I for Impatience — Understanding People A to Z

I for Impatience. Photo from Unsplash.com

We are the generation that waited 2 days for a song to download, yet our jaw clenches when Netflix buffers for a second.

We keep swinging with impatient energy waiting in queues, slow moving traffic sends us into a tizzy of gaalis and well… food should always come superfast on the table.

How did we get here?

A lot of it has to do with the way products or services have evolved over the years. When Maggi was launched in the 80s the mother’s need for convenience was important. “Mummy Bhook Lagee hai — Bus Do Minute” was a pioneering rendition of this approach.

In the name of convenience, businesses continue to give us a world where we don’t need to wait, that whatever we want, we should have it as quickly as possible.

We have a pool of offering that caters to impatience — Same Day Delivery. Instant Cashback. Constant updates on status of the order. Shop Now and get 10% off. EMI Options. Takeaway Coffee. Burger and fries in 30 seconds. Cab in 2 minutes.

Like a herd, addicted to little packets of instant pleasure delivered to us with the push of a button, we march on!

Should brands encash impatience?

From waiting patiently at the bus stop for an uncertain period of time, to getting a cab in 2 minutes — honey, we’ve shrunk the wait time. But this is the problem — We’re already getting triggered by uber drivers taking 2 minutes longer than expected! “Two minutes? This driver deserves 1 star!” This incredible service that we didn’t think could exist a few years ago, is now pissing us off on an-almost daily basis. And for what? For two insignificant minutes!

Look at 2018 research by Google, that says 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load!

The more packets of pleasure, the more impatient we get when we have to wait. This journey that the brands are leading the customer on is dangerous because it leads them to entitlement. “I deserve to get this NOW.” “You better deliver this to me in 2 minutes!” And when that doesn’t happen, they (we) throw a total hissy fit on social media.

Where do we go from here?

1. Remove stress points for people — if you remember things for me, I like your brand more. Imagine Ferns and Petals sending you a simple email: “Rahul, don’t forget your Mamma’s birthday!”

2. Given the impatience of modern customers, it’s essential to help them flow seamlessly. For example ‘smart search’ on Amazon allows lifestyle-driven, simultaneous multi-brand quest on the site. No need to type the whole word anymore.

3. Involving tech teams along with interface planning right from the pitching process is key. Tech with a poor UX is worse than no tech at all.

4. Be present when consumers are ranting about your brand and solve it. Immediately, if I may add.

5. EE’s ‘Power Band’ rechargeable battery pack, which can be swapped in stores for a fully charged one, is a genius initiative.

Impatience goes hand-in-hand with the Information Age. It’s a fact that anticipating the small stuff and getting the tech right lies at the heart of current and future brand value. In the context of today’s digital lives and multi-channel interactions it seems we care less about the brand promise or storytelling. We simply expect things to ****ing work!