Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
These days, people don’t want to wait for anything. Your business goal should be to make sure your customers are not waiting longer than they should be for goods or for service. Here are five areas you should check your speed and response rate.
- Your website
There’s a saying: no Internet is better than slow Internet. While that may not be true for everyone, if your business relies on an internet connection for processing payments or getting clients and customers. While you don’t have control over the internet connection, you do have control when it comes to the speed at which your website loads, in this case, faster is better.
If you have a brick and mortar store with products, the browsing process should be intuitive. A customer should be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. This means you need to have things categorized correctly. Make sure labelling is clear and accurate, and that you’re not mixing unrelated items with each other. If you have to rearrange anything, make sure you can quickly convey where the product is now. Grocery stores and beloved Target are notorious for rearranging product but not being able to tell customers where the product went. Don’t be like Target or the grocery store. plans are made clear to consumers beforehand.
- The sale
When the customer is purchasing a product or service, you should also aim to make this as quick as possible. This is, perhaps, more relevant to physical stores than it is to online stores. After all, a slow transaction time means that a long queue is more likely to form. Long queues frustrate people and can cause someone to step out of line and never complete the intended purchase. Be sure you know how to improve credit card transaction times to the best of your ability.
When people think about “speed” in retail businesses, this is usually what they’re thinking about. People love to shop online, but they hate that wait between the purchase and actually getting the item. Smaller businesses and startups might find themselves at a disadvantage in this regard, as super-fast delivery can be expensive. Some businesses (such as pizza places and food delivery) can afford to do handle deliveries themselves. Others have special partnerships with delivery chains. Others are simply willing to pay for the delivery in order to ensure customer satisfaction. See if you can find couriers that specialize in helping smaller businesses with ultra-fast delivery.
- Customer service
Something isn’t right with your product or service and you have a potentially unhappy customer. You need to make sure you’re dealing with any customer queries and complaints as fast as possible. If you have the resources to hire more customer service representatives, do it. Also, don’t be afraid to use templates in email correspondence. Of course, make sure each email is personalised to some extent – people get annoyed when they know the response they got is just a copy-paste job!