Lines… and how we really feel about waiting!
The Washington Post recently featured an Ana Swanson article about line queuing titled, What Really drives you crazy about waiting in line (it actually isn’t the wait at all)?
|CPS’ QuikLine managing queues in Los Angeles|
It turns out, says Swanson, that the time people spend waiting in line, and how they feel when they do so, is a big deal for people and for the economy.
Richard Larson, who studies line queuing theory at MIT, estimates people can spend a year (or 2!!) waiting in line over their lifetime. And, virtually no one enjoys waiting in line — particularly when you consider that includes waiting in traffic and the DMV!
As a result, the ways business manage lines, according to Swanson, results in easily billions of dollars of gained and lost brand equity and consumer spending.
A bad line experience can forever impact a shopper’s perception of a particular store or the brand — as well as cause shoppers to leave a line (that’s known as reneging) or even leave the store instead of going through the line (balking) — resulting in revenue losses.
It turns out how people feel when they wait matters a lot more than how long they wait.
A key element in how people feel is fairness regardless of the wait times, according to Swanson.
Whole Foods utilizes CPS’ QuikLine automated queuing software in many metro stores. Over the years, we’ve noticed that many stores have switched to multiple lines from a single serpentine line when there is space (another critical commodity!). Swanson notes that the “guarantee” of fairness eliminates the stress and anxiety associated with selecting “the wrong line” when there are many, unmanaged parallel lines.
Interested in improving your customer’s wait experiences? Contact CPS to find out more about QuikLine.