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Newsletter #934: The “Get Rid of What Sucks” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Sometimes the stuff that keeps your customers from having the best experience is something you wouldn’t expect. After all, maybe you can’t help that doing laundry is boring, mail logistics are hard, or puppies eat everything. But there are ways you can make it better.

Here’s how:

1. Get rid of boring stuff
2. Get rid of hassles
3. Get rid of fees
4. Check it out: Museum of Endangered Sounds

1. Get rid of boring stuff

Laundromats have a reputation for being boring, sad places to spend hours of your time. But at Wasbar, they got rid of the dread of doing your laundry by adding some tables and chairs and offering snacks, beer, and even haircuts in a relaxed atmosphere. That’s a lot cooler than the traditional broken arcade game and a vending machine, and it made for a remarkable word of mouth message: have a good time at a laundromat.

The lesson: Even if your stuff is traditionally boring, there’s a way to make it more fun, more exciting, and worth talking about.

Learn more: Dezeen

2. Get rid of hassles

If you’ve ever missed a package delivery at your house, you know it’s difficult to get it back. It’s even more difficult when you don’t have a great place for the delivery person to leave your package. That’s why Amazon started placing lockers in public places, like convenience stores and grocery stores, where you can pick up your package from a designated spot using a code they send to your phone. That’s a great way to take some hesitation out of ordering stuff online.

The lesson: How can you make things more convenient for your customer?

Learn more: East 82nd

3. Get rid of fees

When one woman’s puppy ate a bunch of her Claritin tablets, she called the SPCA’s poison control center. Usually, it’ll cost you $65 to talk to an expert, but the representative let her know that the makers of Claritin, Schering-Plough, foot the bill if it’s their product causing the problem. Schering-Plough can’t help it if pets get a hold of their medications, but they can help make it better.

The lesson: When something goes wrong (even if it’s not your fault), showing that you care is always a great way to earn a new fan.

Learn more: Consumerist

4. Check it out: Museum of Endangered Sounds

There are tons of familiar sounds (like the jarring tone of dial-up internet or the soft crackling of a record player) that are becoming endangered by new technology. Luckily, one man is trying to save them all in this Museum of Endangered Sounds.

Check it out: Museum of Endangered Sounds

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Comments

  1. Genevieve Howard April 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    The “Get rid of boring stuff” was my favorite! You had such a strong example with the spectacular Belgian laundromat. I even sent it to a friend who owns a laundromat as inspiration. I’ll revisit what I think of as boring and see if I can’t find more interesting approaches. Thanks for an thought-provoking post!

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