Podium’s Executive Vice President, Nico Dato, recently joined with Jay Baer and Shep Hyken to host a webinar discussing how businesses can and should utilize the power of convenience to outshine their competitors and to provide more value to their customers. 

The webinar featured an insightful discussion centered around the need for businesses to deliver the speed that consumers crave. The conversation was led by Jay Baer, who is a customer experience consulting Hall of Fame keynote speaker and the founder of Convince and Convert. He asked Nico Dato, Podium’s head of marketing and, world-famous customer experience and customer service expert, Shep Hyken to share their expertise pertaining to the importance of speed in customer interactions. 

Their presentation begins by highlighting the obvious need for convenience, especially as consumer expectations continue to rise during this global pandemic. 82% of customers want an immediate response when they have a question. And, 69% of customers expect an Amazon-like buying experience every time they purchase something. But, the majority of customers don’t think that businesses are fast enough. There seems to be a breakdown happening between expectations and delivery. 

Throughout the webinar, Dato, Baer, and Hyken explore this breakdown and discuss what business owners can do to increase the speed of their business. As an overview, their discussion can be broken down into three topics:

  1. Consumers want faster business and businesses want to work faster
  2. Inhibitors to speed and convenience
  3. How to overcome friction and achieve speed

Dato and Hyken dive into the different dimensions of speed and convenience to provide businesses with the tools and insight they need to outshine their competitors as the market catapults forward.

1. Consumers want faster business and businesses want to work faster.

This portion of the discussion, led by Shep Hyken, introduced customers’ increasing expectations. As previously mentioned, 82% of consumers want immediate responses to questions. American consumers say that their top priority is speed and convenience. People pay more for convenience. Hyken goes on to say that although “fastest is bestest”, it isn’t necessarily about the exact speed, but it is about reducing friction for consumers. TSA-Pre lines and Amazon have differentiated themselves by eliminating friction for their customers. When businesses can eliminate friction, they are differentiating themselves.

In addition to customers wanting speed and convenience, businesses also want to increase their own efficiency. Dato leads this portion of the conversation as he discusses the impacts that COVID-19 have had on business’ desire to increase efficiency. 86% of consumers expect local businesses to offer more convenient communication services since the COVID-19 outbreak. But, he goes on to share that 37% of businesses say they do not have the capacity to respond quickly to incoming messages. Businesses want to provide convenient communication, but they don’t know how to and that is the problem. 

All three webinar guests suggest that if businesses can learn how to adapt and enhance the speed of their internal operations, they will be better equipped to reduce friction and meet the needs of their customers.

2. Inhibitors to speed and convenience.

After discussing the importance of speed for both consumers and businesses, the conversation shifts to understanding the barriers that are preventing businesses from achieving convenience. Hyken suggests that many businesses do not lean into the shift towards speed because of technology and cultural biases within the organization. Within these overarching principles, Hyken highlights the three principles that are keeping businesses from achieving maximum speed.

  1. Companies don’t know what their customers’ expectations are.
  2. Companies don’t know the technology that is available to them. 
  3. Companies haven’t prioritized speed.

Once business owners recognize and understand these inhibitors, they can begin to prioritize speed. Hyken emphasizes that not only will increased speed enhance the customer experience, but it will also increase the bottom line. 

3. How to overcome friction and achieve speed.

The webinar concludes on the topic of how business owners can overcome friction and provide speed to benefit their customers and the bottom line. Hyken discusses the six convenience principles that are detailed in his book, “The Convenience Revolution.” He re-emphasizes his first point of reducing friction before briefly summarizing the remaining principles and how business owners can implement them. 

Following Hyken’s explanation of the Convenience Revolution, Dato highlights how the Podium platform meets all six of the principles to revolutionize an organization by transforming the way they communicate with their customers. Podium’s solution allows a company to scale messaging while remaining personal and human. The Podium platform reduces friction for both the business and the consumers by creating one place for all interactions to take place. Any inconveniences are removed because companies can meet consumers where they are at. 

The webinar concludes with a brief wrap-up that reemphasizes the importance of speed to stand out from competitors. All three presenters conclude that messaging is the friction-free future that businesses and consumers alike are embracing.