No one likes queuing. Whether it’s on the commute to work, at the bank or when you’re in line for the cash register, queuing is one of those things that we all need to do but which no one enjoys.
For small businesses, queues can be problematic. They can make people frustrated and angered. They can put people off wanting to shop with you if they know they’re going to have to spend ten minutes waiting to be served. They can give a generally poor impression of your business, as they can suggest you aren’t doing your utmost to satisfy your customers.
Rightly or wrongly, this is very often the case and it’s therefore imperative that you do as much as much as you can to deal with queues in your small business’s store, so to ensure they have as little negative impact on your business as possible.
Make queues interesting
And one of the easiest ways to do this is to make the queue system interesting.
OK, so it’s going to be almost impossible to make people want to queue, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting and enjoyable. Your customers need to go through the process, so why not try to take their minds off it?
For instance, some of the least frustrating queues are the ones where you can view products along the way. A fantastic way to increase the amount of money each customer spends, as while they’re queuing you have their attention and can further sell to them, it gives the customer something to do.
Picking up a product and looking at it might only take 30 seconds, but if the customer does that three times, that’s one minute 30 seconds – and one minute 30 seconds is a long time when you’re queuing.
Ensure the customer can see the light at the end the tunnel
Although we don’t like queuing, we know we have to do it, so we tolerate it. The problem is that our toleration levels soon decrease if we don’t know how long we’re queuing for – and it’s because of this why it’s important your customers can understand when they’re going to be served.
You don’t have to give specific time scales, but by letting your customers see the end of the queue, they’ll be able to guesstimate how long it will take them to get to the front of it.
It might seem like a small point, but we’ve all been in a queue and counted how many people are in front of us. Yes, it gives us something to do while we wait, but it also (even if only subconsciously) allows us to work out roughly when we’re going to be seen.
No customers enjoys being in a queue and for a small business, this can prove to have a huge negative impact if you don’t understand how you can limit the problems.
You will know your audience best and what you need to do to satisfy them, but as long as you take the time to reduce queuing’s boredom factor and ensure customers can get at least a basic idea of how long they’re going to be waiting, you should be able to greatly reduce how frustrated they become when they’re standing in line.