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One topic I’ve talked about quite a bit in the past is using emotion in your client communications…

I don’t care if we’re talking about nurture-type emails, sales pages, or webinars—emotion is the fastest way to build bonds, sell products, and persuade people to take some desired action.

And because of the power of emotion, I’m always on the hunt for interesting ways people use it to stir action—and I was rewarded with a BIG emotion-filled, real world lesson in getting people to do take some desired steps.

The first experience was at a coffee shop in the Seattle area a couple weeks ago.

Taboo Topic that Everyone’s Thinking

Before I tell you what happened, let me ask you a question:

When someone goes to the bathroom, what are two things you hope and pray they do?

If you’re like most people, you answered:

  1. Flush
  2. Wash hands

And when somebody doesn’t wash their hands (and you know it), it’s safe to say you probably avoid them like the germ-spreading troglodytes that they are.

Which leads me to this coffee shop and its architect’s way of solving this “hygiene problem”.

Solving a Problem–with Design (and Shame)

Instead of placing the sink and faucet inside the restrooms, the architect designed the layout so the sink and faucet are OUTSIDE the restrooms—separated from the coffee shop’s main area by a mere half-wall.

The result?

Everyone in the café knows whether every single person who entered the bathroom washed their hands when leaving it.

The handsome guy sitting in the arm chair…

The cute barista with her bright smile…


The Shame is Strong, my Friend

Of course, this means anybody going into the bathroom for any reason will be judged and shamed for not washing their hands, even if they just went in there to straighten their tie, touch up their makeup, or fix their hair.

But the design is effective at stirring action.

I can tell you that when I used the facilities and stepped up to the sink to wash up, I almost felt like I was on stage—which is perfect for a ham like me.

The point is, emotion is powerful—use it in your communications, website, even in the physical layout of your office or store…

… if you have a great service (and I know you do), your clients will thank you.


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