Being forced to wait can lead to boredom, irritation, and rage, which is why queue management is both an interesting and sensitive matter. From a business point of view, waits may give the impression of poor service, and lead to loss of sales and repeat customers.
Needless to say, you must fully understand the psychology behind waiting in line. Shopping is fun, and even therapeutic, but only until customers find what they want to buy. In most cases, nobody desires to burn more than five minutes just to get past the checkout line.
There’s so much to learn about queue management, but first, you must know what not to learn and believe. Dispelling these misconceptions are a good start:
Long Lines Are Always Bad
Contrary to popular belief, having serpentine lines stretching all the way outside has positives too. Everyone hates to wait, but if it’s something you want, you wouldn’t mind.
In addition, other people may interpret that there’s a good reason for a good number of customers to stand idly and wait. It renders your products or services so desirable that those who have no clue about the quality you bring might get convinced to buy.
Waiting in Line Certainly Drives Customers Crazy
This only holds true if the wait is unjustified. Some queuing experiences don’t produce anxiety because customers are informed what’s taking the wait so long. Receiving no explanations, on the other hand, beget annoyance.
This is why many stores now use smart people count software to accurately monitor multiple checkout lines all at once. Many managers use intelligent tools to know how long each customer has been waiting to deal with the situation properly.
Long Waits Feel Long All the Time
Time is relative because it’s generally based on perception. Two customers waiting in the same line may feel differently about the wait. The former who does nothing but wait may easily feel bored, while time may fly for the latter that listens to music.
Waiting in the line only feels longer if your time is unoccupied. Without any form of distraction, there’s no pleasing anxious customers.
Queue management varies depending on the nature of your business. Nevertheless, you need to invest in the right technology and employ sound strategies to make your lines move, or seem to move, faster.