Cut Perceived Wait Time Using Interactive Technology

We all hate to wait. It doesn’t matter if it’s at the dentist’s office or while sitting in your favorite restaurant waiting for your meal to arrive. When you have a high-pressure conference call after your appointment or skipped lunch and can smell everyone else’s meals as they pass your table, 5 minutes can feel like an eternity.

In each of these scenarios, perceived wait time is far more important than actual wait time.  In reality, people overestimate actual wait times by as much as 36 percent. Perceived wait time directly affects customer engagement and feedback. It must be managed in every customer interaction. Here are four strategies to help you cut your customer’s perceived wait time using interactive technology.

Manage customer-employee interactions.

Some stores manage customer interactions by employing a service leader who can help keep the flow of customers moving in the right direction. Having a team member that can ensure customers avoid waiting in the wrong line or distract the cashier with questions (which holds up the line to check out) can keep the traffic orderly and ultimately keep customers happy. This is especially needed at high traffic times like the before work hours.

Provide estimated wait times.

Knowing accurate wait times helps customers feel the wait is shorter than if they do not know wait times. By providing estimated wait times, you are proactively managing customers’ expectations. Customers can be further appeased by being updated with current wait times. Digital signage can be used to keep customers informed and are easy to change.

Give customers something to do in line.

When a person is distracted from their frustration, they are less likely to remain frustrated or anxious. That applies to perceived wait times. When a customer in line is otherwise engaged in activity, like watching televisions or interacting with a touchscreen kiosk, they are less likely to perceive their wait as long. Think of offering an industry-related trivia game or ask questions about what their favorite product feature is.

Be personable.

Be friendly, accurate during transactions, sympathetic, and thankful for business. It should be simple – treat your customer as you would hope to be treated at a similar business. This can happen at every stage of your customers’ wait. Whether they are waiting in line and need reassurance that they have not been forgotten, or when they reach the sales counter. Happy customers are less likely to care about perceived wait times.

If you’re ready to slash perceived wait times for your customers, Abierto Networks can create any type of content imaginable for stationary or mobile kiosks to help provide an engaging consumer experience. Whether the goal of these kiosks is to distract, educate about an upcoming product or promotion, or to prep your customers for their ultimate transaction, interactive kiosks give your business a robust and flexible way to engage with your customers while cutting perceived wait time.

Queue management is not always easy, but it is important. Even small changes to your queue can make a huge difference in how your customers feel about waiting to purchase your products. Learn what else Abierto Networks can do for your business at: