Customers don’t have time to waste. Efficiency is key.

News article after news article talks about the diminished amount of time the average American has these days.  It’s a pervasive problem that squeezes every single corner of their lives, so the last thing a customer wants to do is invest time they already don’t have to fix a problem they have with a company.  There’s a popular old saying: “Be brief, be bright, be gone” and it is certainly applicable to the delivery of service.

Walter ordered some drapery panels for his new home on the advice of a designer friend.  He found what looked to be a good deal and ordered fourteen panels in three different styles.  Satisfied with his purchase, he looked forward to an easy way to having his house feel a bit more like home.  However, when the curtains arrived, there were some issues.  “I spent the better part of the weekend putting up curtain rods and finally got around to putting up the curtains.  But the set for my living room revealed problems after they were hung.  There were runs in them!  When the light came through, they looked like narrow holes.  It was really frustrating.”  Walter fired off an email on Sunday night regarding the flaws, asking for some sort of resolution.  First thing Monday morning, he had already received a response from the company, asking for a photo so they could assess the problem.  “I sent off the pictures and nearly immediately they were asking me to confirm which panels they were so they could quick ship replacements to me.  They didn’t even want to sub par ones back – they’re just making things right for me!  I didn’t expect such responsive service from a small “discount” retailer.  Fast and easy – I honestly couldn’t be happier.”

Walter’s experience is the perfect illustration of how efficient service is exactly what our stressed out, time-crunched customers need from us.  Being friendly, accommodating, and quick to truly remedy the problem without unduly burdening the customer in the process will stand out among all of the slow and obnoxious interactions customers have become accustomed to with other companies.  How can you speed up the delivery of solutions for your customers?  What standards do you already have in place to be brief, be bright, be gone?

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