hair of the customer you just made look awesome.

Now barbers chairs are pretty standard pieces of equipment from the typical to something that looks like it came from IKEA. Not much innovation can really be brought to a barber chair, which doesn’t stop designers from making extravagant ones.

My question is, how hasn’t someone thought of making a chair that helps with the hair problem. This is a problem that has been around since the invention of cutting hair in a chair has existed. Back in the day, you cut the hair, it falls on the ground, the kid you pay $2 an hour would sweep it up, new customer sits down – repeat.

Now, I am not the first one to think of this problem – we all remember (even if we try to forget it) this travesty of creative thinking (surprisingly STILL around). Good idea, bad implementation.

Here is where Dyson vacuum cleaners could make even more money, why not make the bottom of the chair a vacuum?

Take the bottom of the chair and imagine the base of it can move up and down like a cymbal, this is the opening of the vacuum – 360 degrees around almost like a drain plug. The post/stool of the chair would be solid but it would be surrounded by a plastic cylinder just like a bag less vacuum! Have it controlled by a little remote control similar to one of those chair massage devices, and allow the customer to control! Now this is an interactive haircut, imagine how much easier it will be to control the 3 year old in the chair if they control the “mouth” of the chair, “eating up” the hair.

No more brooms, no more mess, customer interaction, and it just sounds cleaner than pushing around a pile of hair with a broom.

Simple, easy, and entertaining – sort of like this blog.

That’s my idea for the day – who says it couldn’t happen?

Rock on,

Joe