The Power of Speed

I was taking a boxing lesson the other day, and when doing a combination, I asked my trainer whether he wanted speed or power. He said speed. When I was done, he told me he answered speed because he wanted power. Speed is power.

Anyone that follows boxing or football has heard the expression power thrills, but speed kills. Think about it. Mass and velocity together determine the energy behind an object. Get hit by a car going one mile per hour, not so bad. Speed it up, and it is a different story. The same holds true in the business world.

McDonald’s and other “fast” food may not be considered the “best” food, but they made it faster and became a global powerhouse (serving the convenience factor).

Jiffy Lube may not be the most robust car care, but it sure is easier than leaving the car at the dealer (again, serving the convenience factor).

Google has all but replaced the encyclopedia and Yellow Pages because it is “instant” (speed).

It’s the exact same in our world. Speed is critical to a customers’ satisfaction in almost everything we do for them. Why does this matter so much?

Today people are more critical and savvy than ever before because they can be. Expectations are higher.  We are all expected to do more and more. When a customer finally has time to do something, they want to do it and knock it off. They don’t want to set it aside and come back to it. They do not want to wait on the phone. Plus, customers know what is possible. They aren’t just comparing you to direct competitors, they are comparing you to every company they come in contact with. That’s the way the world works today.

So much has changed in such a short time. Back in my college days, I would stick in a floppy disk and wait a long time for the computer to boot. Now, I go nuts waiting five seconds (at six seconds I call the help desk). Remember dial-up internet connections where a page would take ten minutes to load? If a page doesn’t come up right away now, I move to another site or wait until I have a better connection. My expectations have changed because I know what is possible.

Speed is critical to our customers, just like it is to all of us in our own lives.