Wednesday, September 20, 2023

How to Navigate the New Era of Customer Expectations

How to Navigate the New Era of Customer Expectations written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jay Baer

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jay Baer, a business growth and customer experience author, researcher, and advisor. Jay is a 7th-generation entrepreneur, who has written 7 best- selling business books, and created 6 multi-million dollar companies.

His newest book, titled “The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed,” is based on research focused on speed and responsiveness. It serves as a comprehensive guide for surpassing customers’ expectations for quick service. The book introduces a six-part “Time to Win” framework and provides specific recommendations for optimizing responsiveness within your organization, detailing the how, why, when, and where of the process.

Key Takeaway:

During his research, Jay found that today, two-thirds of customers consider speed to be as important as price. In essence, if you save your customers time, they will reward you with their business. Conversely, if you cost your customers time, you will also pay the price financially.

In today’s business landscape, time and responsiveness are key factors in shaping the customer experience and generating revenue. In this new era, customers are placing an increasing value on speed and quick solutions, a trend that has been amplified especially since the pandemic. Learn how to prioritize responsiveness in your business to secure a competitive edge for both your company and your clients.

Questions I ask Jay Baer:

  • [00:50] You come from five generations of entrepreneurs. What did the first-generation entrepreneur in your family do?
  • [01:38] You claim that time is the heart of the customer experience. What does that mean?
  • [02:46] What are your thoughts on a society that has become so obsessed with speediness?
  • [08:37] Two thirds of customers say that speed is as important as price and some customers are even willing to pay more, would you agree?
  • [10:57] Are there are some cases where consumers don’t want things fast?
  • [16:21] What is your 6-piece framework on what to do in those scenarios where speediness is required and how to get better at responding faster?
  • [17:41] How can our audience connect with you and get your new book, “The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed”?
  • [18:26] Are we still giving companies a pass for being late to respond due to the pandemic or has that expectation shifted?

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John (00:08): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jay Bayer. He's a business growth and customer experience author, researcher, and advisor, a seventh generation entrepreneur, and has written seven bestselling books and created six multimillion dollar companies. And we're going to talk about his newest book, time, the time to win, how to, the Time to Win, how to Exceed Your Customer's Need for Speed based on the time to win. My intro took longer than it will take you to read the book. Jay, welcome to the show.

Jay (00:45): Hey. Hey, great to be back. Nice to see you as always, John. It's a pleasure.

John (00:50): You have probably told me the answer to this question, but I don't remember it, so I'm going to ask you again, what did the first generation Bear entrepreneur Dow

Jay (01:01): Made? Caskets.

John (01:02): Caskets, okay.

Jay (01:03): Casket manufacturing

John (01:05): And maybe sold a little Dr. Feel good on the side or something like that out. Not out of the casket making

Jay (01:12): Wagon, I'm not sure. Possibly. Yeah, we went caskets to furniture, to insurance, to et cetera.

John (01:18): I suspect they all wore a similar jacket to what you're wearing too.

Jay (01:22): Oh, sure, yeah, yeah. I actually have some pictures of my great, great, great grandfather and it's the big black woolen coat kind of thing. They're from Nebraska, right? You got to stay.

John (01:35): So the coat weighed about 80 pounds too then.

Jay (01:37): Exactly.

John (01:38): Alright, so this is straight from you. Straight from the book. Time is the heart of customer experience. Why don't you just take it from there? What makes you say such?

Jay (01:50): Well, coming out of the pandemic, I had this observation, we were talking about all these business trends you talk about on the show, right? Like great resignation and quite quitting, and people wanting to work from home and be leisure travel. You're talking about this one, the combination of business and leisure travel where you take your kids to the conference and double dip the trip. Baseball games are 25 minutes a night shorter now because of the pitch clock. All of these trends, John, are the same trend. It's the same trend, which is that we care about time and how we spend it more than ever. And as always, when I create a book project, I want to validate those assumptions with research. So I put together the most comprehensive research report ever done in this country on the relationship between responsiveness and revenue. And it turned out, my guess was correct, speed is more important than ever. In fact, two thirds of customers say that speed is now as important as time. And I think we all feel that as customers, but not very many businesses are tuned around that fact just yet. So that's why I wrote the book.

John (02:47): Alright, so we're going to get into most of what you just said there a little deeper, but let me just throw this out there for conversation. I go to restaurants now and I think people are unreasonable about their need for speed, kind of stupid about it. And it's like, well, can we not enjoy anything anymore? I mean, have we sort of become so obsessed and entitled about I need it and I need it now that it's maybe ruining the experience?

