Japan's Smile Scanners A Classic Misuse Of Technology

from the smile-for-the-scanner dept

As pointed out on the Freakonomics Blog:
Japan's Keihin Express Railway Co. has set up "smile scanners" at 15 of its stations, where railway employees have their smiles assessed by software in the hopes of perfecting a customer-friendly look.
This is such a classic misuse of technology by a corporation. The goal of the company is to provide more positive and friendly customer service but its technique of using a "smile scanner" is going to have the opposite effect. Nobody likes to be forced into happiness, and the employees will end up resenting the scanners, their bosses for making them use the scanners and the customers for expecting them to smile.

Instead, a smart company would try to figure out how to make its employees genuinely happy so that they smile because they want to smile. This would create endless positive outcomes for the company, the employees and the customers.

Sometimes technology can look like it provides a quick fix when, in fact, it is just an illusion.

Cross-posted from MyMediaMusings.com
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Filed Under: employees, japan, motivation, smile
Companies: keihin express railway


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  1. identicon
    DS, 30 Jul 2009 @ 4:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'll back you up on this. I have never felt more welcome at a store than when I was in Japan. From the old lady at the festival stand who helped me pick what coins I needed so I didn't struggle to pay her, to the girl who worked at the Virgin Megastore who happily put up with my terrible pronunciations of Japanese bands. It was a shock when I came back to the states.

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