Long Wait Times: The Good, the Bad and the Essential

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QueueManaging the queue is one of your most important responsibilities as a store supervisor. A long line of customers both have positive and negative sides, depending on where you look at it. Knowing its pros and cons would aid your decision-making, especially when you’re trying to make the most out of the queues to improve your customer service and boost your sales.

The Good

For the longest time, store managements have been doing everything to reduce the waiting time of shoppers. But many businesses, on the other hand, have intentionally let long lines develop to spark interest. The spirit behind the idea is that if spectators see that many people are willing to wait for something, then it must be good. Furthermore, some customers correlate the absence of line to low quality.

In addition, extended waiting times help induce a product or service’s desirability. Many entrepreneurs believe that making something harder to get, the more desirable it becomes.

The Bad

According to surveys, retail leaders believe that in-customers are only willing to wait up to five minutes, or else they’re gone. Be it an item waiting to be searched in the stockroom, a question waiting to be answered, or an item waiting to be paid at the counter, people can’t tolerate an interval a second longer than five minutes. Keeping your customers hanging for ‘too long’ isn’t good for business.

The Essential

As long waits can either make or break your business, there are things you can do to grab the interest of other shoppers or make your offerings more desirable without losing a potential sale.

Experts from Countwise.com agree that counter for people is beneficial as it allows you to manage multiple queues all at once and monitor the waiting time of each customer, ensuring their patience wouldn’t exceed the threshold. Moreover, you can come up with techniques to keep them preoccupied while waiting, thus help time to fly by.

Queue management is more than just shortening or prolonging wait times. It’s about applying ingenious business philosophies, adopting the right technology and employing sound strategies to eliminate your customers’ unoccupied times and successfully generate high sales consistently.

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