Patience no longer exists. We live in a world where instant gratification is the expected norm.
If you are going to make your clients wait more than five seconds for anything, you’d better have both an explanation and a strategy. Coming in at #9, Making Customers Wait is a relative newcomer to the list, but one worth worrying about.
- Focus on your core business and your “unique sales proposition” (USP): If you can’t deliver as quickly as Amazon, you’d better be able to beat them on several other factors, like quality or price.
- Build contingencies into your supply chain: Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer or service provider, be sure that you know what the essential components are for doing what you do in the time period promised. Consider people, places, and things and have a backup plan.
- Under promise, over deliver: I don’t know who said that, but it’s a great idea because tolerance is about managing expectations. If you think it will take a week, say 10 days. If you can deliver within the week, you look like a star. If it takes 10 days, well, that’s what they expected anyway.
- Ensure there are performance minimums in your vendor contracts: Losing a customer when it’s not even your fault is pretty frustrating, but not as frustrating as a customer hearing you say it’s not your fault. Make sure you can count on those who represent you, and if you can’t count on them, replace them.
- Get rid of your waiting room: If I have an appointment with you at 2pm, I expect to be in your office, not the waiting room, at 2pm. If at 2:45, I’m still in your waiting room with a bunch of other people who are also waiting for you, I will suggest that we all up and leave you for someone who respects us. (That gives you a hint about my age, because a millennial will be expecting to video conference you.)