Jay (03:15): Probably, yeah, probably nowhere in this book do I suggest that this is a net positive. I'm just suggesting that's a net fact, right? So all I'm trying to do is make you money in your business. I'm not suggesting that we're all necessarily going to be better as a species because of this continuum, but look, we've been doing this for a long time. You and I know you agree with me. Customer expectations always go up. They never retreat. And even within that pantheon, the one that really never goes backwards are expectations around speed. What was considered to be fast five years ago is now slow. And nobody ever ever says, I've been thinking, and next time, why don't you just do that more slowly? That just doesn't happen, right? So yeah, it's probably ultimately going to be a road to ruin, but I want to make some money on that road before we get there.

John (04:06): Well, and I think your point is that a lot of us get trained because I'll throw it out, we can Amazon. I mean, it's so easy to buy and so fast to buy on Amazon that now if I go to any other shopping experience, I'm like, oh God, I got to put in my name.

Jay (04:22): Yeah, it's absolutely true. It colors all of our decision making. One of the examples I use on stage a lot is you and I are old enough to remember when you couldn't, couldn't get transportation with your app, you had to call a taxi. Literally call a taxi, and you would just call up and they'd be like, okay, he'll be by to get you. And you didn't know when he was coming. You didn't know who. You had no idea how long it would take. You had literally no idea what it would cost. No idea. No idea. Okay, fine. And now of course you can watch the car come with a little animated graphic and the guy's blood type. I mean, it's a much different age now. And the reality is customers are making buying decisions every second based on responsiveness. One of the most important findings in this research that's in the book is that half of all customers will hire whomever contacts them first. Regardless of price. Regardless of price. And so if you know that to be true as a business, why don't you just organize your stuff so that you're the first one to respond? It's such a smart play.

John (05:27): Yeah, I'm thinking of the home services businesses. It's kind of the joke. It was like, I'm going to call three, the first one that calls me back. I'm not even going to bother with the other two. I just

Jay (05:36): Don't want him to call me back. I literally did it. I got this house painted not long ago called three Painters as you do. First guy gets back to me in four hours and says, I can't paint it today, obviously can't even give you a quote today, but based on what you told me in your voicemail, here's kind of what I think it's going to cost, and here's kind of when I think I can do the job. Second painter called me in two days. Third painter called me in 11 days, at which point I'd already painted the house. So too slow. And so I hired the first one of course, and was not the least expensive. Was the most expensive, but I didn't care. We interpret speed as caring.

John (06:09): Yeah, yeah, yeah. So this has been a few years back. I'm sure they've improved the speed now, but I was in a little town in Mexico when I was just walking down the street and there was a sign that was a bus stop and it said the next bus is sometime between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM today. I think we were having a freezing moment there.

Jay (06:42): Yeah, I was having a freezing moment there.

John (06:44): We'll edit that out. I close a few things, we'll work on that. But did you hear my joke? It was really funny. I was in Mexico a few years ago and walking down the street in this little town and there was a bus stop and said, the next bus is sometime between eight and 3:00 PM 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM

Jay (07:00): It's like

John (07:02): Maybe this isn't an American problem. I don't know.

Jay (07:04): Well, it partially is an American problem, but it's actually one of the key tenets in the book. This idea that you have to do a better job than you are today probably of setting expectations amongst your customers because in a vacuum of expectations, customers will anticipate that it will be instant because they've been trained that that is possible in many ways. And so if it's not possible for you for whatever reason, you can probably get away with it as long as they know what the deal is and why the bus only comes every seven hours and we're not sure when the bigger fault is not necessarily being slow. The bigger fault is what I call the uncertainty gap. When you know way more about your operations and the customer knows, the bigger that gap is, the more customer anxiety grows and the more anxiety grows, the more frustration builds and the more frustration builds, they're less likely to give you money. So if you think you're over informing the customer, you're probably informing them just right.

John (08:03): And then of course you set up the opportunity to exceed expectations. Right? I was on a chat today and it said, our typical response today is eight and a half minutes or something like that. The person came on right away. I was like, well, this rocks, I was prepared to wait eight minutes.

Jay (08:19): I talk about this on stage all the time. We learn this in the very first day of business, the first day that you're supposed to under promise and

John (08:29): Over deliver,

Jay (08:30): But yet in the bright light of day, so often we do the exact opposite, which is mind blowing to me. It's like we know the rule yet we do the opposite. And so that's why I was really happy to put this book together, and it is really short. I mean that you can read the book in less than an hour, which is the whole idea. I didn't set out to do it this way. I was like, okay, I've written six regular books. I should write another full length business book about this. And I started writing it and I was like, this is ridiculous. I can't make you spend six hours reading a business book about speed. This invalidates the entire premise. So it's a very short book. People love it. You can put it in your pocket, you can knock it out in an hour, but it is jam packed full of info, that's for sure. There's no flow.

