Consumer Time As A Metric, Waste Time Reduction (WTR)

consumer decision process

In this article. I’m explaining time as a forward-looking metric and examining examples from observation; throughout my day to day life. Many businesses lose a lot of money on the wasted time,

Time is the most valuable thing that exists since we measure our existence by it. Time passes whether we like it or not. If we are not accomplishing productivity during the process time becomes wasted. We live in a very fast world and being slow is not an option; as you will fall behind and time will pass you.

Wait/Waste Time Reduction As A Metric ( WTR)

If we can reduce wasted Time, we can accomplish more productivity in the future; Consumers time is very valuable and the less time the consumer spends, the more satisfaction they are consuming.

For example, We all have experienced having to call customer support/service, for a problem we came across. Whether it was insurance, cellphone provider etc. You will find yourself stuck for at least 10 minutes trying to communicate with a robot operator; in order to get to a person who can actually assist. The operator forces the consumer to waste their time; before they can get the desired result or even communicate their issue or concern.

Why are automated operators aren’t as efficient as they seem?

Auto operators are inefficient, since they cause frustration in the consumer experience. Operators should not be the first channel businesses interact with an unsatisfied customer; Since it will make them more likely to be more unsatisfied; especially when they are on hold for long period of time.

Also Read:7 Signs of Toxic Work Environment: Battling Toxicity in the Workplace

This can create a negative perception of the business image, in the consumer’s mind. As a result, leading the consumer into the competition arms; especially if the competition is realizing how to save the consumers valuable time.

Why Are Retail Stores Going Out Of Business?

If you are at a clothes outlet store and you want to buy one T-shirt. You are already spending time on picking between the different shirts; checking the size of the shirt and then making the decision to purchase it.

Furthermore, you go to the register and then you realize there are 10 people ahead; who were holding many items they wanted to purchase. In the consumer’s head, he will start to compare the time it will take him to purchase the shirt; with the value, the shirt is going to provide him. If the process of choice took 10 minutes, and the waiting line is going to take 15. In that case, the consumer spends more time to check out his purchase; than the time it took him to pick it. Which will reduce the satisfaction the shirt will give.

What does this mean?

As humans, we are indecisive. The more time the consumer waits, the more time he has to think; whether he’s making the right decision buying that shirt. During this time he might change his mind about the purchase before he even buys it.

The less time the consumer spends, after making the decision; the more likely he will think he has made the right decision. A customer, might pick something he likes and make an impulse purchase. Since the thing he wanted to buy, was a want and not a need. The longer he waits to checkout, the more chances he will realize that he doesn’t need the item; and therefore walks away without buying anything.

Which makes sense, this what makes online shopping very successful. Since the consumer will add all the things to the cart and buys it in seconds. It is not the beauty of the online shopping experience, that makes it favorable. As humans, we are social and interactive creatures, and shopping in stores is much joyful experience. Especially for clothes, since you get to really experience the actual color, design, and material; then you can decide whether you like it or not. In many cases, the consumer will purchase items online on the intent to return them. But they never end up doing it; because it will take more time than the time it took to make the purchase.

What is the solution?

Seeing a store with a long waiting time, can drift many consumers away. Especially the ones who had never experienced the business and had no built up value that is worth the time. The consumer should spend more time on making the decision and less time on acquiring the purchase.

If you reduce the time spent between the decision making process, and checkout time. You can also guarantee more impulse purchases and higher sales. And higher future frequency purchases especially if your known for accomplishing things fast. The less time you waste, the more time you are giving him. In a sense you are providing him with value just by reducing his wasted time. The more time the consumer waits the more time he will have to doubt his decision.