Speed Counts: Why It’s so Important to Communicate Value Quickly

Right now, you’re making judgments about this blog, how long it took to load, the design, these words, the topic.

I’ve got about 5 seconds to capture your attention. If I don’t, you’ll be hitting the X on the tab, or the back button.

If I can get you past those five seconds (in other words, if you’re still reading this), then you’ll give me another five seconds. Then hopefully ten seconds. Maybe a few more after that.

Hopefully in that time I’ve been able to convince you of this page’s value, or at least intrigued you enough to click onto another article.

Then, we begin the process again, except this time maybe you give that article ten seconds of your attention.

A page or two more, and maybe you’re willing to subscribe to the blog.

And thus, a relationship begins. I now have the opportunity to show you value on a recurring basis.

It all started by keeping your attention within those first five seconds and validating why you clicked over to this page in the first place.

I’m really glad you’re still reading this.

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Brand Judgments

Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone new, people make eleven judgments. People will form an impression of you in a tenth of a second, and they tend to stick with that first impression.

We do the same thing with brands. 59% of consumers say they know if a brand is a favorite right after their first purchase.

Forget a purchase - most of us are forming opinions about brands long before we make a purchasing decision.

It begs the question: What is your brand promise? And is that promise being fulfilled at every potential exposure - including customer usage of the product or service?

(Hint: think benefits, not features.)

And a second question: Is everything being done to make sure that first post-purchase impression is positive?

The impetus is on every brand, every organization to earn those first five seconds. Then earn the next five. Then ten seconds.

As the interactions continue, and a brand continues fulfilling those promises, they’ll earn more leeway from customers.

Download the FREE eBook - Nice Guys Finish First

First Impression Hacks

The good news is there are a couple hacks to help make first impressions even better.

A great customer incentive can make a big difference in earning a measure of immediate validation post-purchase.

The key is offering people something that fits with the brand and those sought-after benefits that brought the customers along in the first place. Don’t resort to outright bribery, however - incentives are an important part of customer relationships.

Loyalty programs are also great in this situation. People love them, and they’re a great way to sustain and increase the positive touchpoints between customer and brand.

People need instant validation. That loyalty program better have elements of instant reward, and ongoing low-hanging fruit.

After all, you only get five seconds.

I’m so happy you made it this far. I feel like we’re friends now. Thanks for reading (and oh hey, look - here’s a place to subscribe to this blog!)

(Hummingbird image courtesy of Anita Ritenour)

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Topics: Customer Engagement

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter

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