Time Distortion

Have you ever noticed how some things seem to take forever and with others, time flies by? Have you ever gotten so involved in a task that hours pass without notice? Have you ever gotten in the slowest line at the supermarket or bank?

This is the essence of time distortion. Perception overrides reality. 

Perception IS Reality
I read somewhere that AT&T did a call center study to analyze customer perceptions of hold time. They found that customer's perceptions of hold time were almost twice as long as reality. A one-minute wait seemed like two minutes. I can tell you that customers begin to abandon calls after 60 seconds. They hate to wait.

I've been working in hospitals lately. If you've ever been a patient in an emergency room, you know that time passes slowly. If a study could be done, I'd bet that a patient's perception of time distorts one minute into five or even ten.

To your customer, any delay seems longer than it really is.

Employee Perception
Employees, on the other hand, experience something quite different. A nurse in an emergency room is often handling three or more patients simultaneously. They are multitasking. It's not unusual for five or ten minutes to flash by in the blink of an eye.

ER nurses are often required to collect blood samples from patients. Any delay in collection delays lab work, which delays diagnosis and treatment. If the collection isn't done immediately after the doctor orders it, the collection can be delayed by up to 30 minutes because the nurse simply loses track of time.


To the patient, eons have passed by - to the nurse, only a few seconds or minutes. Which one is right? Neither. Which one matters most? The patient.

What does wait time feel like to your customer?

Here's my point: 
From your employee's point of view, time flies. From your customer's point of view, time drags whenever they have to wait for anything. Change your processes to eliminate delay whenever and wherever possible.

Customers will take notice. 

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537, support@qimacros.com."

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