Are Your Waiting Lines Killing Your Net Promoter Score?

October 29, 2013Perry Kuklin

Many businesses hold onto their Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a clear measure of the satisfaction of their most valuable customers. It’s wise to give this score its due, as NPS has been linked to the overall financial success of a business in relation to their competitors. If you’re serious about your NPS, you should know that wait times are one of the biggest determinants of customer satisfaction when it comes to the actual experience of dealing with a business. How likely would your customers be to recommend your company, product, or service to a family member, friend, or colleague? Your business may excel in many areas, but a negative queue experience can taint a customer’s view of your entire business and their experience within it. 

How Promoters and Detractors Affect Your Net Promoter Score

The NPS leader in an industry or market tends to outgrow its competitors by more than 2.5 to 1. You want people to be loyal to your brand, tout its worth to others, and build your business – these “promoters,” as they’re called, can do your enterprise a great service. Detractors, on the other hand, really dislike doing business with you and would certainly opt to do business elsewhere if presented with that choice. And they’re not afraid to tell others how awful your service is. A business’s NPS score is a simple – but impactful – way to measure customer satisfaction and, therefore, manage it.

Why Waiting Lines Affect NPS

Customers in line

A waiting line is a major element of customer satisfaction: It is either the last encounter a customer has with a business, or standing in a queue makes up the majority of their time spent at said business. Whatever the situation, the queue must be endured and cannot be ignored. And customers are quite aware of the difference between a good queue and a bad one. The queue is a golden opportunity to solidify a customer’s satisfaction. A queue management system, like electronic queuing, accompanied by in-line merchandising, can make the actual and perceived waiting times in a queue move more quickly. Virtual queuing can eliminate the line altogether. Addressing your queue with smart management is good for the bottom line, but it can also endear your customers to your brand and business, turning them into promoters who are more likely to forgive one bad experience, recommend you to others, and come back again in the future. The point is, no business can afford to neglect this key aspect of customer satisfaction. If you do, your NPS is likely to suffer.

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