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Life at the Speed of Now: Freaky Fast Customer Service

Customer Experience

In this day and age, like it or not, we like our life and everything in it, fast. From social media – “I tweeted for help five minutes ago!” – to friends’ texts, a cup of coffee, or a new pair of jeans, our expectations of when we get a response, an order received, or a desire fulfilled, has shifted to swift.

While many savvy businesses have answered the modern day movement of “life at the speed of now,” there are a few stand-out companies that are exceptional, offering lightning-quick service that seemingly defies the space-time continuum.

Amazon Prime Fresh

Not only can you order from more than 500,000 items – which includes groceries and local products hailing from nearby stores, restaurants or bakeries – from the comfort of your sofa, desk or smart phone, now you can order your cake and eat it too, all in the same day.

Life at the Speed of Now: Freaky Fast Customer Service image Screen Shot 2014 01 07 at 2.11.29 PM

Initially only available in Seattle (beginning in 2007) AmazonFresh has since expanded to Los Angeles (in June 2013) and just came to San Francisco this past December. Amazon Fresh Prime is “free” on orders more than $35, but following a 30-day trial, the annual cost is a hefty $299.

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Place your order by 10am and have it by dinner, or by 10pm and have it by breakfast.

While it’s pretty obvious this is a fledgling service with a steep premium largely targeting affluent, too-busy-to-shop consumers, it’s also on the leading-edge of desire, actively answering the call of what the modern-day consumer needs, wants and expects.

Jimmy Johns

Founded in a humble garage in Charleston, Illinois by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983, Jimmy Johns and their “freaky fast” subs have blossomed from college kid fare into a gourmet sandwich staple across the nation, offering more than 1,600 locations in 40 states. So what set Jimmy Johns apart other than killer ingredients and a can-do attitude? Speed. Speed. Speed.

Life at the Speed of Now: Freaky Fast Customer Service image jj1

Even before our average attention span became shorter than a goldfish’s – about 8 seconds – Jimmy John Liautaud recognized that hungry hippos (re:customers) want to satiate their rumbling bellies as soon as humanly possible.

Subs so fast, you’ll freak

By the time you finish ordering your sandwich, walk to the end of the line, and hear the sweet sound of your root beer’s bubbles filling your cup, they’re calling your name with a fresh-made sandwich in hand. By the time you click “order” on their website, walk to the bathroom to check your hair, exchange a few coy words with the intern, and wander back to your desk – they’re ringing your buzzer.

It’s freaky … but fantastic service.

TaskRabbit

An online and mobile marketplace to outsource errands/projects – where busy folks can post anything from grocery shopping and dog walking to bar-tending, cookie baking or putting together those ever-pesky IKEA deliveries – TaskRabbit has helped revolutionize our time management.

Life at the Speed of Now: Freaky Fast Customer Service image Screen Shot 2014 01 07 at 3.52.32 PM

When you post a task you can be “open for bids” or set a fixed price…but best of all, last minute “helps!” aren’t a problem. You can get help that same day – even that same hour – from a trusty TaskRabbit. (Depending on all 20,000+ Taskrabbits’ availability of course.)

Neighbors helping neighbors — it’s an old school concept reimagined for today.

Task Rabbit knows that time is precious – coveted even – and their lickity split errand service coupled with stellar customer service (an expansive support site and a dedicated customer service Twitter handle, @TaskRabbitHelp), goes above and beyond.

Shyp

Hot off the presses, but sure to take the mobile scene by storm, Shyp is a still-in-beta platform that allows you never to wait in line at FedEx, UPS, or the damn post office ever again. And that’s no small victory.

Like so many customer service venues that are fraught with too-long lines – both virtual and physical – as well as overworked (and thus ornery) service agents, sending a package can prove to be a bit of an albatross and a black-hole of time ill spent.

Shyp allows you to simply take a picture or anything you want to send (less than 25 lbs. and no bigger than 28” x 20” x 18”) and pick your destination. Shyp then sends along a “Hero” to come fetch your item and whisk it away to whatever shipping service will be the cheapest.

And don’t worry – amateurs won’t be boxin’ up your treasures – a bona fide packing specialist wraps every shipment (with recyclable materials to boot!) And the pickup fee? $5. Unless of course you ship more than one item –then the fee is waived altogether.

But the best part of all?

Once you snapped a shot of your treasure, a Hero will arrive in less than 20 minutes (!) and every item that’s picked up are sent out that very day. (Unless the cutoff time established by their partner carriers prevents that, in which case Shyp sends them out first thing the next morning.) Shyp also operates 9 am – 9 pm seven days a week, so Heroes are available even when you wouldn’t be able to go to the Post Office (like on Sunday Fundays or bank holidays).

Sadly, Shyp is only available in select San Francisco neighborhoods right now, but we’re willing to bet customer service this swift will spread like wildfire.

While the above is in no way an exhaustive list of speed-driven services (InstaCard, Lyft, Uber, and Washio are additionally amazing, almost-instant services available!) but our fist-pumpin’ point is the demands of the market are simply exploding and your business must rise to meet that challenge. And most importantly? When you’re a business offering a speed-driven service, you need have speed-driven customer service in place to echo that commitment to your customers.

Curious how Lyft conducts such killer super-swift customer service at scale? Check out our case study!

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