As the owner of a restaurant or shop, although you may be pleased to see a huge number of customers who are worried that the incredibly long queue will put many of your customers off. And they will probably go somewhere else to buy the same product that you were offering. It is an open agreement that people hate waiting to be served since many of them take some time out of their busy lives when they approach you. Although many companies are using visitor management app such as Uber giving the approximate waiting time when users book a ride. The waiting time in hospitals is also incredibly long, with 15% of hospital attendees having said to have waited for four hours before the doctor surveyed them. Waiting time is indirectly related to customer experience, so the longer you have to wait. The less you would like to return to that place when you are looking to buy something the next time. Long wait and hold times also have negative consequences. It will mean a decrease in sales, an increase in service issues and more customers are ready to jump ship and go to another provider.
Wait times not only increase the frustration levels in customers but also has a relation with the spending habits of their customers. According to a study, each extra second spent in waiting reduces the amount that the customer is willing to spend on your product. So to avoid asking your customers to wait for a long time which will ultimately come to hurt you, here are some of the things that you can try to reduce such issues.
Locate the chokepoint
In many industries, waiting time usually depends upon a specific function due to which the whole process is delayed. Such chokepoints exist in nearly all the industries and to improve your process, it is necessary to address them. If you have come across the book “The Goal” written by Eliyahu Goldratt, you may know that the author mentions his theory of constraints where he stresses that the limitations of a system are usually dependent upon a small number of constraints. You should try to find those constraints, which are slowing down your entire system. So that you can make strategies on improving their performance and ultimately improve your customer experience by reducing their waiting time.
Make sure that your visitors can easily access information
A common trend found in large organizations where services are provided is that customers do not know where they can find the correct person to address their problem. It was found in many hospitals that patients could not find the right department from where they could get their checkups due to the poor quality of navigation and uncooperative staff who could not guide them. Such problems can be easily avoided by careful management as the staff can easily guide people to the correct department, which will significantly reduce the waiting time. Another issue that particularly occurs in hospitals is that there are a huge number of formalities that you have to fulfill every time you visit the doctor, which also plays a role in increasing the waiting time. Making such processes simple would benefit both sides.
Focus on providing self-service to your customers
Another way to reduce the waiting time for your customers is by simply reducing the need for them to visit you. Although you may feel that it will be a loss in revenue, in reality, many people like to be independent when addressing many aspects of their life. Instead of asking your customers to spend hours waiting to address trivial stuff with you, you can solve their issues through a live chat or a video call which will be a win-win situation for both you and your customer. You do not have to worry since the customer will probably visit you in case of an emergency and maintain the customer loyalty that you crave.
Focus on meeting customer expectations
Every successful business requires a loyal customer base which will only purchase their product or services. Building a strong customer base is by consistently meeting the expectations of your customers. What many companies fail to realize is that the waiting time not only depends upon the actual time but also on the situation. Many people will have no issue in waiting for half an hour while they are at a hospital but will be upset if they have to wait that long at a restaurant. You should manage your customer’s expectations depending upon the industry that you are in. Many factors depend upon managing the expectations of your customers, such as your customer expectations and your performance. If you heavily market your products, but they are not available in the stores, it would give a bad impression about your brand, so make sure that all of your departments are on the same page. However, if you are one of the top specialists in your field, then people would not mind waiting to hear your suggestion if they want to listen to your advice.
Improve your staffing
A common issue which results in waiting time to be increased is that there is a shortage in the number of staff. After you have made the necessary changes in improving the systems of your business, you should focus on hiring the relevant staff that can run those systems efficiently. You need to have the right person at the right job if you want to improve your efficiency while simultaneously training your inexperienced workers so that they could enhance their skills. I am sure that you would have gone to a restaurant and found out that the number of waiters was low, which increased the amount of time you spent at the place. You should make the necessary changes by having the highest number of your staff available during your peak times so that you can cater to the maximum number of your customers. Focus on staff satisfaction. Introduce different methods to enaage the staff member and increase their motivation. It helps in improving the performance of the staff.
To summarize, although having a higher number of customers is a positive sign, they should also do their part when serving their customers. Managing customer expectations is probably the biggest hurdle for companies if they want to maintain a loyal base and keep on increasing their revenue. One of the ways to improve customer experience is by improving your response time so that customers do not have to wait for an hour before you provide service to them as they may become demoralized and go somewhere else.