Jared: This is the problem.
Six Flags is all about activities — one ride after the other — but Disney is about experiences. Experiences are the gaps between the activities. They’re designing for all those things that happen between the activities.
That’s where the real competitive difference is now, because everybody has the same activities. If you’re in retail or you’re in finance or you’re in medicine or whatever you’re in, all your competitors are designing for the same activities. It’s those gaps between the activities — what happens between the prescription refills, what happens between the deposits and the withdrawals in your bank — those things are the interesting places to design right now.
Trying to get a cab when it’s amazingly wet out is horrific. What if you could just bring up an app and press a button and summon a cab? That’s what Uber did. They revolutionized the taxi business, creating a little app that lets you summon a car. You press the button, figures out who the closest driver is, sends a message to his app, which is slightly different than your app, that says, “Hey, I’ve got a rider for you. Do you want to take it?”
If he says no, goes to the next car. If he says yes, sends you back a message saying, “Hey, I’ve got you a driver, and he can be here in 10 minutes.” Then you get to watch him approach on the map while he’s coming. Then you get in the car, and that whole ritual that happens at the end? That’s completely redone.
Instead of having to figure out what the prices are and what the added prices are and put a tip on top of that, and figure out if the credit-card machine is working, and it’s probably not working, or the guy doesn’t want you to use it because they keep all the money so he’d rather get paid in cash because then he can keep half the money and not give it back.
You go through that whole ritual, and meanwhile it’s pouring rain out and you’re trying to get to where you want to go. It’s a really awkward thing. That’s all gone.
What we have now is a phone. You press a button that says, “Yes, pay.” By the way, you’re going to rate the driver, which is OK because he just rated you, which is how he’ll know whether he’ll pick you up next time. Oh yeah, tip’s included. It’s automatically charged to your pre-entered card, and the receipt’s put in your email, and you’re done. They’ve filled in the gaps.
Groupon. Anybody who participated in Groupon in the early days knew that one of the more annoying features of Groupon is you’d go to someplace that actually you had a Groupon for and you forgot the piece of paper. What’d they do? They make it so that, either from the mobile website or from the app, you can bring up your copy of your Groupon, and they can just scan the phone or enter the number directly from that, and you’re done.
No more carrying around little sheets of paper that have all your coupons on them. Again, thinking about the gaps in the experience.
This whole QR-code thing, this is part of that. I was walking through Melbourne, Australia. There’s a huge black wall on the side of the street, says, “Live here,” with this giant QR code. It was this big. I scanned it, and it was for this little website. Turns out, on the other side of the wall was a hole in the ground, and in the hole in the ground they were planting a building.
When the building grew up, they wanted people to be able to live in it. You could find out all about the building that they were hoping would grow on the other side of the wall. You could even fill out a nice, easy-to-fill-out form that isn’t complicated to get your answer to that question.
That works. The problem with QR codes is that they have way too many dependencies. This is a series of QR codes that’s buried deep in the subway tunnel in the Denver Airport, where there is no cell reception. Some advertiser — First Bank, I guess — paid a ton of money for ads that nobody can take advantage of, because you can’t look it up. People don’t quite understand that those gaps in the experience, you have to actually pay attention to.
This idea of being competitive in the experiences, that is now a key priority. That’s the third force that’s pushing us in this direction.
The last one we call the Kano model. The Kano model was created by a dude named Noriaki Kano. Behavioral economist in the ’60s actually put this thing together, but turns out it’s absolutely explanatory of what’s going on right now. He was trying to explain the relationship between customer satisfaction and the amount of investment that a company should make.
“If you invest more, do you get more satisfied customers?” That was basically the question he was trying to answer.
In his collection of data, he found that there were three trends that predicted this. To measure that, he put them on two scales. The first scale, of course, is user satisfaction, which goes from frustration at the very bottom to extreme delight at the very top. It’s how to think about satisfaction. The second scale has to do with the amount of investment, from almost nothing to a ton.
When he started to plot the data of this, he started to realize that there were three trends that kept showing up. One’s known as the performance payoff. The performance payoff is what happens when you just keep adding features and you keep investing. Over time, you make customers more and more and more satisfied. If you make a big enough investment, you get them very satisfied. We all understand this. We all understand how this works. This is what drives that feature stage of the maturity model.
There were two other curves that he discovered that turned out to be really important. One is basic expectations. Basic expectations says that however much you invest, you’ll never go above neutral satisfaction, because it’s something we basically expect. We have WiFi at this conference. Used to be, if you had WiFi at a conference, that would be an awesome thing. Everybody would be overjoyed. They’d be absolutely delighted about it.
Now, if you go to a lot of conferences, like I do, and someone has WiFi, it’s like, “Oh, great, they have WiFi.” If they don’t have good WiFi, I get frustrated. But if they have great WiFi, I can never get across neutral satisfaction.
Now, it’s interesting that the way we typically measure satisfaction is with something we call satisfaction surveys. They ask questions like, “Are you satisfied?” “Are you satisfied?” is this neutral line in the center of the scale. We’re asking, “Are you in the middle?” When they say yes, we consider it a win.
Then we wonder why people aren’t that excited, because satisfaction, being satisfied with a design, is like considering a meal edible. “Hey, how was your dinner last night?” “Oh, it was expensive, and boy, it was edible.”