Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! Sometimes it seems that wherever you move, there is a queue waiting for you. Whether it is standing in line to use an ATM, waiting for a restaurant table or checking your bags in at an airport, we are constantly faced with queues in our daily lives. Interestingly, our queuing experiences can shape the perception we have of the service we are receiving, or at least, the services we are waiting for.
Keeping customers satisfied while queuing can be tricky for businesses. Reports suggest that people overvalue the real wait time by as much as 36 percent, which means that waiting for just a short time can annoy and aggravate customers. A poor queuing experience can result in customer walk-a ways, which means the customer doesn’t complete the purchase and leaves with a negative perception of the brand.
Why do people get frustrated while queuing?
– The wait time is longer than they expect it to be
– Others cut in line
– Other lines seem to be flowing quicker than the queue they have chosen
– When there is no information regarding how long the wait will be
How can businesses decrease perceived wait time in queues?
Businesses can reduce the perceived wait time by understanding and resolving the factors that may lead to queue frustration. Introducing a queue management system doesn’t need to be expensive. Businesses can make a big impact on the queuing experience by following these simple steps:
- Provide precise estimates
Businesses should inform customers about an estimated wait time well in advance so that they do not get upset or anxious whilst in the queue. If businesses set customer expectations, it is less likely that they will overestimate the time they are waiting, and therefore the risk of customers becoming frustrated while queuing is reduced.
- Form a single line queue
Customers feel unfairly treated if other lines move faster than the one they are standing. Businesses should let them feel equally valued by creating a standard single line queue. The single line queue allows customers to be served in the order they arrive. Retailers who have worked with Tensator to implement a single line queue have improved service times by an average of 30% and have reduced customer walk-away by as much as 96%.
- Keep your customers engaged
Introducing modern means of communication and entertainment to queue scan keep customers engaged. Digital signage, in-queue merchandising, free WiFi, and feedback forms can keep customers happily involved. It is well known that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time. By adding a distraction for customers, businesses are cutting down on their perceived waiting time, while at the same time encouraging impulse purchases or gaining invaluable customer insight.
To find out more ways to improve the queuing experience, take a look at our queue management solutions.