Trusted sources

We are all familiar with the ‘nine out of ten cats prefer fresh mice’ school of advertising, so much so that it is a parody of itself. Here’s an interesting variant from BA:

I am pleased to let you know that Terminal 5 continues to perform well. In May, 80% of our customers told us they had to wait less than 5 minutes to check-in. Customers also said they were highly satisfied with how quickly baggage arrives on the carousel.

Note that they are not saying that it takes their customers less than five minutes to check in; they are saying that their customers are saying that.  Nor are they attributing an emotion or judgement to the customers.  BA is, instead, accepting that a (presumably) objective fact becomes more credible if it is asserted by customers than when it is asserted by themselves.  That’s something worth bearing in mind when designing services where customers’ propensity to use them is in part a function of what they understand other users’ opinions of the service to be – and that must be pretty much all of them.