Customer Service: Slow Down You’re Moving Too Fast

Oct 02, 2002

The need for speed in serving consumers is a modern day fact of business life. Unfortunately, according to the Gallup Management Journal, haste often translates into waste when it comes to customer service issues. “Faster may be more efficient. For people-intensive businesses, spending less time with each customer appears to save money for the company. It may help companies to be more productive. But is faster better for the customer?”

Consumers are time-pressed, no doubt. But, time is only one of the measurements used for qualifying a shopping experience. Gallup concludes that, “Far more critical than the time-it-takes-to-be-served are the feelings customers take away from a service experience — however long it might take.”

Gallup offered Starbucks as an example of a business that gets it. “The secret to Starbucks’ success is not how rapidly they serve coffee; instead, Starbucks recognizes that speed is just one part of the total experience. This total brand experience must be seamlessly enjoyable, not just quick.”

Moderator’s Comment: How can retailers more accurately
identify the right balance of speed, quality, price and other attributes wanted
by their customers? How is that understanding translated into a meaningful customer
service response?

The Gallup article talks about consumer loyalty being
an emotional response to on-going contact with a brand. Consumers develop value
perceptions based on a number of factors such as price, availability, convenience,
speed, personal service, etc.

Many retailers perform quite well when evaluated on individual
‘contact’ areas. Too few, however, make the grade for the full consumer experience.
Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

Be the First to Comment!