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Have you observed a customer lately?

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Back in my days with Pragmatic Marketing, I traveled almost every week delivering both public and private seminars to groups from 12 to 120 people. In fact, I stayed in the same hotel every month for a decade. We did lots of public seminars in hotel conference areas; some were good, others not so much. Only once was I asked for recommendations on how the hotel conference facilities could be improved.

My meeting room needs were pretty simple: a screen for the data projector, a table for my laptop, and comfortable chairs for those who attended the seminar.

One hotel really surprised me. They were refurbishing the conference rooms and asked me to meet with their designer to share my insights.

I explained my typical setup and surprised them with my number one complaint: lighting. In almost every conference room, the lighting choice is “on” or “off.” When the lights are on, it’s hard to see the screen. But when the lights are off, it’s hard to stay awake. I wanted as much light as possible but without any light shining on the screen.

If the designer had ever watched me set up a room, she’d have seen me stand on a rolling chair (gasp!) or the table and unscrew the offending light bulbs.

The designer said that no one had ever complained about lighting but admitted that she saw the problem instantly once I explained.

As Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

Have you watched your customer lately?

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Have you observed a customer lately?

Back in my days with Pragmatic Marketing, I traveled almost every week delivering both public and private seminars to groups from 12 to 120 people. In fact, I stayed in the same hotel every month for a decade. We did lots of public seminars in hotel conference areas; some were good, others not so much. Only once was I asked for recommendations on how the hotel conference facilities could be improved.

My meeting room needs were pretty simple: a screen for the data projector, a table for my laptop, and comfortable chairs for those who attended the seminar.

One hotel really surprised me. They were refurbishing the conference rooms and asked me to meet with their designer to share my insights.

I explained my typical setup and surprised them with my number one complaint: lighting. In almost every conference room, the lighting choice is “on” or “off.” When the lights are on, it’s hard to see the screen. But when the lights are off, it’s hard to stay awake. I wanted as much light as possible but without any light shining on the screen.

If the designer had ever watched me set up a room, she’d have seen me stand on a rolling chair (gasp!) or the table and unscrew the offending light bulbs.

The designer said that no one had ever complained about lighting but admitted that she saw the problem instantly once I explained.

As Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

Have you watched your customer lately?