Keeping your customers waiting too long can often result in you losing business. While there are certainly times when you don’t want to be too fast, there are more situations where being slow can be damaging. Below are 5 areas where speed can be particularly important – and how you can make things faster without sacrificing quality.
Slow shipping times can be a big turn off for customers – especially around special occasions like Xmas. Being able to ship an item in 3 days instead of 3 weeks could result in you doubling your customers.
The problem often comes down to international customers. Looking into options like drop-shipping may reduce delivery times for these customers – this involves storing items in warehouses around the world so that they can be more quickly shipped to different destinations.
Choosing the right carrier can have a big impact on how fast your items arrive. It’s often worth outsourcing services like freight forwarding, both to help you choose the best delivery options and to reduce the stress of managing shipping.
A rise in fast food services has got customers used to expecting quick service at restaurants, bars and cafes. In these cases, slow service can come down to all kinds of things including lack of staff, lack of equipment (such as only one coffee machine or point-of-sale machine) and poor training.
Creating as many efficient shortcuts as possible is the best way to reduce serving time – which includes preparing what you can in advance and using machinery to automate processes like washing dishes or even making coffee. When it comes to your menu, it’s also better to focus on quality versus quantity in most cases – too much choice of meals or drinks means more training for employees.
Of course, certain meals and drinks will take longer to prepare, and there’s not much you can do to prevent this. In these cases, consider occupying customers with complimentary appetisers.
Answering the phone
If it takes too long for you to answer the phone, you could also end up losing customers. Where possible try to avoid letting the phone ring out. Hands-free headsets are popular in some workplaces as they can allow you to easily answer calls while carrying out other tasks.
Some companies get lots of calls in a short period. This typically means having to set up call queues. Setting up multiple extensions and delegating multiple people to answer the phone during these periods can reduce waiting times. You can also recommend that non-urgent callers contact you via your website.
Responding to complaints
Complaints need to be dealt with in a prompt manner. Make a point of responding to email complaints as soon as possible to prevent customers taking their complaints publicly.
If customers do complain on social media, respond quickly before any complaint has the chance to go viral – acting early can prevent a single negative Tweet turning into a scandal.
Finally, it’s important to consider the loading time of your website. Many companies get huge amounts of business via their website. However, if your website takes ages to load, some customers may lose patience and check out another company website instead. Slow loading pages can also affect search engine rankings, resulting in more lost customers.
To improve website loading speed, first consider upgrading your website host. You should then consider reducing the file size of images and making sure there are not too many videos or ads per page.