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Why people won’t wait for you

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Our world is speeding up. We now expect 2 day delivery, next day pickup, and 30 minute lube. Anything beyond “hustle” and “instant” is now at the limit of our attention span.  

While the physical world still has some justification for a wait time, information is now required instantly. Consider the amount of patience you have spending 10 minutes to get a hair-cut, versus waiting even 1 minute for a page to load with a list of local barbers. We expect our things fast, and our information now!

Even a few years ago, the world of instant gratification seemed something only Amazon and youtube had to deal with, while our cozy woodworking industry still had plenty of breathing room. We reasoned that since something so permanent, so lasting, and “custom” took time, people would be willing to wait. While there is some truth to that mentality, it only applies to the physical piece (if you can get away with it). Your woodworking business is now required to follow a new standard: instant information.

Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at UMass Amherst, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in a study released last fall. How long were subjects willing to be patient, waiting for a video to load? Two seconds.

Whether you like it or not, your customers are some of these same 6.7 million people who won’t wait two seconds for a video to load. If you’re not engaging them immediately, capturing their attention, and solving their problems via instant information, you’re either making them wait longer than they want (which causes dissatisfaction) or you’ll never even meet them.

You might be thinking… “If someone can’t wait two seconds for a video, I don’t want them as a customer anyway”. That seems reasonable on the surface, except the people jumping ship aren’t just “young, impatient yuppies”, (and no, you won’t have retired before they’re ready to buy).  The people unwilling to wait for information are your average, sane, “patient”, well-mannered neighbors of all ages and walks of life. As time marches on, this article reads more true, the trend is more clear.

Luckily, the need has also forged the solution. No longer do you have to pay large sums of money to give customers instant bids, quick answers, and immediate direction! Integrated web sites that include bidding software and chat systems offer plug and play solutions.

For only a few dollars a month, you can insert code into your site that allows your customers to instantly chat with you, get bids, and satisfy their curiosity enough to land them as a customer. Even if you’re not physically in the office, these services can text your phone so you never miss a beat. You can track conversions, and enjoy a long list of features that will solve the impatience deficit you now face.

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