Saturday, April 04, 2015

Production Controls, Easter Style

I ended up passing through the Frankfurt airport (FRA) during Easter weekend, and was pleasantly surprised by how their security system was implementing a customer feedback survey. Since I'm always looking for clever process improvement techniques, I thought this was a good one to share.

The first person I meet in the security area gave me a card with a free Lindt chocolate Easter bunny on it to eat while waiting for my stuff to pass through the X-ray machine. Then, just outside the security area but before the first garbage cans, there were three containers with either a green, yellow, or red Easter egg on it and the survey was complete when I put the card in voting box.
I think this is absolutely brilliant for a number of reasons:
  1. I like free chocolate, and really, who doesn't? It also probably starts the security screening experience off more positively as well.
  2. You are given something to entertain you while they do their job of screening.
  3. You don't have to eat the bunny right away but the card is just big enough that you won't pocket it, so it's your natural instinct to look for a place to put it. 
  4. As far as filling out a survey (the actual information they are looking for), having 3 clear bins you can easily count how many cards are inside is much better than requiring folks to write something (in an international airport, how many languages could that be?) to be interpreted. 
  5. It reinforces positive behavior from travelers, compelling people to put stuff in the right container. If you've ever been through FRA, you'll remember the Germans love sorting out their refuse into separate bins for glass, plastic, paper, etc.
  6. My only negative comment is that the clear bins might introduce a selection bias, because the green bin was about twice as full as the yellow and red bins. But if the purpose is to make people think that most everyone is enjoying the experience, it's a great tool. I'd probably have stacked the deck in my favor and pre-loaded a couple dozen cards in the green bin (accounting for them in the final results, of course) to encourage the trend.
Well done, FRA: win-win.

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