I see it all the time. People don’t audibly ask for help. Usually, the ask looks like frustration. Or figuring out short-cuts on doing something that shouldn’t be that hard. They want help. They just can’t get it.
Perfect example is leaving the super-market. Out she comes with a full paper grocery bag. She is frustrated, wrapping both arms around the bottom because the bag is ripping. It no longer has handles, the paper is too thin, and the wetness of the fruit has further weakened the paper. The bad experience doesn’t have anything to do with the look of the bag (it looks great) or wanting to be delighted when she leaves the supermarket (please, she just wants to get home).
Her bad experience has everything to do with the bag not doing the job it was supposed to do when she needed it. There are a whole mess of reasons for that bad job. Some of it has to do with corporate money. Others have to do with laws. Some has to do with her own forgetfulness. Doesn’t mean we need punish her for those various reasons. She wanted help before needing to ask for it. If the supermarket really wanted to help, they could have looked across the street at the business who had the same journey and gave a better experience just by focusing on the job that needed to be done: get the ordered food safely to the car.
I’ve been in plenty of industries. Did time in the city working at an agency. Went through advertising, publishing, media, entertainment, b2b, and now did a short stint in banking and onto insurance. Brown paper-bags everywhere. They don’t look like brown paper bags, but they’re there. People wanting to do a simple task and blocked by the solution decisions we have decided to make.
Be human. Be helpful.