Responsiveness can be as important as price

Mickey Mellen
3 min readMar 27, 2023

People value money but they also value time, and if your service can be faster and/or more responsive customers are willing to pay more. Disney’s “Lightning Lane” (formerly “FastPass”) is proof of this — millions of people pay billions of dollars every year just to get in the park, and a huge percentage of them are willing to pay more in order to save time in line. I know the times that we’ve gone we always purchased the pass, and the time saving were worth it to us.

Or look at the popularity of Chick-fil-A; even if it’s packed, you know that their drive-thru is generally the fastest in the industry. Other fast food restaurants are more hit-or-miss, so even if McDonald’s has a shorter line, you’re more confident that the line at Chick-fil-A will move quickly. It also helps that their food is fantastic!

Expectations matter

As Jay Baer shared in a recent conversation with Jason Falls, expectations are the key to this because raw speed matters a lot. At 59 seconds per car Chick-fil-A is considered fast, but so is someone that can remodel your entire kitchen in just one week. You’d still consider that a “fast” time for a remodel even though it takes more than 10,000 times longer than the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A. It’s all relative.

In our case, we share expectations as early as we can. We take the time to do things right, and while we’re fast inside of that process, we’re still slower than other companies that take a different approach to web development (they might use templates, for example).

Too fast is still too fast

That said, things can happen too quickly. As Jay shared in the podcast with Jason, there are times when speed can be so good that it’s worrisome. If you sit down at a restaurant to order food and it shows up in 30 seconds, that’s not making you happy; it’s creating more questions.

Measure it

The other point I loved from Jay and Jason was the idea of measuring your results. If someone walks out of your restaurant because things were too slow, there’s no easy way to measure it because it won’t show up in their data at all. In our case, we measure things in three different areas, with different levels of precision.

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Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.