I told you about my miserable hotel check-in experience last week. If you missed it, find it here. But it got me thinking…
Would I have paid, say an extra $50-$100 in advance to check-in early, avoid the lines in their entirety, and walk into the hotel and head directly to my room? You bet I would have!
But they don’t offer it. Hotels usually offer check-in at 3:00 PM and be out by 12:00 PM. Sometimes your room is ready, but not always. There’s typically only one way, and it’s the standard way.
Would I wait for a cab in NYC when I could instantly hail a car from the Uber app on my phone and have it arrive moments later – even if it costs more? Sure I would!
Would I rather wait in a line to pay, or would I take the opportunity to have the Apple Store representative swipe my credit card right then and there? Better yet, I could use their app to check myself out. It’s a no-brainer.
As a tidbit lesson, too few companies consider the significance of time from the customer’s perspective. We are too steadfast and firm to force our clients into a one size fits all way of doing business with us.
In doing so, we alienate our customers and leave mountains of profits on the table, but most of those profits are unrealized.
Think about this and how it applies to your customers who value their time, or their comfort, or their desire to fill a need NOW, versus saving a few bucks.
I flew Southwest a few weeks back. When my ticket was issued, I was seated in the back of the plane. At the gate, I was offered a chance to beat my way through the crowds by paying a $45 upgrade fee. I gladly took the offer and it was worth every penny. People will pay to skip lines and get preferential treatment, it’s that simple.
The dry cleaners in my town are incredibly slow, but there are no premium options or levels of service is available. I tell my wife all the time that I would pay extra to have my clothes returned quicker.
This is all incremental, high-profit value lost by not simply offering such opportunities.
But if you did, here’s what would likely happen.
- You would earn more revenue from fewer customers.
- You would create higher value customers, eliminating the need, the cost, and the time to constantly chase after new customers.
- You would create a competitive advantage against your competitors.
- Your clients would talk about you more because these are the types of things worth talking about!
“I pressed a button on my phone and a black car showed up.”
“We skipped the line and walked right in.”
“They delivered shoes to us in less than 24 hours with a 365-day return policy.”
“Our rental car was waiting for us curbside. I held my phone up to the window, the car unlocked and we drove off.”
“Renting a vacation home took us a total of 30 minutes.”
“You can pay extra and skip all the lines at Disney!”
These are all comments I’ve heard people say to me recently. I’m guessing you could very easily guess which services I’m talking about.
The point here is that you could easily create the opportunities for your customers to say these types of things about YOUR company.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, or what you sell; we could find ways to save your customers time, and we could likely convince your customers to pay for it!
Who wouldn’t want this?
And this doesn’t just apply to perks too…
Don’t tell me you can’t get the products that fast.
Don’t tell me you can’t turn around a quote that quickly.
Don’t tell me you can’t respond to support requests within 48 hours.
Your challenge for this week:
Think about all the areas of your business where you could add speed and convenience for your customers.
What could you do to speed things up? What processes or procedures could you improve?
What opportunities could you create allowing customers to pay extra for both increased speed and convenience?