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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 31-Jan-07

 


Wednesday 31-January-06

Toilet innovation

There are three types of customer satisfaction: basic, performance and delight. Basic satisfaction is what bathrooms are mostly about - you have expectations, for example about cleanliness and availability of towels. You don't really look for these things -- you just expect them to be there (and get rather unhappy when they are not).

Performance satisfaction occurs where you are actually looking for something which varies with how well your needs here are met. In the bathroom, this might be the quality of the soap or the softness of the tissue.

Beyond performance is delight, where unexpected extras send you into paroxysms of ecstasy. This is the realm of innovation, where the creativity of the designer reaches out to add that little bit more.

Bathrooms are major areas for potential delight and innovations and simple luxuries I have seen in hotels and homes include:

  • Extra-thick and soft towels

  • Automatic-flush toilets

  • Press-button electronic seat-raiser

  • Pull-cord to summon the valet

  • Soap mill (turn handle to grind off flakes)

  • Effective shower temperature controller

  • Super-power hot air hand-dryer

  • White noise generator to hide embarrassing sounds

  • Rain shower (droplets, wide area)

Some of these may seem silly, but if they add the 'wow' factor for their target audience, then they will have succeeded. Where such excitement elements do fail is when basic needs are not well satisfied. An electronic gizmo in a dirty bathroom causes only irritation as users grumble about 'trying to impress when they can't even get the basics right'.

But if the basics are right and performance needs are satisfactory, then just a little bit of icing on the cake turns satisfaction into delight.


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