As a business owner, your main goal should be to retain customers and gain new ones. While it may not seem like a big deal to lose one customer in the scheme of things, that one customer can quickly snowball into many customers if you don’t get the situation under control. That means finding out what the root of the problem is and doing your best to correct it to avoid future occurrences. Making sure every customer is satisfied is key to becoming a successful and profitable business. Long lines and their subsequent effects can often be a huge deterrent for customers, but there are ways for you to conquer this hurdle.
1) The Mere Sight of A Long Line
Many types of businesses incur long lines on a daily or seasonal basis. It’s easy to recall a time when you, as a customer, were faced with a line at a restaurant that wrapped around the building, a DMV line that had you waiting just to take a number, or a line at an event that simply made you give up and move on. You figure there are other restaurants, event activities, or DMV locations with shorter lines. With dozens of customers simply walking away, it’s time to consider a better option than the ‘take-a-number’ systems. Using a queue management app that works with your customers’ cell phones is a new and modern technology that will disperse your lines and let your customers wait wherever they want to.
2) Congested Waiting Areas
When you imagine a congested waiting room, you may think about doctor’s offices filled with potentially contagious patients, college admissions and advisory offices clogged with impatient students, and government offices packed with people. Nobody likes to be jammed into a room full to the brim with other people. It can easily cause walk-outs and no-shows. With a better appointment scheduling system that gives real time alerts straight to mobile devices when there are delays or when the customer’s appointment is about to be serviced, customers would no longer need to be trapped in the waiting room together.
3) A Bad Customer Experience
Let’s face it, nobody enjoys waiting or standing in a line. Theme parks are a great example of this. If you’re a theme park enthusiast, you know there are three types of parks. Small town parks that have old school rides and short lines, average theme parks with upscale rides and long lines, and destination parks use VIP systems to virtually join ride lines. After visiting each type of park, you definitely had the worst experience at the average park with hour-long lines for each ride. So you avoid that park and choose between the small town and destination parks. As long as you have the power to spend your time as you see fit, you’re having a good customer experience and will return in the future.
4) Poor Customer Service
When customers are forced to wait for long periods of time, dissatisfaction, agitation, and even anger begin to take hold. Some people are better at controlling their emotions than others, but you will inevitably get customers who take their frustrations out on the employees. When employees receive daily exposure to this abuse, it can cause even the best workers to become sour, rude, and short with customers, making them avoid the business altogether. The root of the problem is the wait time. Using a modern queue management solution can let customers make good use of their wait time by visiting local retail stores and restaurants, or running errands.
5) Negative Customer Reviews
A business’s reputation is like glass. Once damaged, it’s extremely difficult to repair. Today’s customers love to research reviews before buying a product or receiving a service from a business. They know the importance of sharing their experiences with others. Years ago, a negative word-of-mouth review may have only reached so far in a community, but today, online reviews can reach people nationwide. Combine all of the above reasons that long lines hurt a business and you have a recipe for bad online reviews that can cause you to lose customers and scare away new ones before they ever step foot in your place of business. Getting with the times and implementing a modern queue system or easy appointment scheduler can help customers see your business as cutting edge.
6) Antiquated Experiences
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit a restaurant, urgent care clinic, college, retail setting, or other business that uses new queue management technology, you already know how satisfying it is and how it trumps the old ways of standing in line to wait. Customers love to see new technology and tools being used that make their experience better and that’s something that many businesses can get behind. Instead of using outdated experiences that customers see in every other small business, consider something new and exciting for your customers!
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance, law, and investing.