Recently, I shared a failed service experience I had at a sandwich shop and as a result several people contacted me and offered up what I can best describe as “service horror stories.” Rather than miring us down in those negative interactions, I thought I would simply do a series of quick blogs on what research seem to be suggesting about consumer desires. This particular post addresses the issue of customer care versus speed of service. While no one wants slow service, Gallup research suggests that “better” beats “faster” head-to-head. I heard this distinction between quality care and service speed best described as “fifteen minutes in paradise beats 5 minutes in hell.”
In my book, The Zappos Experience – 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and Wow, I suggest we should think more about “service velocity” and less about “service speed.” In essence, doing things fast but in a misdirected way is not the goal. Instead we should be seeking to doing things swiftly in a desired direction. While research indicates that people care more about being cared about than being served quickly, I actually think it is a false distinction. Caring for me quickly is an important but incomplete part of caring for me well. How are you doing at demonstrating care through the speed of your service and actions taken beyond that service speed?