Effective Strategies To Reduce Customer Queue Time

July 4, 2016 3:53 pm0 commentsViews: 42

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One of the worst parts of the retail shopping experience, for consumers and store staff, is customer queues.

For consumers, it’s a dull, uninteresting wait until you can begin to carry on with your day. For staff, it’s that feeling of every single customer in that queue analyzing their every move – not a nice feeling.

But in this day and age, there’s no excuse for simply letting it slide. By slashing queues, you improve the customer experience and improve your business by a significant margin. So without further ado, here are a couple of effective strategies for doing just that!

Break up the transaction

If your customers are just waiting around doing absolutely nothing, it’ll get on their nerves. You have to make them feel like they’re making some sort of progress, no matter how minimal. If you break up the transaction into separate stages, you can at least make sure they complete one thing before moving to the next.

And what does this mean? Well, a traditional store transaction goes a little something like this:

  • Customer chooses an item.
  • Customer brings the item to a till and queues.
  • Customer pays, and leaves.

But instead of this system, try and mix things up a bit:

  • Customer queues to pay and choose an item at once.
  • Customer waits for you to bring them the item.
  • Customer leaves, much more satisfied!

Or, you can have the customer choose the item from a magazine or catalogue beforehand. This system creates a sense of progression, and puts the power in their hand, rather than them being at your mercy.

Ditch the cash and go digital

Obviously you’ll still need cash, but if that’s your only payment method? Change that quickly. Using a digital sale point like a POS system can make transactions like returns and split payments effortless.

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By relying less on cash, you reduce those instances where the customer is frantically searching for change, which holds up queues. Additionally, payment methods like contactless take no time at all, which is about as quick as you can get!

Open more sales points and recruit more staff

Or, perhaps you simply need to invest in more sales points and more people on your shop floor. The more bodies you have available, the more transactions you can complete per hour.

Obviously, you’ll need to balance the wages you’re paying your staff with the amount of profit you make per day. But, if you can afford to have one more body present, it can create a much more relaxed, streamlined atmosphere.

Self-service

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Self-service checkouts are one of the most common advances made in the retail sector, and with good reason. Pretty much everyone on Earth has used one and is aware of how easy they make the shopping process.

There are arguably zero queues when you implement this system, particularly if customers only have one or two items. Much like a digital POS, a self-service checkout allows for many payment methods and is much more flexible than a standard cash system.

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