Zero time to waste and everything to gain. Why?
The pandemic reminded all of us of the importance of time and that we each have 1,440 precious minutes each day.
Speed and responsiveness are now the most important components of customer experience. 2/3 say that speed is as important as price.
Would you say that you’re as fast as your customers would prefer? Are you too fast?
One of my favorite trailblazers, in the marketing and customer experience space, is Jay Baer.
In his new short, read-it-in-an-hour book, The Time To Win, he reveals his most recent research findings on hitting your sweet spot with speed.
He calls it The Right Now: the perfect amount of elapsed time in every customer interaction.
By finding that right blend of slightly exceeding expectations at every touch point, customers and prospects will reward you. Buy buying more. Buying more often. And telling their friends.
NOTE TO SELF: when you lose on responsiveness, it’s almost always invisible. There’s no report or spreadsheet that shows how, when, and why you lost a customer because you weren’t as quick as your competition.
“Exactly why speed is such an important lever to use in your category; your competitors are unlikely to understand or identify this opportunity.”
Positioning, age, industry, and era impact your Right Now.
You’re selling (drywall, tools, machined parts, etc.) not a fast food burger and fries. So, you’re Right Now is not 76 seconds, like most chains.
Figure out the speed at which you respond to most customer interactions now in order to benchmark your current reality. Actually knowing leads to effectively improving and unlocking desired customer behaviors.
Truth is, most manufacturers DO NOT KNOW. I highly suggest YOU DO!
Time to Win Framework
1) Perform a Got It Audit
Figure out how long it takes your customers to get what they need from you today, and then begin to optimize it by finding your version of the Right Now.
2) Answer Before They Ask
One of the best ways you can reduce elapsed time, or at least customer’s perception of your responsiveness, is to answer questions before they are asked.
EXERCISE: Write down the top 25 questions customers ask most often (I literally just did this to add to our website). Then go to your website and see how many of those questions can be gotten within two clicks.
3) Respond Without Answers
Don’t leave customers hanging while you’re asking Bob in Accounting or Mary in Tech Services. Respond right away to let prospects and customers know that you are working on it. Reduce anxiety by steering the process.
4) Set Speed Expectations
Managing expectations for speed is more important than raw speed itself. Like those restaurants that let you know your order will take a little longer because it’s made from scratch.
“The business you lose when you tell customers the truth is a LOT less than the business you lose when you purposefully set false expectations around speed.”
5) Close Uncertainty Gaps
The difference between what you know about your business and how it operates and what the customer or prospect knows is called the Uncertainty Gap.
Providing status updates may seem superfluous, but the impact they have on the customer psyche is enormous. Think Domino’s Pizza Tracker or Serving #75 at the deli counter or your Uber app versus a taxi.
When you know, you feel more certain and at ease.
6) Offer a Fast Pass
Customers will pay up to 50% more to not have to wait! Think TSA Pre-Check or LineLeap.
Is there some kind of Fast Pass you can offer to reduce wait time? Try it!