Going Places

Part 1: Don’t lose the customer

Birmingham is going places. The new Library, the new City Park and now the recently redeveloped New Street Station. A giant glass-roofed atrium crowns twelve refurbished platforms. The city core is to be increased by 25 percent, vitalized by improved transport connectivity. So I was aghast to see A-boards along a concourse five times larger than London Euston. Cheap looking signs that when viewed from the side, are two boards joined at the top with a strut. This isn’t about signage snobbery. It is about finding my way amidst prime retail offering.

There is a gulf between the civic pride (the new Birmingham) and the signals transmitted by these Low-Fi boards. A divide opens up in the service user’s mind between the master-plan of bigger, brighter, more ergonomic, and the quotidian of paper posters and arrows. Visitor Experience Research – from a range of passengers and shoppers – would have exposed what SubstanceQI calls Moments of Truth. A company’s relationship with a customer can be made or broken by how the customer feels they are being treated at one specific point in an interaction. First class inspiration or just another punter passing through?

Leave a Comment