Queue Management

queue length

How Long Queues Hurt Your Bottom Line More than Wait Times

There’s a huge misconception in the retail industry. Many retailers place more emphasis on lowering the wait times for customers standing in a queue. In actuality, it’s the length of the queue that matters more.

The queue wait time is how long a person is standing in line. The queue length is how many people are in line ahead of the customer. The difference is slight but important.

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queue management book

Queue Management Book for Modern Retailers [Free]

queue management for modern retailers

Both research and experience suggest that a customer’s evaluation of the quality of service strongly depends on the time spent waiting in line. The more your customers have to wait for service at your store, the lower the perceived quality of service.

It’s agonizing for customers to wait in line. In today’s world of instant gratification, people want and expect their needs to be handled quickly and efficiently. Customers that are forced to wait for a few minutes before receiving service feel as if they’re being tortured

Research also shows that when it comes to customer’s experiences of waiting in line, retail stores fare very poorly. A recent poll showed that of 10 everyday waiting experiences, customers found checking out at a retail store the 2nd most frustrating wait – behind only the wait at the DMV, according to NCR Corp.

Queue management is an essential part of any brick & mortar retail operation.

Queue Management team training

How to Get Your Team On Board With Queue Management

Let’s face it. When your queues are unmanaged and out of control, your customers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain. Your employees have to bear the brunt of long lines and frustrated buyers for hours on end. Not only does this make their jobs harder, but it also lowers customer service levels and the potential for future sales.

When scanning the purchase at the register, 61% of customers agree that the staff focuses more on scanning items and less on customer satisfaction, according to a recent study by Harris Poll for Digimarc. 30% of respondents said they felt more like a burden to the clerk when they walked up to the cash register with a large cart.

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queue management plan

How to Incorporate Technology Into Your Queue Management Plan

Take a look around. No matter whether you’re in a coffee shop or clothing store, people are using technology to stay connected. It’s proliferated our personal lives. Has your retail store kept up, or are you operating in the dark ages?

If your store isn’t using the type of technology you should be, you could be missing out on some big time sales.

Technology streamlines the shopping process. From trying on clothes to making a purchase, technology is used to not only ease, but also encourage the transaction. It takes a load off your employee’s shoulders and brings your business into the modern consumer’s world.

Here are three types of technology you might want to incorporate in your store to make your queues run smoother and move faster.

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Top 3 Risks of Failing to Invest in Queue Management

In your store, it’s your customer against the line. When your buyer walks in, the first thing she notices is how long she’s going to have to wait for a fitting room or to check out. If you’re plagued with long queues, you’re losing sales.

The sales are not a temporary sales loss either. Long queues have a long-term impact.

Letting lengthy queues perpetuate in your stores can do serious damage to your brand.

  • Your customers will continually think of your store as providing poor customer service;
  • Your associates will feel stressed, causing them to act more rushed and provide a poorer level of customer service;
  • You will have a higher abandonment or walk off rate;
  • Your brand perception in the market will take a blow;
  • You’ll have fewer loyal customers;
  • Your word-of-mouth marketing will suffer.

When you ignore your long queues and hope they’ll disappear on their own (they won’t) you face 3 major queue management risks.

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Retailers: Learn From the Houston Airport How to Lower Wait Times

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “perception is reality.” When it comes to wait times, no truer words have ever been spoken. One organization that knows this is the Houston International Airport. For years, the airport received complaints from travelers about the long wait times. After their flight, they hated having to stand around waiting for their luggage. The airport hired more personnel and improved their wait times, but the complaints kept coming in. No matter what the airport did, travelers hated waiting for their luggage to arrive after a long travel day. Over 85% of their time in the airport was spent at the carousels waiting for their luggage to arrive. Read More »Retailers: Learn From the Houston Airport How to Lower Wait Times