Man dries his hands with towel

Service Innovation or Gimmick?

Service Innovation or Gimmick?

Services have to provide obvious benefits and value to customers. But unfortunately that's not always the case.

On my boat trip around Manhattan we had a wonderful meal accompanied by a spectacular view of the city. In the course of the evening I was surprized by a “service innovation” in the restroom (actually this innovation can be experienced in London as well). A friendly gentleman handed me a towel after I had washed my hands, not only a service for me but for all the visitors to the “gents”. Of course for a tip.

Since then I have been wondering if the trip organizer just wanted to be sure that everybody washed their hands before leaving the restroom. Otherwise, I can’t really see the benefit of this service.

If someone offers a service, then care should be taken that this service generates a perceivable value for the customer. What happens if this is not the case? The service is quickly seen as a “gimmick”, something useless or even worse, something annoying.

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