Your customer service experience can be the make or break in turning a first time guest into a loyal customer. Unfortunately, according to a NewVoiceMedia study, U.S. companies lose $41-billion worth of business each year due to poor service. The same study reveals almost half of consumers report taking their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service.
Clearly, it’s important to get customer service right. Commonly cited reasons for customer dissatisfaction include feeling unappreciated, feeling put off by rude or unhelpful staff, and being kept waiting.
Your queuing strategy can play a key role in delivering an optimal customer service experience. Let’s look at 3 key ways to make it happen:
Time and time again, research points to the correlation between queue wait times and customer satisfaction. As wait times go down, customer satisfaction goes up, and vice versa. Faster lines are indicative of a productive, well-staffed business and send the message that you respect your customers’ time.
Recognizing this, you can work to make the wait in line shorter, or at least make it feel shorter. The latter – making the wait feel shorter – touches on perceived wait time and its role in the waiting experience. It turns out that there are certain tricks to making the wait feel shorter. For one, you can occupy customers as they wait in line, whether it’s at checkout or waiting for support or service. In-queue merchandising, for example, can prevent boredom and also boost your sales.
Managing perceived wait time is certainly a powerful way to drive satisfaction, but what about the actual wait time? Solutions to drive down the actual time spent in line are a good investment, given that all things considered, a shorter wait is better. Seek queue optimization solutions that drive customer throughput. Call forward electronic queuing is one such example, enabling your staff to easily hail the next customer in line with less lag time between services.
Avoid leaving your customers wondering about how long they’ll be waiting to reach the next step in your customer service journey. For example, perhaps a customer enters a support store requiring assistance with fixing their laptop. The next support agent will be free in about twenty minutes, which is a long wait, and will feel even longer wait when the customer doesn’t know what to expect.
One way to address this is with digital signage to communicate approximate service waits. Alternatively, with virtual queuing, a customer can digitally enroll for a queue (such as for the next support agent), and receive an estimated wait time as well as updates to their wait. By adding transparency to your wait times, it is much easier to meet the customer’s service expectations. And it’s shown that known wait times feel shorter than unknown.
Think queue analytics. Monitoring data such as foot traffic in and around your queues can help you accurately measure and predict wait times and allocate staff accordingly. Take this further by programming wait time thresholds and setting real-time alerts to inform managers when your queue is at risk of going over those limits. This degree of insight can help take your service to the next level as you can react to the negative effects of long waits early on, whether by serving customers in line with mobile point of sale machines, providing them with refreshments while they wait, or quickly adding more staff.
When it comes to service, don’t skimp. Instead, impress your customers with a thoughtful service design that anticipates and addresses their needs. Curious for more solutions to improve your customer service with queue management? Learn more here.