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The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed

September 04, 2014

The Need for Speed

Did you know that:

  • A 2002 Lingenfelter Chevrolet Corvette can do zero-to-sixty in less than two seconds?

  • MLB star Aroldis Chapman can throw a baseball at over 105 MPH?

  • You can now download a one gigabyte video in 0.2 milliseconds?

But how fast do you respond to customers?

Good news/bad news… The bad news is that customer expectations of speed have been raised to an insane level. The good news is there are 4 things you can do to solve this problem without driving yourself crazy.

Keep reading to find out how speed can work for you.

I recently witnessed an incident that really hit home. I was traveling and saw a man sitting in a large, comfy seat on an airplane, working on his laptop in the temperature-controlled cabin, food and cocktails being delivered to his seat, and surfing the internet. But this guy was complaining big time. Why? Because the free in-flight WiFi was slightly intermittent. Are you kidding me?! You’re sitting in an airplane travelling 600 MPH, and you’re complaining about speed? But it shows us that the game has changed forever. Our expectations for blinding speed are now the baseline — and you and your company had better keep up, or suffer the wrath of angry, disappointed customers.

So what are we to do?  

I remember a number of years back, when I sent an email on AOL to someone while we were talking on the phone. As we continued our conversation, he received it and opened the photo attachment. It was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. But now... give me a break; if it doesn’t arrive in microseconds we’re irritated by the slow connection.

Our ‘normal’ has changed across the board when it comes to speed.

Here are two immediate steps you can take:

1. First, find out how you perform. Survey your points of contact and see how long it takes your organization to respond.

2. Second, set the rules. Tell customers when you will respond quickly and when you won’t. Define the expectations ahead of time so nobody is disappointed.

When Speed Really Counts

Companies that don’t respond quickly are dead in the water. And this is true for all age groups. Now, there are some nuances in how they’d like your response. Baby Boomers want to talk to somebody right away, Gen X wants an email in a few minutes, and Gen Y wants a text, now... who knows, Gen Z may expect your response telepathically! But no matter how you respond, it needs to be super-prompt.  

Look at following stats from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

  • If you call a lead within 5 minutes of a form-fill, your conversion rate will be 341% higher than calling within 60 minutes.
  • The odds of converting a lead within 5 minutes are 100 times higher than within 30 minutes
  • The first business to speak to a lead on the phone is 238% more likely to get that lead as a customer than is the second business to speak to that lead

What does it all mean?  Strike while the iron is hot. When a prospect raises his hand, you’d better jump. Not doing so means losing your profit margin.

So what’s a marketer to do? Consider Mobile Marketing. Here’s why...

Start incorporating texting into your marketing campaigns. Coming into this year, there were nearly 800 million Androids and 300 million iPhones worldwide. This means 20% of the world population has smartphones, and millions of others have other mobile devices at the ready. In fact, it is estimated that 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7. So you need to reach out and touch them quickly with your marketing message, and be ready to respond just as fast.  

Ashley Furniture recently texted 6,000 “secret coupons” for mobile users only to their customers on the morning of the first day of a secret four-day sale. The campaign yielded $85,438 in sales, which was $122 for every dollar they spent! The offer was not available to the rest of the world, only to the speed-sensitive cell phone users.

Email responses are estimated to average 90 minutes, which was faster than any manner of marketing in history until then. But now texts average 90 seconds in response time. It’s a great way to drive people to your website (announce a new white paper, special time-limited offer, or major company announcement). And you can measure the success of a text campaign, so you’ll know if it was a good tactic and money well-spent for your company.

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What’s the best mobile marketing strategy for your company? Call (410) 235-7070 or email to schedule a Marketing Strategy Session with a Brand Launcher Strategist and find out!

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Quick Responses Count, But What About the right response?

Responding to customers quickly is a must.  

But what do you do when customers want answers? Speed alone may not suffice. Remember, providing the wrong answer quickly is still… wrong.  If you provide a quick time estimate but then actually bill for twice as much, you have wrecked that relationship for life. That’s when speed works against you.

You need to set guidelines which will have you responding quickly but will also allow you enough time to assure accuracy. At a company I co-owned, we had four steps that we followed, and they still work today:   

Step 1:  Tell them ‘I’m here to help you’, immediately.

Step 2:  Ask them what the problem is, empathetically listen, and agree with everything they say. Let them vent and just take it.

Step 3:  Tell them ‘Here’s what I’m going to do.’ They want to know something is going to happen. Promise to get back to them right away with something. (Then do it.)

Step 4:  Commit to a time you will get back to them (in short order). This makes them feel safe.

I’ve seen customers go from raging lions to pussycats when our staff used this formula. Just by telling them what you’ll do and by when, you’ll win them over — even though you may not have all the information that they need.

The mistake most businesses make is waiting until they have all the information to respond. It’s better to do a double-touch if necessary. Get back to them right away, demonstrating you care, and you do what you said you would do. Then you will have the time you need to resolve the issue at hand. We once fielded the call from a www.lumpymail.com customer who was worried about the status of their mailing. Did the Post Office mail it? How many? When? Our team told them they would be back to them within two hours. Two hours later, we called back, and even though we couldn’t get all the information they wanted from the Post Office, they felt that they were heard. Your clients want to be under the protective care of professionals who are speedy, empathetic, and responsive.

*****

What’s the best mobile marketing strategy for your company? Call (410) 235-7070 or email to schedule a Marketing Strategy Session with a Brand Launcher Strategist and find out!

*****

Take aways:

  1. Review your points of touch with your customers and see how long the response takes.

  2. Up your speed game where possible.

  3. Consider incorporating mobile marketing into your arsenal.

  4. Follow the four-step rule with customer problems.

    1. Tell them I’m here to help and listen

    2. Tell them when you are going to get back

    3. Do what you said you would do

    4. Get back quickly, even if it’s only partial information

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be

Jon