How to Reduce Customer Waiting Time: 15 Proven Ways

No Business can survive without customers. And it’s important for them to learn how to respect them well. 

Customers have tons of options, either it can be online or offline. But they can switch anytime if they feel like not treated the way they should.

One of the utmost aspects of treating them well includes their time. Your customers don’t have too much time to spend on buying from you. 

According to The Rockefeller Corporation research, around 82% of customers exit the shop if unsatisfied with the services.

ways reduce waiting time in business

It’s important to make sure that you element the points that can consume time for nothing. 

Effective ways to reduce queue waiting times:

Waiting is one of the frustrating things that customers have to face. It takes time but energy too. 

Lots of time, no matter how much you are paying attention to your product, services, etc parts. If your customer has to wait a lot, they will like to exit. 

Also, people are vocal about such things and if bad reviews spread online, this thing can bring your business down. 

According to the White House Office Of Consumer Affair, a customer who is not happy or satisfied with the service will tell at least 9 to 15 people.

Well to control this, here are some useful and effective ways that can reduce the waiting time of your customers. 

1. Use Scan & Go 

There are some techniques you can use for saving time. People hate waiting in line and because of which lots of businesses are introducing POS to their customers. 

Scan & Go like apps are common for grocery stores. People can easily scan the product they wanted to buy and add it to their cart. 

It saves time for both parties and also reduces the extra effort that increases the waiting time. 

Not just groceries, but retail stores like Fashion, health, DIY, etc are ideal to add such methods. 

It reduces the interactions between human to human. And for the buyers, it becomes much hassle-free to not deal with long waiting for doing the final purchase. 

AA barcode makes it easier for the buyers to get the details about what they are buying. They can easily check the information like nutrients, care instructions, ingredients, components, etc. 

2. Honest About The Expected Time 

Lots of time, the customer wants to know how much time it would take. Not always, you can offer the services within little time. 

Businesses make mistakes by not telling their customers the exact time. They try to manage everything without giving the expected time. 

If the expected time is genuinely long, let your customers know about it. Your customer would gladly give you enough time if you ask them, instead of making them wait after the given time ends. 

It’s frustration and the later it will get, the angrier your customer is going to be. 

When you set the time expectation that a certain process will take, then make sure you meet the deadline. 

Pro Tip: Try to make it under time and over-deliver. Give enough time that you can maximum want but try to do within the minimum. It will make them feel like you pushed hard to serve them. 

3. Consider Using Virtual Queues 

Virtual queue machine, you can avoid the situation of long waiting lines. With this, the customer will get their number by securing the place in the queue. Instead of waiting and standing in line, they can move around and look for other things. 

Such machines are mostly used in banks and offices but they are a great opportunity for retail stores too. 

It gives more chances to keep your customers inside the store so they can wander around. It also increases the chances of buying or getting familiar with the brand. 

4. Bring POS System To Your Customers 

POS also is known as Point of Sale, it is considered as the most advanced software solution for retails.

With a POS system, your staff can look for the scanning items, getting information, closing the transactions, accepting payment, and do print the recipient from anywhere. It goes the same for the customers from inside or outside the store. 

POS decreases the chances of getting people into line and waiting for their turn.

advantages of pos system in retail

It can be easily used on mobile devices, smartphones, or tablet computers. With this, you can add more devices when you feel like it. 

Also, it doesn’t require more space or extra work in maintaining or recording. 

5. Invest In Entertainment 

Lots of customers feel more frustrated when they don’t have anything to do between the waiting hours. 

For example, if the customer is waiting for their turn but there is no magazine or anything for passing their time. Not only do they feel uncomfortable but it becomes unbearable as time passes. 

entertaining ideas for waiting customers

The important point that you should consider is understanding the options so the waiting time can be entertaining and bearable. 

Lots of places have a television set, music, newspaper, and magazine sections for their customers. 

If it’s on-call, invest in an automated voice so you can use for marketing your business 

Well make sure you are not overdoing either, Automated voice can be irritating if it’s for too long. You can mix it with music for giving a break. 

6. Maintain A Proper Queuing System 

Having a queuing system that is not helpful will take a much longer time. Also not having a set of rules or system make people in waiting irritated too. 

Make sure you have a queuing system that can help you in moving the line much faster and easier. Also, have the rule of first in first out. 

reasons you need proper queuing system

Be considerate and make expectations when it’s needed. For example, in the situation of pregnant women, someone who is disabled or old age gives extra attention. 

