customer wait times

Solving Customer Wait Times

If there is something we all have in common, it’s our dislike for waiting. It does not matter where you are — grocery, in a traffic or at the doctor’s — you’ve most probably experienced waiting for a long.

Did you know that:

Now, that’s a lot of time! Customers got so tired of it that are ready to everything possible to avoid this painful experience.

In fact, there are businesses taking advantage of this and offer waiting in line services. Founder of such services called Same Ole Line Dudes got payed $14 000 in one day for waiting.

Is There a Solution?

What can be done so that your customers stop paying thousands of dollars for someone to wait in a line for them and rather use that money in your store?

Since getting rid of queue is impossible there should be something else to fix the problem. One of the best solutions that companies like Apple, Disney, Starbucks and many more found was transforming the waiting time into experiences.

No need to be a multinational organization to make this happen. There are 4 ways you can transform the waiting time into an experience.

1. Impulse Buying

customer impulse buying

One thing that makes the waiting experience so dull is because people have nothing to do. One of the ways to fix this is distracting the customer so that the time will pass quicker.

But what if you could achieve two aims at once and apart from helping the customer to pass time while waiting you could also increase the sales?

Impulse buying is exactly what can be of help in this situation. It was estimated that on average, 20% of household grocery consisted of items bought at impulse.

At this point, almost anything — newspapers, books, video content, etc. — can be of interest for a customer. So, to take advantage of a situation, you can put low-priced items that will keep your client’s occupied while they wait.

It is not recommended to put expensive items near the checkout as probably the customer has already accumulated various products in the shopping bag and high-cost will not be as effective as a lower cost ones (as they seem less intimidating).

2. Unchain Your Customers

free customer time

What makes the waiting so tiring and painful? The need to stand still. Things start to seem more annoying when apart from wasting time you are also wasting your energy in stranding.

With the help of innovative technologies you can not only eliminate the standing factor but also eliminate the waiting factor from the customer journey.

Mobile technology is one of the means of doing so. Smartphones became an inseparable part of our lives and businesses can use this to their advantage by implementing the mobile technology and enhancing the waiting experience with it.

This will not only free them from the standing but also from the waiting factor. For example, with service like Qminder SMS text message notification, you can start sending customized text messages to your customers when they are being added in the waiting line or when their turn has come.

The time spent at waiting is not only lost for your customer but also for you as your customer could have shopped in that moment. Utilizing such innovative tools that promote the mobility of the client’s while waiting will increase the probability of them picking up some of your products which they wouldn’t have otherwise.

3. Manage Staff With Data

use business data for success

One of the threats for the brick-and-mortar stores is e-commerce, and the reason for it is increased comfort. There is no time for waiting; owners of the physical stores need to start acting and searching for innovative technologies to address the issue.

There are tools that provide data and analytics that your store can take advantage of. Qminder Service Intelligence will give insights regarding the wait time in specific days so that you can manage the staff correctly especially in the rush hours to eliminate the long waiting lines and guarantee quick customer service.

Taking advantage of these analytics will not only save your customers their time but also save you some money due to efficient allocation of staff in the right time and day.

4. Self-Service


We talked about the importance of technology but it is never enough! Many big companies are starting to implement self service kiosks more in their everyday operations.

Does not matter if it is a restaurant where people can order food themselves, a store where they can scan the products themselves or a hospital where they can register themselves, self-service kiosks showed its positive value.

Self-service technology helped to cut the waiting time for check-in by 25% for a first-time visitors and 75% for a returning visitors.

This way you will keep your customer busy by making them in charge of the buying process and make that time less annoying than usually waiting.

However, keep in mind that it is always recommended to have the design of self-service technology as simple as possible so that people will be able to use it without complications, otherwise, the complex design might cause confusions which will result in longer waiting lines.

As you see there are various possibilities to change waiting time to experiences, but keep in mind that this is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Every business is different and unique.

Therefore, the main objective is to understand your company, your customer and later implement the tips accordingly.

Regardless, one thing that is “one-size-fits-all” is the analytics and data. Exactly these will help you to understand who your customers are and how to implement new strategies for improving your customer experience with respect to the special preferences and needs of your customers.

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