The Power of Now For Good Customer Experiences

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One of the key elements in CX (Customer Experience) is time and it comes up in a variety of ways. If your company sets this as a key metric of performance, then it is highly likely that your customers will be extremely grateful and their loyalty is assured. Why do so few companies seem to realize this?

Why time is often overlooked

Your company’s attitude towards time can be something that has been developed over the years and no one questions whether you could do
better. Some of the arguments against speeding up are:

  • It can be costly to try to rush production or delivery.
  • Even answering the telephone in a timely manner may require more resources
  • Your company is no worse than others in your industry
  • Time can so easily get frittered away
  • Customers do not complain since they assume that good quality may take longer

By adopting a laid-back ‘go with the flow’ approach, you are overlooking a major opportunity.

Time is the most important factor in the quality package you deliver

Customers may not make a fuss about time: after all they don’t want to alienate the company representative and end up with even poorer time
performance. However in reality they often want the product or service now if that would be possible. That Now wish can come up in a number of ways throughout the Customer Experience:

  • The time it takes to get someone who can help on the telephone
  • The time it takes to place their order and be sure that all is correct
  • The promised delivery date
  • The actual delivery date
  • The time it takes to get after-sales service if needed, and so on.

What is worse, the customer may well not realize the time pressures on the organization in trying to meet her/his needs.

Time is measured by the customer

Whatever problems the company may be having, the only time measure that counts to the customer is their perception of time. Except in dealing with the tiny fringe of never-satisfied customers it is wise to accept that it is the customer who is measuring the time at every step of the way. Given that, there are a number of actions that can be taken to help the customer feel satisfied with the perceived time of response:

  • Have adequate resources in place to meet most customers desired time expectations
  • Explain the time that will be needed and make sure that you can deliver on that timetable
  • Send confirmatory messages that actions are being taken as promised
  • If upsets do occur, communicate this to the customer earlier rather than later
  • Always deliver on or ahead of time.

Stand out from the competition

Since so few companies follow this approach, if you do it well it can almost be part of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). In this social media world, the word will spread if you do a good job on this time dimension and your reward will be increased sales. … and of course if in your marketplace another company is handling this well, you have no other choice but to make sure you match and even exceed their performance. Just Do It Now.

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