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queue management

How to Reduce Customer Waits with Properly Trained Employees

Nobody likes to stand in line, be stuck on hold, or have to sit in a waiting room, but it’s a necessary part of life in almost every business. If you own a business, you should be trying to reduce wait times at all costs, because customers that don’t have to wait are typically much more satisfied with their experience and will be more likely to come back in the future. There are a lot of ways that you can reduce wait times (or at least the perception of a long wait), but few are more important than training your employees properly.

This includes all facets of the wait- you want to train them on how to deal with an unexpectedly long wait, how to reduce the chances of a wait in the first place, how to get customers through a line quickly… the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that if you spend a lot of time training your employees, your customers will spend a lot less time waiting when they visit your business.

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queue management infographic

Queue Management Essentials for Retailers [Infographic]

People hate waiting in line! And long lines aren’t just bad for your customers, they are bad for employee morale too.

It is essential that retailers have a queue management plan that will help them balance queue length and queue wait times with other factors like staffing costs and impulse purchases made while waiting. Queue management is both an art and a science. Check out our infographic below that highlights the most important factors to consider.

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4 Ways to Distract Your Customers From Long Lines

In the apparel retail industry your customers or clients often need to wait for fitting rooms and wait for you to grab their product or complete a transaction. Did you know you could significantly improve your business by distracting them while they wait?

Modern attention spans are shorter than ever, and a wait that may seem short to you may feel excruciatingly long to your customers. If you give them something to do while they wait, though, the time will seemingly fly by, and they won’t notice that they’ve been waiting at all.

Businesses have known the importance of these distractions for a long time- that’s why waiting rooms have magazines, kids get crayons at restaurants, and music plays when you’re on the phone and get put on hold. No matter what your business is, if waiting is part of the transaction, then you need to know how to make waiting in line better for your customers. This article should help you get some ideas.

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How to Study Your Customers Behavior and Change Proactively

We live in an age of impulse buys. In the retail space, it’s not at all uncommon for a customer to walk in with the intention of just browsing, but to end up making a purchase. Shoppers are always grabbing things off the shelf and head to the cash register based on little more than a whim.

An obvious enemy to these types of impulse buys are long lines. The more time that a customer has to think about an impulse decision, the less likely it becomes that they are going to go through with that decision. Furthermore, long or boring lines can make a customer question whether or not a 10 or 15-minute wait is even worth it for the purchase he or she was going to make.

As you can see, queue management is very, very important. However, managing the queues in your store is about more than shortening your lines. Cutting the line at the cash register in half, while an attractive idea, is not always possible—particularly at peak shopping hours.

Plus, even if you could shorten your lines, would you want to? After all, having a busy, bustling store often leads directly to higher revenues.

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5 Things your customers wish you knew about queue management

5 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Queue Management

If we were to add up the amount of time we spend waiting in line every year, we’d probably be pretty shocked at the final number. It’s best not to think about it too much.

Sometimes, though, the wait is more unpleasant in some places than it is in others. The line to renew your driver’s license is unbearable, and if it weren’t mandatory, you would never set foot in a DMV office again. But the wait for a table at a restaurant, when you’re comfortably seated at the bar with a drink in your hand, isn’t so bad.

Other than the presence of alcohol in the latter scenario, there are a few things that set the two waiting experiences apart, and it has a lot to do with queue management. In fact, there are five things your customers wish you knew about queue management.

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Learn to improve sales with queue management

9 Ways to Improve Sales with Queue Management [Free eBook]

How to improve sales with queue management

Despite popular and traditional beliefs, queue management strategy does not rely primarily on solutions to shorten lines. Instead, it is most successful when your customers feel happy and at ease while waiting for a fitting room or waiting to pay for their purchase.

The length of your queues does play a significant role in your choice of which queue management strategies to employ because the number of people queuing up affects the customer’s perception of your store.

Customers are always making snap judgments about whether or not to buy from you. The longer your queues are around your store, the higher the likelihood that you’ll lose sales due to the perception of long wait times.

Queue management goes a step beyond shortening up these lines to improve your customer’s perception of wait times. It involves giving your customer an experience while buying from you.

In this book, we give you nine highly effective ways to improve your customer’s experience in your store. From implementing modern technology to improving your sales associates experience working for your store, you’ll discover some of the best ways to get your customers buying more. Boost your sales, employee happiness levels, and customer satisfaction with these nine solutions for better queue management.

queue management strategy

3 Ways a Lack of Queue Management Costs You Sales

Do you have a queue management strategy? If not, you could be putting your store in bigger risk than you realize.

Out of the top 10 experiences where people wait, the retail store checkout lines were the second most frustrating only behind having to wait at the hospital, according to NCR Corp.

It’s not the wait time itself that’s so frustrating. It’s the experience of standing in line.

In a robust queue management strategy, your focus is not on reducing the wait time as much as it’s on improving your customer’s experience while standing in a queue. By ignoring the customer’s experience, you’re taking a gamble.

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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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