Make waiting easier for your customers—and beneficial for your business.
Fifteen minutes can feel like an eternity for a customer being asked to stand in line with nothing to do. You’ve been there before: waiting for an appointment or to enter a store, staring at a blank wall, checking your phone only to find a couple minutes have passed. Waiting times have only become longer in our current situation, with most businesses being forced to extend their queues far past their front door in order to follow social distancing guidelines.
The good news is, waiting doesn’t have to be a bad experience. Here are 3 ways you can make waiting in line easier for customers, and more beneficial to your business.
1. Make them feel comfortable.
A comfortable space doesn’t just make the wait easier, it shows that your business cares about its customers. Investing in basic shelters to protect against the cold, or sun, can go a long way in showing customers you’re looking out for them. And details matter too; consider banners or posters placed alongside your queue to remind customers of safety measures and to show what your business is promoting before they even get inside. This lets them take their mind off the wait, while promoting your products and service at the same time. Alternatively, highlight these promotions on a digital splash page to help save on printing costs while maintaining visibility.
2. Estimate wait times.
Estimated wait times that are generally accurate have been shown to improve customer satisfaction while waiting.3 On the other hand, inaccurate predictions can increase customer frustration. The key is to make conservative predictions that accurately reflect the approximate time a customer can expect to stand in line. There are a number of different methods you can use to display your estimated wait times. The simplest is to set up a sign with a general estimate, or to have an employee tell newcomers how long their waits will probably take. General wait times can also be updated dynamically on your website’s homepage. Customers who log in to your Wi-Fi can be redirected to your homepage to get a more accurate estimation of overall wait times. This helps inform customers of how long they need to wait, while also entertaining them with free Wi-Fi.
3. Keep them connected.
When you give customers free Wi-Fi, they gain the ability to get work done or entertain themselves while they wait. But free Wi-Fi doesn’t just have to benefit your customers, it can support your business too. We would suggest a Wi-Fi service that provides two parallel connections: one for your employees, and the other for your customers.
On the employee side, your colleagues can use the connection for their daily tasks.
On the customer side, they can enjoy free Wi-Fi after signing in to your customizable splash page, which can advertise your products, services and safety measures. This ensures that everyone who signs in sees what your business has to offer.
Certain Wi-Fi services provide an opportunity to monitor online user behaviour to gain a better understanding of your customer needs and pain-points.
Overall, by making your customers feel comfortable, estimating their wait times and keeping them connected, you can make waiting in line a more enjoyable experience. And when customer experience is improved, your business revenue stands to benefit as well.
1. Oracle. (2012). 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report: Getting to the Heart of the Consumer and Brand Relationship [Report].Retrieved from http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/cust-exp-impact-report-epss-1560493.pdf
2. Beckers Hospital Review. (2013, December 20). 9 Statistics on Wait Time and Patient Satisfaction [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/9-statistics-on-wait-times-and-patient-satisfaction.html
3. Toister, J. (2013, September 24). Jedi mind tricks for reducing customer wait time [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.toistersolutions.com/blog/2013/9/24/jedi-mind-tricks-for-reducing-customer-wait-time
4 Toister, J. (2013, September 24). Jedi mind tricks for reducing customer wait time [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.toistersolutions.com/blog/2013/9/24/jedi-mind-tricks-for-reducing-customer-wait-time