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.
Does Customer Service Really Matter?
Sure you know it’s important, but how much does customer service affect your bottom line? Turns out, more than you might think.
Customers giving stores a perfect ranking in terms of service are six times more likely to buy again, according to Telefaction Data Research. That’s a percentage too big to ignore.
To keep your employees happier behind the counter while still managing queues effectively, here are a few solutions.
Team Training on Queue Management
Customer service is a teachable skill. Many times, employees don’t realize they’re looking down too much. Instead, even with the best of intentions, they’re more focused on getting the line down quickly instead of the customer in front of them.
Offering a variety of training is a way to refocus your employee’s energy. Here’s 2 to start with:
- Customer service training will help your employees embrace the people in front of them, Instead of making a customer feel like a burden.
- Technology training will help your team interact more seamlessly with your store’s equipment, making them more efficient and less overwhelmed at work.
Treat Your Employees Well
Perhaps one of the stores with the longest lines and biggest buys is Costco. Customers are always standing in line waiting to get through the checkout. Yet, the employees seem to always be happy, efficient, and helpful. This is because Costco makes working there enjoyable.
When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors. Costco’s CEO Jim Sinegal
Sinegal’s emphasis on keeping his team happy is working. Costco’s per-employee sales are higher than those of their competitors, including Target and Walmart.
Your employees matter to your customers and to your revenues. Keep them happy and you’ll see the payoff.
Related Post: How to Balance Employee and Customer Satisfaction
Offer Incentives to Your Employees
Customer service is relatively intangible. As a manager, it’s hard to measure when you’re not around.
Incentivizing your employees to do their job well is a great way to ensure they’re working hard, even when you’re not there to see the results. For example, you can hold your employees responsible for generating more sales. The more sales made while they’re at work, the bigger the bonus they’ll get. Hold contests and award shifts with prizes. Turn it into a game everyone will enjoy.
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Customer service isn’t an option – it’s mandatory. While it is an important piece of the puzzle, it’s only part of a queue management strategy. Learn more about the importance of managing your long lines in our e-book “What is Your Queue Costing You? Queue Management for Modern Retailers” . When you’re done reading it, share it with your employees so they can also see why managing long lines effectively is so vital.