Your business is busy and your waiting room is often full of customers anxious to see you.
While that’s good for you, it’s potentially stressful for them. That’s because 63% of people say that waiting is the most stressful part of their appointment.¹
Curb their angst by doing your best to reduce their actual wait times. And, since some amount of waiting is inevitable, reduce their perceived wait times by keeping them entertained. When your customers are bored, they overestimate actual wait times by as much as 36%, making them more aggravated and less likely to return to your business.²
Here are some ideas on how to change your customers’ perceived wait time:
Turn on infotainment
Being aware of time passing can be torturous for customers taking time out of their busy day to patron your business. It’s important to provide entertainment that holds their attention, like a news or documentary channel. Adding TV to your waiting room helps your customers pay less attention to the clock and feel better about the wait in general. So try turning on a popular news channel for customers in your accounting waiting room, or tune in to children’s cartoons to entertain families waiting in your paediatric doctor’s office. Remember to be mindful of the volume (or set it to mute and use close captioning)—some customers may find the extra noise irritating.
Beat the clock by making them feel busy
60% of people agree that free Internet access in the waiting room minimizes their frustration because it allows them to work or surf the Internet.³ So be sure to make Wi-Fi available and easy to sign in to by posting the network and login details in a place that’s easy to see. You’ll notice that your customers are more content with the wait when they’re connected to their social networks or able to get a few things done.
Mind over matter with music
Listening to music can significantly reduce stress.4 Play the right tunes, and you may just hear a few exhales of relaxation as customers settle into your waiting room. Put on the wrong music, and you could drive business right out the door. 44% of customers will leave your business if they don’t like what they hear, and 25% will actually tell others not to visit your shop or office.5 So it goes without saying that finding the right genre for your clientele and playing it at an appropriate volume are important factors in curating a stress-free waiting room environment. So if you’re a spa owner, opt for soothing tracks with no definitive beginning or end. If you run a children’s toy store, you may want to play songs from the latest Disney soundtrack (even if parents have heard it a zillion times at home).
When in doubt, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about what keeps you entertained and content while you wait.
Want help with your waiting room? We’re here to help. Because at Cogeco, we know a thing or two about turning waiting rooms into wonderful customer experiences. Visit us at www2.cogeco.ca/en/funwait