How to expect the unexpected?

Fact : we are getting more and more impatient

  • if we buy we can’t stand delivery times that exceed one business day (soon we will demand delivery within 4 hours)
  • if we travel we pay extra to get there faster (highway taxes, costly airplanes tickets for direct flights,…)
  • if we consume news we want short articles (tweets – facebook – blogs – …)
  • if we rather chat then send mail, because you get reply sooner (succes op channel oriented chat apps, whatapp, slack, …)

I could go on, but fact is that we can’t stand waiting (and it’s getting worse). Unfortunately some things take time and the instant-satisfaction-high is not always possible. So how do we manage this impatience, this waiting for .. ?

The answer

Countdown traffic lights are heaven, they give you peace of mind, and extra time to check you cellphone, close you eyes, whatever. Every country should have them. They let you expect the unexpected moment when the lights turn green. Don’t know who came up with the idea but he/she is a genius!

In an ever faster moving business world and with more and more impatient customers, companies need to provide countdown traffic lights for those moments that the customer needs to wait. The customer only wants to wait when he/she knows how long he needs to wait. Companies that fail to manage this, will be bypassed by those who do.

Promising delivery next business day and ringing the doorbell at 6 pm is experienced as bad service because the customer was hoping to get delivered round midday (as the previous delivery was at nicely dropped at 11 am)

Business analysts need to investigate how they can provide an answer to this. How can we inform the customer about the progressing state of his/her request? How can we detect the ‘perception’ of bad service even if we meet our SLA? How can we predict in an non-linear environment?

System Dynamics to the rescue !  For fun, I designed a model to predict how long it takes to get out the department store at certain time. It’s still beta, but even now you see the non-linear behavior all around.

Imagine a reliable countdown display at each cashier, then you’ll never would pick the wrong one !

Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen to you 🙂

Author Wim Debreuck is owner of Debreuck Neirynck and an experienced Business Analyst with strong focus on System Thinking.#system dynamics#business analysis#data driven#system thinking

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