Their desire for immediate gratification has them thinking to themselves, “Yeah, yeah. I get it, but can I order it on my cell phone and get it by tomorrow?”
~ David Avrin
By David Avrin, President, The Customer Experience Advantage Castle Rock, Colorado
WHILE ON ZOOM WITH A CLIENT this morning, a vibration from my Apple Watch notified me that my security camera saw someone on my front porch. Ironically, a FedEx driver arrived at the same time as an Amazon driver. Then it got very crowded on the porch as my groceries were delivered just five minutes later. By the way, I saw all of this play out live on my Apple Watch while talking face-to-face to a client on a Zoom call from Dubai. True story.
If you’re still wringing your hands waiting for your old life to return after Covid, wake up! You are missing this! The world has changed, is changing and will continue to change. Stop complaining about it and start embracing it. It’s awesome! In many ways, Covid has accelerated what has long been predicted about a world of profound convenience and 24/7 remote access — to people, products, information, communication and more.
But make no mistake, we’ve been able to order products online for decades. Being able to connect remotely and find anyone and anything on our phones isn’t new. When you decided to develop an app for your business, you didn’t really pivot or take a bold step. You just did what was required to stay relevant and keep up with others who have offered these options for years.
Your mindset and approach to engaging with your customers’ needs to keep pace with the changes happening around you. If you aren’t keeping up, your customers will find someone who is. As business owners, we love to boast about our superior quality, commitment, caring, trust and employees, yet today’s customers are looking for speed of service, flexibility, convenience, and simplicity of process. Do you see the disconnect?
I’m astonished today by how many of my consulting clients believe their quality is their secret sauce or their “people make the difference.” Meanwhile, their customers have grown numb to claims of better quality. Their desire for immediate gratification has them thinking to themselves, “Yeah, yeah. I get it, but can I order it on my cell phone and get it by tomorrow?”
Winning today is all about competitive advantage. Tell me and show me why you are a better choice than all of the other options out there. And better in the minds of your customers is changing because they are being exposed to a growing list of new choices, amenities and accommodations that they’ve (we’ve) never experienced before.
For customers today, faster is better, easy is better, flexible and convenient is better. I have a speaker colleague who showed me his new demo video where he showcased his message on how to survive Covid-19. I was honest and told him, “Friend, you missed it! That was last year. 2020 and 2021 was about surviving and pivoting and figuring it out. We’ve moved on. It’s over! Today it’s about embracing and adapting and discovering new and creative ways to be remarkably easy to do business with. Those who don’t won’t be around in the years to come.”
The world is different, friends, and your customers have taken charge of their vendor relationships. We’d better get inside their heads to discover what they want, need, expect and prefer. If they like the experience, the simplicity, the flexibility or the offering, they will come back. If they don’t, they won’t.
Your customers’ expectations for access, accommodation, communication, options and speed of just about everything has changed. The question isn’t a matter of “if” you will change as well. Instead, it’s how you plan to survive if you don’t.
David Avrin, CSP is President of The Customer Experience Advantage and is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and consultant.