In our years of developing solutions to make the customer journey more efficient, we have found that one part of the shopping experience has the biggest effect on customer satisfaction: waiting times.
Having to queue for long times creates more frustration than any other mishap. Shoppers just about tolerate items being out of stock, untidy displays or technical faults, but having to wait is what makes the blood boil – and stops them from returning.
Theorists have confirmed this in various studies and books, such as Paco Underhill in Why We Buy. People like Professor Richard Larson have identified how this frustration is worsened when somebody jumps the queue in front of them, because they perceive it as a social injustice.
This is what was happening at Brighton Station and its self-service ticket area. The lack of a clearly defined route for queuing for the machines had lead to customers being confused as to where they should stand, only for other travellers to walk straight up to the machines in front of them. Commuters were becoming frustrated and unhappy.
To remedy this, the station got in touch with Tensator for a simple solution that would improve customer satisfaction, as well as being easy to organise on the concourse.
Tensator provided 43 marine-grade stainless steel Tensabarriers, with floor socket mounts. These provide the base for a neat queuing system that was in keeping with the existing décor and branding of the station concourse.
The Tensabarriers are fitted with pull-down roller signs that cover the full gap between the top of each barrier and the floor. These direct customers how to queue in order to buy or collect their tickets, at one of the two banks of machines.
In certain places, the roller signs have been omitted to allow the Tensabarriers to be re-routed or to permit staff access. These barriers feature webbing in the matching dark blue livery, to create a recognisable ‘official’ queuing route and messaging.
Brighton station manager, Beth Holbrook said: “The Tensator products are just the job for us here at the station. Since the new system has been in place, there has been a significant increase in positive feedback regarding the queuing system from our passengers. The Tensator system is much more organised, as well as being more civilised, than the previous setup.”