Every interaction I seem to have these days reveals business "nuggets" that can be used in any business.
Let me share with you what happened today ---
I arrived back in Adelaide today after a quick, two day trip over to Victoria to celebrate my brother's 50th birthday.
On the way home from the airport I drove past a "Big Box" retailer that is in the process of closing down and I decided to drop in there because my wife is looking for a new cooker for her business and I knew that this retailer has heavily reduced the prices on all their goods because they are only weeks away from closing their doors.
Anyway, I find that cooker up the top there and I knew that it would be exactly what my wife was looking for so after a few pictures of it being sent to her by text - and a couple of discussions with the sales rep - I buy it.
There's only one problem - it won't fit into the back of my car - so this means a quick trip back to a petrol station to grab a hire trailer and then back to pick it up.
When I get to the petrol station I approach the staff at the counter to book the trailer hire and I am directed to a newly set up terminal where I have to choose the trailer I want and how long I want it for online.
Now, the last time I hired a trailer from a petrol station, the process took almost 30 minutes with paperwork having to be filled out, ID presented, two or three trips back and forth to both the trailer being hired and my car to get the registration details (I can never remember the registration number of my car!!!) and all the while, a larger and larger group of patrons are lining up at the counter waiting to pay for their petrol purchases and - as you can imagine - they are kept getting more and more frustrated having to wait for all my paperwork to be completed.
This last experience of hiring a trailer was very much front of mind when I was directed to a terminal away from the main counter area where I could quietly proceed in going through the process of entering all the information into this terminal while the staff at the petrol stationer were free to continue serving customers.
When I returned to the petrol station after collecting the cooker and taking it home, I was even more impressed!!!
I approach the counter staff to complete the return paperwork and I was once again directed back to the same terminal to complete the return process.
I punch in all the details of the return and the system then checks that I have returned the trailer in the time allocated (I had booked it for 4 hours) and once everything "checks out" ok I am directed back to the staff to have my security deposit returned to my credit card.
While the terminal is checking that I have returned the trailer in the allocated period of time I am thinking to myself "In the past, I wonder how many times the petrol station staff been abused by people who return the trailers late and are told that they are going to lose their security deposit? This process is great because if someone does lose their security deposit for returning a trailer late, they can't abuse the staff, because it's the terminal's "fault"!!!"
As someone who has hired many trailers from many petrol stations over many years, this new way of hiring a trailer really did impress me because not only does it make the process very seamless from the hirer's perspective, but it also frees up the staff at the petrol station to continue servicing clients while also reducing the incidence of these same staff members getting abused by disgruntled customers who have done the wrong thing and cop a financial penalty as a result.
What are you doing to reduce resistance between your customers and your business so that each transaction is a quick and seamless process?