The idea behind time being considered “a gift” largely centers around the fact attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. Companies are fighting – and we do mean slugging it out like a brutal UFC cage match – for people’s time and attention on a daily basis.
As a quick side note, this is one reason a deliberate advertising trend was made common during the advent of smartphones that included visuals getting increasingly weird. For example, a centaur surfing on a rainbow might seem like an odd choice to sell deodorant, but when users are scrolling through their Facebook feed, sponsors know they have about half a second to catch your attention.
Particularly, in the dark and bizarre period that was 2020, most of us were forced to re-evaluate our priorities. As billions of us gradually come out of the pandemic and we get out from beneath this lockdown into whatever the new normal is going to be, time will continue to be the ultimate issue.
If you’re wondering why the billionaire faces of Shark Tank cart themselves around in private jets, the answer isn’t exactly flash and prestige but rather them protecting one of the only commodities which cannot be produced: their time.
Amazon and Uber are terrific examples of providing a time-saving service where the value speaks for itself. From a CX perspective, both companies make it as simple as possible for the customer.
What Uber does with their app is immediately make it easy to see where drivers are in the area, providing all of the information with one click of a button. This automatically reduces the amount of time someone has to search.
When Amazon first rose to prominence, they of course had the old e-commerce checkout system, where you’d have to go to a desktop and fill out shipping, billing, and other information – which was admittedly a pain but one we were used to everywhere else online. These days, the process has been streamlined to where there is a “Buy Now” button that makes everything quicker, giving time back to the customer without them having to jump through any hoops.
These brands are accomplishing two things:
Like all tried-and-true Texans, H-E-B is a hometown favorite that continues to innovate. When the pandemic hit, hardly anybody wanted to walk through the store, so they did what is quite difficult for a company to achieve: get people to download their app. Before you knew it, hundreds of thousands of traditional shoppers were ordering their groceries online.
Most of us recall driving to the store on a busy weekend or during rush hour, fighting for parking, wrestling with a shopping cart, bumping into others over produce selection, waiting to get deli meat, freezing in the milk aisle…the list goes on and on until you get home one or two hours later, exhausted.
Post-pandemic, who is going to want to return to this method? Instead, we click on everything we need right on our phone, park in a designated spot, and a dedicated worker loads everything up in mere minutes. This is ultra-convenient and drastically cuts time spent, because once again, all information needed is right in front of us and there are no surprises, especially in terms of cost.
However, we’re all human. There will always be people who don’t know what they want and prefer the in-store experience, yet it’s safe to say most of us will choose to order the night before and pocket the extra time, avoiding a 2-hour grocery trip roaming up and down the aisles.
A lot of this newly added convenience might be scary from a worker’s perspective. The concern is understandable, but it’s definitely important to remember the calculator did not take away jobs from mathematicians. Oppositely, this revolutionary device made their lives easier. At Navstella, when we speak with prospective and existing clients, we assure them technology will not be used to replace their practices but to improve them.
The retention metric of keeping customers happy is no longer optional. When competing for people’s time and attention, this is a model people will have to move to go forward. We as consumers are going to expect this type of experience where it’s easy to deal with since it allows us to get back to what we want to do.
Has your company successfully pivoted in the post-pandemic world? Through enhanced processes, the Customer Experience Consultants at Navstella can help you give your customers back the time they want.