Making Dollars and Sense of Light and Dark

March 29, 2016 | Author: Kristin Guthrie

“Mind if I open a window?”

Open, or closed? Up, or down? It’s been a topic of discussion in the airline industry since the first cabin shade was installed way back when.

Both sides of the issue have merits. Shades up brightens the boarding process, gives the cabin a more spacious look, and gives fliers a view of their location as they’re waiting for takeoff.

On the other hand, light creates heat, and heat costs money. Shades down keeps the cabin cooler and saves fuel.

Woman at the windowSumming up the sun.

So which approach wins? Findings from Northwestern Medical and the University of Illinois shed a lot of new light on the subject – if you’ll pardon the pun. Turns out the amount of daylight that a person gets – or misses – has a significant affect on both their happiness and energy levels.

“There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day -particularly in the morning - is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism,” said senior study author Phyllis Zee, M.D., a Northwestern Medicine neurologist and sleep specialist.

Air HostesThe study group included 49 day-shift office workers; 27 in windowless workplaces, and 22 in workplaces with windows.

Reported in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the study concluded that people exposed to natural light throughout the day scored higher on quality of life measures.

With that in mind, compare the mood, amenability, and even happiness of your customers in shades up versus shades down situations. Does the flight crew report more passenger difficulties in one scenario versus the other? Is there a quantifiable difference in product or catering sales? How many disputes or claims were filed after a shades-up flight versus a similar shades-down one? The cost of darkness may be far greater than the fuel savings.

Call Centre EmployeesHoneywell’s take on the research.

People simply like and respond to light better than darkness. Can this research be applied in a business environment?

Find out for yourself. Take a look at your call center and customer service support organization. The people there often face some of the most challenging, confrontational interactions in a company. How does their working environment affect their performance? Are they sitting in the dark and gloom? Or can they bring a ray of light into even the toughest situation?

For the sake of your business, your employees, and your customers, lighten up!

Kristin Guthrie

Kristin Guthrie

Kristin Guthrie is the Vice President of Customer Experience for Honeywell Aerospace. She is the advocate for the AT&R customer experience (CX), translating the CX vision into action benefiting customers via multiple channels and touch points. Kristin has over 21 years of leadership experience positioning brands, products, and services in various sectors, including aerospace, home security, and consumer electronics. Kristin has a track record for promoting and building brands with customers, advertisers, strategic partners, and celebrity sponsors. She has received a number of awards for her outstanding success as a marketing professional. Kristin has an MBA from the University of North Texas and a B.S. in Marketing from, Kansas State University. She is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and is also Marketing Leadership Education Program certified.

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