The Internet has made it even easier for us to live in a material world. You can buy anything from a cute purse, to an old stadium seat, with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a finger. You can order dinner on the Internet, have flowers delivered to a loved one, reserve a table at a restaurant, and get tickets to the movies, all without uttering a single world to a real live person. We are getting used to having things available at our fingertips, and while this is great, we have also come to expect instant gratification, and when we don’t get it, we face disappointment. This is especially important to consider for brands who use social media and other Internet portals for customer service.
I didn’t even realize how much these expectations have become ingrained in me until the other day. I had an issue with something I had purchased online. At first, I sought help via Twitter and was told to email a certain address. When I didn’t get a response to my email within 24 hours, I tweeted again. When I was told that it sometimes takes them 48 hours to respond to emails when they have a high volume, I was initially shocked. Really though, 48 hours isn’t that long. It’s only a couple of days, but it seemed like forever.
In this go go go world, brands have to realize that their customers have certain expectations. Even though some of these may be unrealistic, they are the reality. If things are going to take time, you have to make sure they’re worth the wait. The customer service I received (after more like 43 hours) was fantastic, and not only was my problem solved, but the person who helped me was efficient and personable. Your product has to be excellent if people are going to be waiting 5-7 business days to receive it. If you’re going to put your brand out there on Facebook and Twitter, be prepared to not just listen, but respond, as soon as possible. As a society, we are pretty terrible at waiting, so make it worth our while.