Speed is a powerful way to enhance the customer experience.
Getting away from the speed of change is hard. You feel it every day. Technology is developing and changing faster than ever. Many people like their smartphones because it allows them to connect to the world’s information. Some feel everything is going way too fast and just want to get off the merry-go-round. The need for your agency to do things fast is real.
Speed is a Value
TED talks are a maximum of 18 minutes, and many have changed how I (we?) think about small and significant topics. Eighteen minutes does not allow for many details. Each talk is very focused. And, if I do want to go deeper, a massive amount of information is available with a quick web search.
I’m sure you can think of multiple other examples.
In many of my presentations, I ask the audience if their clients’ expectations have changed. Their answer is an overwhelming YES.
Speed is a part of the ongoing change in your customers’ expectations: immediacy. Velocity. They want what they want now. They probably really want you to anticipate what they are going to want, and have it ready when they decide they want it.
The other day, I decided I wanted a label maker for my office. I could have gone to the office supply store to see what (limited) models they carried. Instead, I just went to Amazon and found the type of label maker possible. Looking at ratings and reviews, I narrowed the virtually unlimited options to one model that would fit my needs. With Prime free shipping, I received the box the next day.
Shopping at Amazon saved me a trip to the store and I got exactly what I wanted, fast.
See? We’re trained for fast.
Speed is a Powerful Metric
Amazon Prime. Two days in most places (one HOUR in some). Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (included with your Prime membership). Our local Kroger grocery store allows you to order online and someone in the store shops for you. Just drive up to the store and your bags are loaded in your car for you. Some places will deliver to your house.
McDonald’s has home delivery in over 1,000 locations and climbing.
Chris Brogan says: “Delivery is the new retail.”
Technology is removing barriers — barriers we did not even know were obstacles — in so many places and ways that we’re getting used to having what we want as near-instantly as possible.
How Fast Is Your Agency?
Faster can be a competitive advantage. But faster does not mean you take the people out of the process. How can you hide “speed” to give your customer a better experience? Here are just a few examples:
- Electronic signature
- Electronic payment
- Mobile documents (Auto ID card)
- Text message communication
- Real-time claim notifications
- Video email and conferencing
What else could you add to the list?
How can you deliver a better and unrushed experience to your client by making your processes faster or better or easier to perform better than the agency down the street?
To make this happen, you need to look at your organization from the customer’s perspective, not yours. Walk through your current processes. Think about all the steps; the pain points your prospects and clients face when dealing with your agency. How can you take the friction (the pain) points out of the process?
You can choose not to see speed as a value. It is up to you. You can do things the way you have always done them. It made you successful, right?
But, I want to do business with an organization that sees speed as a value. I order more items from Amazon because it is easy and has two-day — free — delivery.
This is a trend. You see it too, don’t you? And don’t fool yourself into thinking that small and large businesses do not want the same thing.
Speed is hard. Start somewhere. If you can make parts of what you currently do for your customers faster, you will then have more time to slow down and reach out personally when it makes a real difference to build customer loyalty.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.