Retailers: Improving Line Wait Time Improves Customer Satisfaction and Profits, Too
No one likes waiting in line — whether at the DMV, grocery shopping, amusement parks or sporting events. And, today, long wait times can be splashed across social media at any time. That’s in addition to lost profits when the customer balked or reneged and left the point of sale location.
Every retailer and entertainment venue constantly evaluates how to better improve the customer experience — and improved line (or queue) management provides an immediate and long-lasting impact. That’s because effective line management technology offers more than just a shorter wait experience.
|Enhanced Customer Satisfaction is the goal!|
Automated line management provides at least 4 significant business benefits:
- Wait time management tools provide control — Long-standing studies indicate average wait times can be reduced 10-30% with line management technology. Lots of “fewer than 10 items” customers today? Using automated management tools, store management is able to quickly realign registers to better serve those customers while reducing the number of “full service” registers.
- Improved line management — Customers are more quickly and accurately directed to an open location as compared to “manually” guessing which station is available or casually strolling towards a register.
- Customer perceptions improve — Two factors impact customer perceptions regarding lines: perceived wait time and the issue of fairness. Customers typically over-estimate the amount of wait time — that’s probably human nature. Providing an automated, call forward system not only efficiently directs customers to the next available register but encourages them to think the wait isn’t as long as it actually is. Customers like knowing what is going on — so seeing the next available register is beneficial even if it isn’t their register! And, people appreciate being treated fairly; an automated system is perceived as providing similar service to all.
- Expanded impulse purchase opportunities — Whether an automated system operates a single, serpentine line or multiple, register-specific lines, the opportunity exists for expanding impulse purchase opportunities. First, the business is regulating how and where the waiting zones are located. Additionally, customers are less stressed waiting so they’re more likely to review offerings and make impulse purchases. It’s also possible to advertise and encourage such purchases through messaging on line management monitors.