Observations from the Airport

I am writing from my phone at O’Hare. It is always interesting to me to watch other people at the airport. I don’t watch too closely (I don’t want to be that guy), but I look at general behaviors and patterns. Her are a couple of the things I notice.

1. People want their space. Most people sit with a gap between them and a stranger. We also don’t really want to communicate with people we don’t know.

2. Most people are oblivious to others. They stand in the middle of the aisle and slow down others that just want to get to their destinations and they seem completely unaware that there is a huge line behind them. Also I have seen countless people simply stepping out in front of others without as much as a glance.

3. People become impatient without any logic. People stop sitting and start waiting in line to board the plane so that they can just sit down even more in less comfortable conditions.

These little behaviors come down to a simple summation. When we don’t know those around us, we become selfish and unconcerned with them. This is also true in business.

This is why it is difficult to get people to see things from the customers’ perspectives. The customer is a stranger and they don’t really affect me directly. You could argue that they pay our checks, but that is too impersonal and abstract.

To make the connection you have to make it personal. Create a personal story about your customers. Personify them and make a visual impact with your people on how they affect the lives of your customer. Maybe the. We can get the responses that we need in order to differentiate ourselves from the competition.


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