How to optimise customer queues
How to optimise customer queues
A few years ago, Houston had a problem. Houston airport that is. Their customers were irate about the waiting times in baggage collection.
After many hundreds of strongly worded emails and letters, Houston airport decided enough was enough and hired more staff. Reduced waiting times elated the Management. The injection of staff had, in fact, reduced waiting times below the industry standard.
So why, then, did the complaints keep flooding in? The answer is remarkably simple: people hate Qs.
Optimising Q’s, therefore, is essential, irrespective of your industry.
All businesses are concerned - at least to some degree - with customer service. Admittedly, some care more than others. However, it is now clear that quality of service is not enough. Yes, serve me with a smile, but also, SERVE ME QUICKLY!
Millenials, in particular, are conditioned for speed. They’re used to getting what they want when they want it. We’re all guilty of the ubiquitous self-assurance that we shouldn't have to wait in line. They’re also willing to pay a premium for a quick delivery. Think about it like this, if customers are willing to pay more for next day delivery, then they’ll also believe that they're getting a good deal when waiting times are minimal. Speed is associated with increased value, in the mind of the customer. Q busting, therefore, is a value added advantage for which the customers are willing to pay a premium.
‘Fast is good. Instant is even better’.
Make sure you pay acute attention to your competitors Qs. If they’re serving a similar product quicker than yours, your customers, voting with their feet, will surely buy from them.
However, sometimes Qs are unavoidable. If your products are selling like hotcakes, then sometimes, just sometimes, Qs are an inevitability. Impeccable service, a sincere apology, or perhaps some form of compensation will go far in satisfying your customer. In this way, a Q represents an opportunity.
So How exactly do we reduce the amount of time your customers spends queueing?
One way, is making sure, technology is helping you move forward and dragging you backwards. Make sure your EPoS system is a quick, intuitive and smart. You’ll be amazed at the amount of time you can save by reorganising your POS display making sure each product belongs to it’s right category and your best sellers are always only one click away.
Just eliminate the Q altogether.
In some cases, the best way to bust a Q is to eliminate it altogether. Some lines are redundant, depending on the type of business of course. Some Retailers are already using a mobile POS solution enabling them to serve the bill right by the fitting room. This of course requires a Mobile point of sale solution, such as an iPad EPoS system. Think about it, why have a line if you don’t actually need it? Have your cashiers walk around the store, help customers, recommend items and have them billing customers at any point in store., simply brilliant.
Create a self service cashier (or twenty of them)
While the basic notion is that most people prefer to be served, this is not always the case. As most, this is primarily a cost vs. reward issue. Creating a self service line, comes at an extremely low cost. basically, the entire costs can be attributed to the square footage and the one time cost of the Point of Sale - as no salaries are being paid, since no one needs to actually man these stations and there is no cashier. As a store owner, this means that you can create multiple lines at an extremely low cost, and your customers will thank you for it! (even if they have to serve themselves)