The year of impatience

The demand for instant results is seeping into all areas of our lives and at any given time. Long lines, slow Internet connections and slow services are just a few of the culprits behind a consistent loss of patience occurring in our lives.

Hyper-connected lives are no longer tabbed as a Gen Y lifestyle or trait. Who hasn’t growled in frustration as a document or website page loads slower than molasses?

As with any trend, once the behavioral trait is recognized and accepted, businesses are excellent at smelling profit. One of the most obvious examples of the mega impatience trend is the same-day delivery wars occurring with Wal-Mart and eBay challenging Amazon where shoppers can place an order by 11 a.m. and, for a fee of US$8.99 (plus US$0.99 cents an item), receive it the same day. Shoppers have become more impulsive than ever, which is why there doesn’t appear to be a flicker over the surcharges attached to these record-breaking deliveries.

Smartphone apps are thriving too, as they eliminate the wait for a cab or finding a table at a popular restaurant. And thanks to Netflix, another behavior commonly referred to as  “binge-viewing” has evolved, allowing subscribers to view entire seasons of their favorite shows within hours instead of weeks or months. Theme parks also have jumped in on the need for speed and keeping customers content by launching “line-jumping” privileges to those not willing to wait to experience an attraction. And who ever imagined a security pre-check line at an airport could be longer than the standard line?

Beauty services are also experiencing the ripple effect of the speed trend as customers are requesting rapid services that are bulked. The result is a popularity surge of “power hour treatments” where customers on the go can receive combined services such as a blow-dry, mani-pedi and makeup touch-ups in under an hour!

In hospitality, the trend has forced front-desk operations to shorten the check-in process, while F&B has been forced to expand its grab-and-go offerings. Fast-paced guests are forcing housekeeping departments to stock forgotten items such as cords and chargers while most guests won’t tolerate a long delivery time from room service.

If your property or management company is feeling similar pressures to keep guest-impatience levels lower than ever, please share some examples. Time may be of the essence, so rapid replies are greatly appreciated!