John (09:11): So there's another finding that I think people will find interesting, useful. Two thirds of customers say that speed is as important as price. So we will pay more. We,

Jay (09:22): Oh, one of the top six pieces of the framework that I have in the book is that you should offer a fast pass. And every business can and should do this. Disney does it. I think they call it lightning lane now, John, where you pay more and you get to get on the rides faster. Oh,

John (09:43): They've got it down so much. There's like a plus plus. Yeah. Like fast pass isn't fast enough. We had another one.

Jay (09:49): Yeah. I mean, TSA pre is a fast pass, right? You pay more, you wait less, right? We have fast passes around us, but we think that somehow it only applies to big companies. It doesn't matter what small business you're running, you've got customers who would love to not wait. Maybe they forgot or maybe it's urgent or whatever the circumstances are, you should give them that opportunity. So the research that we conducted found one in four customers will pay as much as 50% more than not. Wait. So you should let them do that. You don't have to change your product or service at all you're doing is changing your customer sequencing and reaping the financial rewards accordingly.

John (10:33): So I'm trying to think of an example. I mean, could you have conferences do a lot of levels of passes? So is it you get in earlier, you get, I mean, is it different than just perks? How do flip it Flip? How do you make it work for somebody that's just been doing perks and bonuses?

Jay (10:52): Yeah. Think about conference is a great example. So the conference world is sort of beholden this idea of the early bird. If you register early, we'll give you a special deal because you want to make sure you've got revenue to pay for stuff along the way. Keep the float. I get it. Well, if I was running a conference, I would have early bird, but I'd also have late bird. I would hold some seats back to have late bird and late bird pricing is a 20% surcharge on the most expensive ticket because you didn't know you could go or you forgot or you didn't hear about it until too late. So those kind of things can really,

John (11:25): But you knew you were going to be able to make a decision at the end rather than potentially wasting it by buying the early bird. Yeah. Yeah. So are there some cases where I don't want fast? Yeah, heart transplant and under an hour we guarantee it. I mean,

Jay (11:41): Right. No, you can be too fast. And I'm glad you brought this up because I really want to make sure that A, I want you guys to read the book and it's really inexpensive. It's so short. But I want you to read the book, but I also want you to make sure that you don't think that My advice is, Jay says we should be as fast as possible all the time. It's true that you should probably be faster than you are much of the time. That's true. And the data, bear that out. But speed at all costs actually costs your business speed at all costs. Costs. You can be too fast. And what happens is when you're too fast, it diminishes trust. So the story I like to tell is I went to a Mexican food restaurant here in Indiana, which is a questionable call to begin with because it's not really home of authentic Latino cuisine in Indiana. But I am like, Hey, roll the dice. And I got chicken enchiladas and they brought me enchiladas in 90 seconds. It was so fast. I'm like, do they have an enchilada machine? Is there a psychic that knew what I was going to get? It didn't make, it threw me. It really threw me.

John (12:46): It was somebody sent effect. You know that

Jay (12:48): For sure somebody wanted the beef and they had it on the hot window. I know it, but that's it. I was like, I distrust the veracity of the evangels because they're too fast. And the same is true in any business. If it's too fast, you don't want to go to the fastest tattoo artist either. And actually the company drift the chatbot company, right?

(13:08): Sure. So Drift is one of the largest providers of chatbot software in the world. John. They actually program in an intentional delay in their chatbot responses because it's all AI is second, the second you hit submit, bam, they could spit out the response in an eye blink, but they don't do that because if they do it fast that people are like, wait a second, that's a robot. I don't know about that. So they put in the three second fake ellipsis like thinking, thinking, thinking, and then give you the same answer anyway because then people trust it. So you don't want to be too fast.

John (13:47): And I think it's easy for people to say fast literally means speed, but it also can mean removing friction. And absolutely great example is every time I go to the doctor and I've already filled out the pre ahead paperwork and I get there and they make me fill out the same paperwork, and it's like not only do you not need that step, it's a terrible experience. So I mean in some ways it would be faster. I doubt it. I mean, I sometimes think they make me fill it out because they figure I won't be as bored waiting. But could be

Jay (14:19): Actually.

John (14:20): It could be. But again, that's an example of really what you're talking about as well, isn't it? I mean, it all comes under the heading of better experience.

