Why Are Customers SO Impatient?

Thank you, AMAZON. As wonderful as everyone may think AMAZON is, it has changed us. It has created a society of people who demand instant gratification. It started with free two-day delivery, then one day, and now they are delivering within hours via drone. However, it is not only Amazon’s fault, but it actually began with the internet. The internet has made any piece of information we want available with a click of a button. And don’t forget about the smartphone. Now that information, doesn’t even require the use of a computer, people now have access to all that information in their pockets. You can’t even have a good debate about sports trivia, history, or any other facts, because all someone needs to do is look up the answer on the internet and the debate is then over.

Ever since the wheel was invented people have had the desire to get things done faster and this leaves no room for patience.

4 Reasons Why Customers Get Impatient:

  1. Our Routines – People tend get irritated which lead to impatience when they are taken out of their routines. As a father, this fact became very apparent with my daughter. My daughter is the perfect little angle when we keep her in her everyday routine, however, when we take her out of her routine, she can turn into a little devil. For example, her bedtime is 7 o’clock. If she is in bed by 7, she goes right to bed and get a great night sleep. Now if something causes her to go to bed after 7, she goes to bed cranky, crying, has a tough time falling asleep, and almost always wakes up in the middle of the night.
  2. Specific Times – When people have things to do that have a specific start time or due date/time people start to get impatient when the are going to be late. Think about a time when you have an appointment that you are driving to and there is more traffic than you anticipated. At some point you realize you are going to be late, and instantly your impatience kicks in, and everything annoys you. Every red light seems to take forever, every car in front of you seems to be driving as slow as possible, and the irritation and impatience skyrocket. They even have a term for this, Road Rage.  

When time become the cause of impatience

Amount of Time (High/Low) + Priority (High) = Impatience Level

  1. Being Overwhelmed – The feeling of impatience arrives when someone feels like they have too many things that need to be done. We begin to think about all of the things that need to be done and how good it will feel when the tasks are completed causing impatience to set in because we know we will feel better once these tasks are completed, however they are not completed yet.
  2. Problems Requiring an Immediate Solution – When people have a problem that requires an immediate solution the weight of that problem not only causes impatience to set in and it also increases with each passing moment until it is resolved. When a person has a problem, they want it fixed NOW! Think about it, if you realized your hot water heater was no longer working, and your entire family still needed to bathe & shower, you would want to get it fixed right away. You would have a sense of urgency. Now imagine after calling every plumber in town and no one is available to help you for at least a week. Your frustration and impatience would go through the roof. This impatience is amplified by a feeling of helplessness by an inability to solve your problem when you need it solved. Trust me I know. This story actually happened to me, and this was exactly how I felt.

The key to overcoming a customer’s impatience is first understanding what is causing it. Now that we understand the major reasons customers experience impatience, what do we do about it? Our manager’s even ourselves might say, “just slow them down.” But how exactly do we do that. I am saving that for next week. Given the fact that dealing with an impatient customer and slowing them down is such an important skill, that it deserves its own article. So, I will see you same bat time, same bat channel with the answers.



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