Throwforward Thursday 85: Giving Lonely People The Choice to Chat
In 2021, a Dutch supermarket chain, Jumbo, created a special checkout line - it was designed to be slower and give people the opportunity to chat to each other and the cashier. It has received rave reviews, and Jumbo is now rolling it out to all their stores. Part of the reason for this is that many people are lonely. So much so that the UK government a few years ago created a "Minister for Loneliness". Japan has something similar.
More people live alone than ever before - although being alone and being lonely are two different things, of course. It's possible to be lonely in a crowd. Which is why society and companies need to think of ways to engage with people who feel lonely and need some connection.
Companies should provide options: (1) automate my engagement with you - I don't want to connect; (2) give me a minimal human touch, or (3) I choose to chat.
How would this apply to your industry? Would it be something your customers would pay a premium for? Or could it just be a wonderful societal contribution you could make?