If you were given $50 to spend, would you spend it on something material? Or would you rather use it to buy some time? For example, pay someone to clean your house or do your grocery shopping.
A study was published in July this year by a team at Harvard Business School, in which people were asked whether they paid other people to do “unenjoyable daily tasks” in order to “increase their free time.” Half of the survey-takers said yes. These same people said they felt less “time stress”, essentially saying that more time made them happier and more satisfied with life.
We humans have a bit of a fixation with time. And it’s not just a modern-day worry. Daylight Saving Time, or Summer Time in places other than the US, initially began in the early twentieth century to make better use of daylight. It was thought to be advantageous, both socially and economically, to move the time forward one hour so that the daylight extended into the evening hours. Ah, the power of an extra hour to spend time with family or get in another hour of yard work… It makes man move time!
Today, people’s schedules are so packed with meetings, appointments and ball games, that it’s no wonder we are so willing to spend money on things that will give us some time back into our day.
And it’s no wonder that businesses are providing better ways to serve their customers in more time-efficient ways. For example, conversational IVR helps callers to quickly get to the right customer representative, or even to get their issue resolved without one, instead of spending endless minutes waiting on hold.
Another way to value your customers’ time is to proactively provide automated customer service to them. But not just any automated service – intelligent service that provides the right answers sooner because it can understand the customer’s intent. Intelligent customer service can also tell when a customer might need to speak to a live chat agent for more in-depth issues. But not just any live chat agent – the right agent with the skill set relevant to the issue, saving the customer valuable time.
One of the favorite ways we have to save time today is texting. It enables us to multi-task – watch the daughter’s soccer game while texting the spouse to pick up some milk on the way home. Doing several things at once makes us feel that we’re creating a little extra time later on. That’s why it’s important for brands to communicate with customers through messaging, providing a personal experience on their terms in their own time.
Now, I’m going to save you time and end this post by inviting you to explore our omni-channel customer engagement solutions at Nuance. Then contact us to find out how to get a customized experience that saves your customers time.
Oh – and don’t forget! Set your clocks back one hour on November 5. Fall back!