Showing hidden values

The making of...

I was up at Dominica's Syndicate Trail a couple of days ago, looking for the famous Parrots Of The Caribbean (sorry).

It's a great little trail - part of a Unesco heritage site - and I noticed that the visitors' centre was fitted out with ecologically-sound solar panels. Now, such technology is a major investment here, yet there was nothing to draw the guest's attention to this feature. It got me thinking about one of the staples of good experience design - the principle of revealing hidden values.

Imagine a visit to the dentist. She scratches around in your mouth for a few minutes, drills a bit, fills the hole, and charges you a couple of hundred bucks. Ow! The pain in your wallet is worse than your aching gums!

Would it take away some of the financial sting if you knew that the chair you are sitting in cost $5000, that the dentist trained for four years at a top school, and that in the next room two highly trained technicians were working on your filling mix? Perhaps the dentist can – discretely – show off some of these hidden values. What about a glass wall between the waiting room and the lab where all the fancy equipment is working away? What about some information on how dentists are made? And what about introducing you to the whole expert team – in person or as photos?

People are genuinely interested in what goes on behind the scenes (why else do we watch so many “making of” documentaries?). Luckily, this gives you a chance to show off those hidden values. So, think about ways that you can tell your customer what they are really getting for their money, and how you can modestly show off your own qualifications, history and investment.

After all, we are all happier paying more, if we understand what lies behind our (parrot's) bill.

1 comment:

Stephanie Weaver said...

Great post. This is especially true for heritage/educational sites like museums or zoos that have a mission to help the environment. Many times they have environmentally sound features but don't tell guests about them.

I think anything you do behind the scenes that supports your company or organization's theme or mission is a great place to reveal value.

Thanks for your insightful blog.
Stephanie Weaver

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