Also, have strict rules against those who keep cutting the lines. It will make your other customer feel angry. 

To avoid such a situation, you can automate the process by choosing a ticket system. 

Use tickets for the turns. Get some comfortable waiting zones where people can wait. Call them when their turns are, so it will not form any queue and you don’t have to deal with an angry customer. 

Pro Tip: When you are dealing with customers, don’t forget to smile and say thank you for waiting. It will help in cooling them and feeling happy too. 

7. Use Of Self Service 

According to research, 40% of customers prefer self-service. 88% say that they would prefer to live chat before calling the number to the company. 

Self-service allows your customer to use their waiting time. You can use self-service, live chat, etc. 

Well with self-service, make sure you are offering the services of the fast. It should be quick and responsive. 

why self service is crucial in retail

Customers don’t like to have any kind of frustration when they are choosing this option. 

Also ensures that you get staff ready to attend to the customers. use the technology to make the process but never replace it with the human touch. 

8. Train & Manage Staff 

Your staff is an important aspect of how much time your customer is going to wait. Remember this, your customer considers your staff as a part of your brand and company. 

Having trained staff who understand the technology and tools in the best way can help you in shorting out lots of issues.

 It’s important for your store to have such people who can manage the situation even if things get out of hand. 

Having reliable staff can solve the issues even before it gets much bigger than that. Also handling angry or frustrated customers should be on the priority list. 

9. Communication With Customers 

Communicating with your customers on time can help you in avoiding lots of situations. 

Sometimes you might not be able to deliver as they want to, but staying quiet about the matter will make them more anxious about it. 

For customers, it’s better to know when they will receive the services or if there is any kind of delay.

Make sure you are not handling the situation insensitivity. In a situation of delay, make sure to apologize and offer something in exchange so you can keep your customers feel satisfied. 

Communication also keeps your work transparent to your customers. 

For example, if your process includes lots of things that can exceed the waiting time, use your website to educate about the process to your customers. 

It will give them an idea about how much they have to wait and they will be well informed as well. 

10. Avoid Using Single Cash Drawers 

Single cash drawers are used in lots of retail stores. The idea is to have security but it can be a reason behind the delay. 

Single cash drawers might be not the ideal choice for the retails. It can increase the waiting time and this will reduce the confidence in your customers too. 

11. Explain When It’s Delaying 

Keeping your customer in dark will make them more frustrated about the situation. 

Imagine yourself in their place, how will you feel when you are wasting your valuable time waiting in line? It’s not something people enjoy and as a business, you should respect the time of your customers. 

When some situation arises when delaying can be possible, make sure to inform your customers about it. 

If you are using an electronic counter, use the displays to add the time left for the queue. It will give your customer an overall idea of how long they have to wait for their turn. 

Pro Tip: For customers who are waiting for a long time without knowing what’s going on, make sure you have the senior staff to attend to them personally. 

You can interact with them and explain situations. Also if they have more queries about something, you can help too. 

12. Understand Your Process First 

One of the reasons why it takes time can be your understanding of running the process effectively, 

There are lots of factors that might be delaying the process. Also focusing on your customers and looking out for the process together are not recommended. You might end up making some major mistakes that will exceed the responding time to customers. 

It’s important to have enough staff in centers and points where you interact most with the customers.  

Well, it depends on how much help you are going to need but makes sure you understand the whole process beforehand. 

Pro Tip: Invest in CRM tools that can help you in understanding more about customer behavior. Also, it will help you in getting more relevant information that will make your services better. 

13. Avoid Overuse Of Security 

Having security tagging can be wise but some stores, especially in supermarkets have overused the techniques. They use it on their high-end cosmetics and sometimes on small items.

why market use security tagging

People might not consider buying it because it will delay the process for them. If the line is already long, people will not add such items as the cashier has to remove everything to final purchase. 

14. Keep The Queue Single File

Having a line which is managed and in order will help you as well as other customers to know who is next. 

It gives psychological relaxation as well. Also for the customers, it will be easier to know where they are in the line. 

You can consider using a single file queue, and also add limits to the people. It will keep the work faster without causing any kind of confusion. 

15. Initiate Conversation 

Conversations can help you in understanding more about your customers. 

You can use it when the customer is waiting for too long. Having a staff member for conversation can help your customer to clear their doubts. 

Also if there is some specific problem, personally attending can help in leaving a good impression. 

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