The last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about people in transit and what we do while while we’re in it. Commuting is a necessary evil to get from home to work, and back again. While in transit between these two places you might as well do something, like read a free newspaper for instance. They are very common here in Sweden.
I believe this behaviour will move into other arenas as well. People will want to use all the time in between appointments more efficiently. They will turn the time in transit, into a pleasurable event in itself.
This poses a challenge for any company that involves some sort of waiting for their customers. An example: in Sweden it’s big business helping people to switch to winter tyres. If you go to a garage, the process might take you about half an hour. Usually, this is half an hour down the drain as there is nothing but a few worn out car magazines to read. If the garage instead had a wireless internet connection you could continue working as if nothing had happened, more or less. Or a bit more extreme – why not have a spa section that offers half an hours massage while you wait? A lot of stressed out people would greatly appreciate both maximising their day, and at the same time getting a soothing massage. This could be seen as good promotion, or an alternate source of income.
Another example would be phone cues. I absolutely hate waiting for ages on the phone in order to get the simplest of answers. Apart from having all the information available online (which is the obvious solution), having people in a phone cue could actually be good thing for both parties. How about adding a game to the service? A simple number based game that you can pay for through the phone bill. Entertaining, and something that everyone can do, understand and enjoy.
Personally, I’ve found that I love being in between two places. I absolutely love airports and I work really efficiently while I am on a train. The whole momentum of going somewhere really appeals to me. But give me a meaningful way of taking care of the time I’m in transit – new experiences or offers that I don’t usually get – and you’ll make me even happier.