People are predictable.
Matt McAlister made an interesting point on his blog – based on a recent interaction in his coffee bar. Despite all techological developments, there is true value in human contact. Nothing beats personal contact, especially when ‘experts’ like your local barista notice how predictable you are.
‘The dude who runs the coffee bar in the afternoons here knows everybody’s favorite espresso drink. I asked him how he remembers the drinks. He said,
“I just remember people. I see the same people at the same time of day. They sometimes come in groups, and I can just crank out their drinks.”
I asked him if he could predict what drinks different people like. He replied,
“Yeah, it’s easy. But some people don’t like that. They don’t want to be predictable. So, I wait for them to tell me. But I already know most of the time.”
I wonder if this is a cultural issue for Americans, in particular. Americans want to be unique individuals who are in control of their destiny. Yet the success of the American marketing machine is based primarily on the ability to box people into categories and sell them fixes to their fears.
It turns out that, in fact, we are very predictable. If the coffee bar dude knows what I want to drink before I do, then I’m sure there are lots of things being predicted for me throughout the day that I don’t even know about.’
It coiuld and should be a great starting point for interactions in hotels, bars, flights, etcetera. Unfortunately, too often, people are untrained to be awesome to their customers.