Among the many tools and tactics companies can use to improve the customer experience, speed is the most overlooked. That's unfortunate because a major factor in creating a positive customer experience is speed. There are three major obstacles to improving the customer experience through speed:
Companies that understand the need for speed can actually profit greatly.Southwest Airlines' planes have a 20-minute turnaround. Because of this speed they need fewer planes, which saves them billions of dollars. As a result, they have been profitable for 40 years while competitors in their industry have posted huge losses.
In the early days of computing, Dell became a major player when they convinced customers they could create and ship a fully customized computer in just four hours.
In today's competitive world, if you snooze, you loose. Customers want everything faster. Employees must understand that competition demands that employees work quickly. Every customer wants speed. They want everything faster. Employees need to understand everything is urgent. Every extra minute they can save will translate to the bottom line.
Look at your company policies. When the order comes in, do you ship the same day? When a loan application comes in, does it get processed in one day or in seven days? You better believe there is another company out there who can do that job that fast. And they will get the business and you will lose the business.
Every employee needs to figure out where they improve speed without foregoing quality. You can never compromise quality.
Management also must be open to employees' suggestions. After all, they do the work every day. They know what actions can be taken to make any process faster and more efficient. Listen to them. They will feel appreciated and will be motivated to do a better job. Individuals who master speed have the ability to move up in the organization. Be on the lookout for employees who master speed. CEOs, for the most part, are driven by speed.
If you want to differentiate your company in the marketplace, then you need to show how you can dramatically deliver service and products faster than your competitors.
Fortunately, companies can create a new mindset that helps win the war on speed:
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