Jay (14:31): Absolutely. And even giving people what they need before they have to ask for it, sort of predictive provision of information is critical. It's not necessarily faster, it's just the perception of speed goes up, goes up a lot. And I'll tell you, one of the techniques that I talk about is this idea of replying without answers. And I've been doing this now for about two and a half years in my business and also in my personal life. And it's had such a big impact on my life, not just with my business colleagues, but with my wife and my kids and my friends and my mailman. So when somebody asks you a question and you don't know the answer, what do we typically do? Well, we go find out, we go procure the information necessary to respond, and we got to look it up. Or we got to ask Julie in accounting, or we got to wait for my wife to come home to see if we're free that night or whatever. That's how we do it. And then once we've get the information, then we reply, stop doing that. Stop doing that. The better way to do it, trust me, is somebody asks you a question. If you don't know the answer immediately you say, John, thanks for the question. Great one. So good. In fact, I got to look it up. I'm going to do that and then I'll get back to you. So does this mean that you've got to respond to everybody twice?

John (15:48): Yes.

Jay (15:49): But the first response, all you're saying is, I got it. And as soon as you say I got it, it goes off of their mental to-do list and they put it on your mental to-do list. And the psychological change in the mind of the customer at that point is massive. How they perceive your responsiveness goes up dramatically and it actually buys you more time to actually provide whatever the solution is. It's a great technique.

John (16:17): That's interesting because I know I've done that before, and then after a day goes by, I'm like, oh, crap, I'm going to ask somebody else.

Jay (16:22): Yep. Yeah, because if I send you an email, I mean, you and I respond to emails amongst one another pretty quickly, but if I send you an email and I don't hear back for a couple of days, you start playing all these games, right? Like, okay, is he on vacation but he doesn't have out of office. Did he go to spam? Did he change his email address? Is John mad at me? You start playing all these games, right? You don't know. And that kind of angst in the mind of anybody is not probably a desirable business construct. So you can solve for that pretty easily.

John (16:55): So we have certainly hammered the point home that this is an important topic, but in the three minutes we have left, can you unpack the framework of, okay, what to do? Obviously you're going to encounter this in the book, but maybe you can give us the shorthand.

Jay (17:09): Yeah, the book's got facts. Yeah. Six piece framework, some of 'em we talked about reply without answers is one of 'em. Offer a Fast Pass is one of 'em. The first one though, the first thing you got to do is perform what we call a got it audit, which is to figure out how long does it take your customers and clients now to get whatever they need? How long does it take a customer to get an invoice or pay a bill or get a question answered? And when I ask business leaders this, John, because it sounds obvious, they're like, well, it usually takes two days, but sometimes it's three, and if it's a weekend, it might be four. If Bob's out of town, it could be five. I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's not numbers. That's a collection of stories that you've told yourself.

(17:45): If you're going to figure out how to outperform your competition with responsiveness, and trust me, that's why it's called the time to win. Because this is the time that you can use time to win if you're going to do that. And you should because you're going to make a ton of money at it. You got to know how long these things take. If you're going to optimize around responsiveness, you have to know what the average and the media and the mean is for what you're doing today and almost nobody does know. And so that's the first step is to figure that stuff out.

John (18:15): Yeah. Awesome. So you have a number of ways that people obviously can connect with you, but get the book. I know Amazon has an ebook version or Kindle version, but tell us about all the other myriad ways that somebody can acquire this.

Jay (18:29): Yeah, the books on Kindle right now on Amazon, as John said, there is a limited edition, three pack of books, one for you, one for a colleague, and one to give to a business when they disappoint you, which I love. Three books, limited edition, special slip case, and I'm going to do this once. You can get those at,, special price on the three pack. And if you go to the time to, you can get all the research that this book is based on for nothing. I won't even ask you for your email address. Just happy to have you have it. Awesome.

John (19:01): So last question is Pandemic Passover. We're no longer giving people a pass for,

Jay (19:09): And it was actually kind of a nice ride there for a bit. Customers and companies were kind of on the same page for a bit, right? Where customers would say, ah, I understand supply chain challenges and you're short on labor and I know you've cut your hours, but hey man, I'm just glad you guys are still open. We're all in this together. Just get it to me whenever you can, right? And that was a lovely, lovely microcosm, but ain't that anymore? 83%. Here's the number. We did the research on this. 83% of customers expect you to be as fast or faster than you were pre pandemic. So this idea that they're going to give you a pandemic pass, sadly, is over.

John (19:48): Yeah, because pandemic caught a lot of people off guard. We should know better now, right? We should have tightened the ship and got a better strategy and no better now. That's it. Totally agree. Jay, always great to see you. Appreciate you. So Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Hopefully we'll see you out there on the road again soon. One of these days.

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