Queuing strategies to cut perceived wait times

The waiting line experience is a huge factor in determining  a business´s overall customer satisfaction rating.

The key is impacting the way customers feel about waiting in the line. How is it impacted? with distractions…

Below , we have three simple, yet powerful strategies to reduce the perceived wait time of customers in the queue.

Queuing Strategy #1: Provide estimated wait times

Known wait times feel shorter than unknown wait times. You are proactively managing their expectations by providing the customer with an estimated time of how long they will be waiting in line. For instance, theme parks have in line a sign of the time customers will need to wait from the point of the sign until they reach to the point of the ride.

Queuing Strategy #2: Arm your queue with merchandising

Distractions are key. When people´s mind are busy, they will not think that much about how long they will be waiting.

Adding an in-line merchandising system to your queue is perhaps the most effective way to keep waiting customers distracted.Merchandising in the queue is reported not only to reduce perceived wait times, but to increase sales, too.

Increase the usefulness of your in-line merchandising system with the likes of simple price tag signs, larger format signage, and video displays. The waiting line will become a place of information, education, and entertainment to your customers.

Queuing Strategy #3: Get your customers started

Once a transaction starts, the wait is over.

There are several ways to begin a transaction before the customer actually reaches the point of service.

For example, a service business can install an in-line table for people to begin any necessary paperwork before they reach the service agent. Not only will customers be distracted from the wait by their task at hand, but the waiting line itself will run more efficiently by eliminating long amounts of time spent at the service counters.


Queue managements is very, very important. Only small changes in the queue will start making huge difference regarding how customers feel about waiting in line. Again, key is distraction. If the mind is busy, time flies. It is as simple as that.




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