Whether you run a bakery or an electronics repair store, there’s a good chance that your business will involve some waiting. Perhaps there’s a queue to check out items, or maybe there’s a line to have electronics examined for faults and issues. Whatever the case is or the type of business you run, it’s usually a good idea to focus on entertaining your customers while they wait; This helps to ease the wait time and provides a stop-gap solution to keep them occupied during busy days.
While it is recommended to change your processes and even hire more staff if you believe that you can improve your wait times, having some form of entertainment to keep your guests busy can be a worthwhile temporary solution.
Offer an app to accompany your store:
Another good option is to have an app that accompanies your store. For example, it could provide you with the latest deals, teach customers how to use certain products, or even offer a customer support chat so everyone can ask for help or assistance.
In terms of entertainment, there are lots of things that you can do to encourage people to use your app. For example, you could offer some kind of game on your app that offers discounts if your customers beat a high score, or you could show them videos of your products being used.
Install some kind of TV near the waiting area:
A common strategy in places where customers and clients are expected to wait a long time is having some kind of television service available. This could be loop.tv or a similar service that provides lots of unique channels for your guests to watch. Whether you let your guests change the channel or not is up to you, but some tools can help you restrict what your guests watch so that it stays focused on your business and its related topics.
Just remember that there may be licensing issues that you need to think about before you decide to put a television on your premises. Sometimes you’ll need to get a license to even put a television in your business, but other times you’ll need to be mindful about the music or shows that you put on display.
Try to accurately guess wait times:
Wait times are usually not so bad if the customer has some kind of expectation of how long things will take. The worst part about queueing is the fact that you don’t know how long something will take. It could be a quick 2-minute wait despite the queue being long, but it could also be an agonizing 30 minutes because it takes 10 minutes to deal with each customer’s query.
Take some numbers down and try to record how long it takes for your queue to start moving. If you believe you can speed things up, then your staff might need some more resources, tools, or just training to help them speed through customer queries. You will need a bit of data to accurately predict wait times (and a system to calculate and deliver them to customers). It can help give your customers peace of mind when browsing your store, knowing that their place in the queue won’t be taken.
Try using a virtual queue instead:
If you’re struggling to shorten queue times or keep your guests entertained, then we’d highly recommend trying a virtual queue solution. While this doesn’t necessarily reduce queue times by much, it does let your guests browse around your store or even walk over to other shops while they wait for their order. This is usually used by food service businesses but can also be used for anything where your clients are expected to wait a fair amount of time, such as at a physician’s office.
Virtual queue systems are fairly easy to implement because they don’t take much setup. You simply add it to your system and then pair it with devices that vibrate when the client’s order is ready or their number is called. Virtual queues don’t need to be this sophisticated either to work either. Some food service businesses simply have a television screen which lists ready order numbers. Simply remember your number then go up when you’re called. This type of system is much cheaper to implement and can be a great choice if you’re on a budget.