The dilemma of speed vs quality has always been at the center of attention of different companies. Nobody can certainly say which one is more important for the customers as they want to have both high quality and immediate service. Without quality, it will be hard to attract customers for the first time because if the quality is not good enough, they usually quickly realize that the service delivered is not as it was promised. But for some people speed of the service is more important because waiting for the deserved product or service for so long can be irritating. But the problem is that having an excellent quality sometimes slows down the service and vice versa – if something is delivered quickly enough, the quality may not be satisfactory.
However, the impact each of them has on the customers can be different according to the service provided by the company. Companies that focus on speed sometimes experience the suffering of the product provided and losing customers, while providing low-quality service often results in problems of attracting customers. This is why many people believe that both the speed and the quality of the service are essential parts of the great customer experience. But unfortunately, most of the time having one is only possible at the cost of the other, leaving companies facing a dilemma to choose between them and decide on which is more important.
What is a priority for e-commerce companies?
Not surprisingly, different companies have a different emphasis on the quality and the speed of their service. As the research suggests usually, e-commerce firms are more interested in providing consistent quality of their applications to help the customers have a better experience on their website compared to other e-commerce firms because today most of them already have the satisfying speed which is why offering high quality is the key factor that attracts customers for them. Nobody doubts that quality is essential for them but can you imagine Amazon, eBay, or Walmart functioning at a slow speed? Despite the study result, we can’t certainly say that e-commerce firms should prefer speed because as the world gets more and more digitized, site performance and its speed is vital for running a successful business.
This is particularly the case with online shopping websites. The only thing customers care about once they purchase something online is the speed because they want to get the product as quickly as possible and waiting for long is the main factor why there are so many complaints towards these companies and why they lose many clients frequently. According to this report, just a 100-millisecond delay in the performance of Amazon’s platform may cause a loss of more than 290 million USD which means that speed actually matters for the success of e-commerce firms.
But while Amazon, eBay, and many other e-commerce companies usually take great care of both the speed and the quality, there are plenty of websites online that praise speed over quality. This is the case on many occasions when it comes to forex trading. While some of them try to provide the best online experience and provide high-quality services, most of them aim to complete their tasks as quickly as possible without paying attention to quality. For example, ECN brokers and their features pretty much guarantee that a trader’s order is completed immediately, but with a slightly higher cost. However, this doesn’t really guarantee the quality of service. Therefore, customers may be satisfied in the beginning because they received the desired order without any delay but soon they find out that the quality is not as favorable as they would like it to be and this may be the reason why they stop keeping in touch with a certain broker.
In any case, everybody who provides service using the internet needs to take care of increasing the speed of their service because having a high-performing site across devices is more important today than ever before. Therefore, speed remains a top concern among those companies even though people usually mention quality as a more important factor in surveys.
Now let’s take an example of companies that provide medical service. Can you imagine if ambulances started to focus more on quality instead of speed? Usually, when people call an ambulance they have urgent health problems, and in this case speed of the service may be vital. Also, if doctors don’t find out quickly enough that the patient suffers from a serious illness, the treatment will be delayed and the patient will encounter even more health problems. But on the other hand, while speed is a priority for ambulances in order to save people immediately, the quality of medical service is no less important as it plays an important role in the recovery process of the patients. Therefore still, it’s hard to conclude which one is more important in this case.
Restaurants and food companies
What are customers’ perceptions of service quality in restaurants? When people go out for a meal they usually want to get exactly what they ordered but also, they want to get their meal as quickly as possible to overcome hunger. No one wants to wait for their food but still, when the customers know that the quality of service is outstanding, sometimes they wait hours in the rows to receive what they want which means that even when they are impatient, quality can be even more important than food service. However, if waiting for so long can result in losing the customer, low-quality service may lower your companies’ reputation on social media as people often complain about the low quality and prove it with pictures on social networks. Therefore, food companies also struggle to decide which is the priority for them, quality or speed.
And these are just a few examples. There are many different types of companies that find it hard to decide between taking the time to provide a high-quality service or service their customers instantly.
The one thing we can certainly say is that choosing between quality and speed is a difficult task for every single type of company in the world. But also, it depends on the given situation and on who you ask. The moral of this article is that speed versus quality debate will highly likely continue over decades but maybe we ask the wrong question. The question should not be which do we prefer, but how are we going to do both at the same time. Indeed, combining the quality and the speed of your service will definitely help your company succeed and operate more effectively.