No one likes to wait. Because waiting often feels frustrating for customers, by the time they reach your employees the burden of that frustration is unloaded on your already overworked team, making the wait the source of a problem for your customers and employees alike.
Waiting is just a part of life, and most people are willing to accept a short wait, but anxiety and frustration creep in when a wait is long. Interestingly, when you dig into the psychology of how people perceive waiting, perception does not always match reality.
Research tells us that people who have anxiety often perceive wait times to be longer than those who don’t. In fact, perceptions about waiting vary broadly!
Individuals who have an unoccupied wait also perceive their wait time to be longer than those whose time is occupied during a wait.
Understanding or expecting the wait time plays a significant factor in how patient people feel during a wait.
People waiting solo perceive their wait time to be longer than those who are waiting in a group.
So, while you might be taking a look at the costly decision of increasing your staff to reduce wait times – and that may be a reality for your business – it’s also worthwhile to consider how you can reduce perceived waiting times.
By communicating passively with your customers during their wait, you can address numerous factors that may be impacting their perception about their wait time, and head off their negative emotions.
Strategic use of your digital signage is an awesome solution for reducing perceived wait times, because you can accomplish several strategies at once. Digital signage allows you to:
Set an expectation with your customers about average wait time.
During your busiest hours of the day, calculate your average customer wait time, and include a slide in your playlist that says something like, “Our average wait time during the lunch hour is around 10 minutes. We appreciate your patience!” Giving your customers the opportunity to decide if that’s a reasonable wait for the time they have available allows them to make a decision if they’re going to come back later or stick around.
Entertain them while they wait.
Integrate trivia, news, weather and other fun updates in your digital signage playlist, and the time will fly by (or so it will seem!) for your customers while they wait. Retriever Digital Signage comes with all of these features included, you simply need to drop them into your playlist.
Educate them about extended service products and opportunities.
While your customers are waiting, you have several minutes to share new products, services, opportunities, or promotions with them before they’re greeted by one of your team members. Don’t wait until they’re at the counter to have a conversation about these opportunities!
We’d love to help you strategize ways to reduce wait time in your business. Shoot us an email at email@example.com and we can help!