I was at Tanjong Pagar with my friends, just chilling at this coffee place called Tom n Toms Coffee. I went up to the counter and ordered a mango smoothie. The counter lady gave me a receipt and on top of that a circular-spaceship-like object and told me to return to my seat. Subconsciously my mind went “What the hell is this? An electronic coaster?” Haha
But I guess, I already knew what it was. I thought it was such an interesting idea. Something smart and cheeky.
I was holding this weird object on my hand, fiddling with it, flipping it over left right and putting it flat on the wooden table. Caught up with the conversations I was having with my friends, we were soon interrupted with a loud ‘BRRRRRR’ sound. The spaceship-like object started vibrating, and blinking out red light, a signal to tell us that my drink is ready to be collected at the counter.
I find it interesting because it changed the whole experience of “waiting” in a coffee place, and it solves a lot of other problems such as human congestion at the waiting area usually encountered at such coffee places (eg. Starbucks and Coffee Bean which practices the waiting at the side counter.) So you’d usually see the customers ordering and paying for their drinks, after which they’d move to a counter where they can get their straws and serviettes. They’ll stand and wait at the ‘serving’ counter for their drinks to be called upon, in which they will then have to exchange their receipts for their drinks.
What’s the next step now for service design in Singapore?
How do we design better service?