Reducing Perceived Waiting Times in Your Business

There is significant advantage in your business for increasing satisfaction in your everyday customer as they sit waiting for their meal, family doctor or even at your local car repair shop.

The time customers spend waiting for their service all contributes to their experience at your business. While it is difficult to control the length of time customers have to wait, there is a way for them to reduce their perception of how long they are actually there:

Drawing the Attention Away

Digital signage is the use of technology such as LCD screens to display content (e.g. advertisements). Using digital signage to draw customers’ attention away from the wait reduces the perceived wait time. It engages customers, capturing their attention and providing entertainment. A Nielsen study reported that digital signage is 20% more effective than billboards and TV ads.


Taking Advantage

Waiting rooms usually have TVs for customers to watch and magazines to read. It’s the classic method of reducing customers’ perception of waiting times. A flourishing approach that is growing in today’s market is providing Wi-Fi and phone charging stations in store and venues. It not only reduces customers’ perceived wait time but it is also known to increase dwell time in the store or venue as customers are on social media and/or waiting for their phone to charge.

It’s been found that 78% of customers in waiting rooms/restaurants/medical offices found that having access to their smartphone reduces perceived wait time. Having free Wi-Fi and phone charging services at your venue is also a great incentive for increasing customer satisfaction and retention and attracting new customers and


The Fair, Common Queue

It is quite an irritating sight when you line to check out your grocery and see the queue on the other side move faster than yours. That’s the NY Times found out about queueing – people feel so much more negative seeing this compared to feeling positive when their queue is faster. Having a single, common queue will help alleviate this feeling.

Expectations vs Reality

Whether it’s restaurants or call centres, many businesses provide an estimated wait time for the service. This reduces customers’ irritability, reducing perceived wait time. Despite this, there should be great emphasis on providing a good, accurate estimate. A wait time that matches the estimated time increases customer satisfaction but, underestimating the actual wait will only leave customers upset.


As a result…

Business owners know too well that customers become increasingly irritated and restless the longer the wait. Reducing perceived wait times in stores and venues not only enhances customer satisfaction but it shows a business is customer-focused.


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