Trying to find sense to the queues

This week has been San Jordi and in Barcelona the celebration of “the day of the book” brought together many people with the intention of buying roses and books to give away, and at the same time to meet many writers. It caught my attention to see that in front of the booths of some writers there were hardly any people to sign a book and, instead, in front of others there were long queues. The reason was clear, the long lines were in front of the most popular authors currently .The waiting time for these queues was more than one hour; but people endured them because the weather was good, the atmosphere was pleasant and they were distracted by seeing what was going on around them.

For me queuing is an ordeal because I consider it a waste of time. But queuing is part of our daily life. For this reason I consider that the management that a company makes its queues is an important factor to determine the satisfaction that the client has of that company. It’s about winning customers, not losing them. The changes in the structure of the queues that allow the customer to perceive that time passes faster, will undoubtedly favor a company to obtain more customers. With the implementation of basic and elementary actions, the queues can be reduced.

An elementary action consists in the placement of counters that must be strategic and proportional to the type of trade and the service it offers. Another key that speeds up the waiting time is to organize the queue in a single row where customers are placed in order of arrival to it and when the turn comes they will go to the box that is available (this system gives the user the feeling of which the tail progresses quickly). It is also interesting to implement a shift management system based on the service that is to be received and which causes employees to be more operational. It is also interesting to use devices to keep customers informed of the waiting time or divide it into different phases that keep them entertained. Another action that works in many places is the previous appointment, which allows distributing the waiting times. But there is no doubt that distractions are keys while queuing up. In order to do this, establishing an online merchandising along the queue, is the most effective way to distract the customer, while increasing sales: shelves with products labeled in large numbers, video screens … The waiting lines will be places of information and entertainment for customers.

As we have just seen, the process can be streamline, reduce times and costs, and increase profits. As the saying goes “time is money” because it is an increasingly valuable resource. Hence the need to effectively manage the queuing and waiting system.

I’m sure many of you will feel identified with this video.

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