DTW Uses Data to Change Customer Interactions

by / Friday, 19 July 2013 / Published in User Experience
The sign below can be found in the security line at the Detroit airport. I love it. It is a smart application of data (something Fluid thinks about on a daily basis).

1 out of 4 TSA employees served in the U.S. military.

This stat changes the security process. Specifically it changes the interaction between fliers (grumpy, stuck overnight, delayed flight, fliers) and TSA employees.

I saw the placement of this stat, in that context, do three things:

1. Humanize: The sign reminded people that uniforms house human beings. Human beings with stories just like us. The sign reduced the anonymity of the employees and increased the interactions.

2. Use chance it its’ advantage: The beauty of this stat is that we, as fliers, don’t know who served in the military and who didn’t. Any employee we interact with could be the 1 out of 4. Because there’s no commonality defined for the 75%, the 25% get the benefit of our recall – and of our kindness.

3. Command respect: If someone has a negative perception of TSA employees, this stat has the power to change that perception. It positions employees with a co-hort that commands respect. Granted, this respect is predicated on a respect for those who served in the U.S. military. In Detroit, and other cities with struggling economies and high military recruitment, the odds are in favor of service respect.

Full disclosure: I’m making some assumptions here. Maybe the sign was created to serve as a deterrent to would-be terrorists (ie. TSA employees are military trained so don’t mess with them). I’m drawing on my qualitative experience. The hypotheses that arise in every day life are flat out fun.

So nice work TSA. It’s always fun to see psychology and data in action. In the real world.

The gauntlet has been thrown…

– What stat of yours has the power to change your customer interactions?

– What stat of yours has the power to change the perception of your brand?

Not sure? Fluid has a Consumer Insights offering. We pride ourselves on the “So what?” of data, the stories it tells and the trends the numbers take.

In fact, 4 out of 5 of us are down right geeky when it comes to consumer insights. We’re itching to mine for more.

Happy Friday,

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