When customers are coming to the supermarket, they know that they will have to wait in long queues to reach the checkout and they are certainly not going to enjoy it. Irrespective of the different queue methods you use, the queueing time plays a main role in shaping and influencing what customers think of your servic
If you want to keep your customers happy and make sure their waiting time in the queue is reduced to a bare minimum, read along the tips shared below:
1. Make a staff member approach customers early in the queue
If customers are able to get an idea of the time they are to wait to get cleared by a member of the staff before they reach checkout, it will cut down the perceived time that the customers have in mind. Also, if there is a particular problem that is causing delay, the staff member can approach the queue and give an explanation about the reason causing customers to wait.
2. Do a walk around
Sometimes it is better to take matters into your own hand. Instead of making a staff member incharge of the customers, you can go ahead and assist them yourself. The customers who are frustrated with waiting for a long time will feel reassured that there is a senior staff member around them and there will be less delay. While you are walking around, you can go ahead and interact with the customers by answering questions queries they may have. Be gentle and calm as you will have to handle angry customers.
3. Give an estimate to customers of their waiting time
For the customers, the waiting process is very draining as they are holding their loaded hand baskets or pushing across heavy trolleys. If customers are provided with an estimated time they have to wait for, they will feel a bit at ease. You can put up electronic counters that will display an approximate time for a customer’s checkout. Knowing this count will make other customers a bit more relaxed.
4. Ensure the queues are a single file
A lot of times fights happen over who was first in the queue. One of the things that gets a queue to get going and move fast is a single file. If the queue is in order and well managed, then the chances of a delay or waiting time is less. Also, knowing where a queue starts will eliminate confusion, so make sure you have kept partitions at certain points in your supermarket that separates queues from getting mixed and creating a confusion.
5. Ensure that staff members are on the shop floor to assist customers
It becomes very frustrating for a customer to find a staff member or wait in a queue for a long period, only to get a query solved. By making sure that there is a staff member in each and every corner, you can reduce the inconvenience of customers and save them from getting irritated. Also, by making sure there are enough staff members you will contribute to a customer’s smooth shopping experience.
6. Keep a source of entertainment for the waiting customers
Let’s be honest; nobody likes to wait to get their job done. In your scenario, customers will like to check out from counters as fast as possible. So, to make sure their waiting time is well spent, you can install some monitors that will keep them entertained. You can play reruns of famous TV shows or cartoons that will not only keep your customers happy but also their kids.
And while you are at it, put up some of your eye-catching merchandise in shelves or colourful food grade containers. This will keep a customer busy as they browse through the merchandise. Make sure that these items are located at a proper place so that the customers in the queue get enough time to look at it.
7. Use multiple cash drawers
There are few retail establishments that use single cash drawers to this date just for security reasons. We get it, if you feel safe with them then by all means, you can go ahead and continue using them. But, seeing that your checkout staff are fighting with each other over who has the right to withdraw money first reduces a customer’s confidence and extends their waiting time.
To make sure that your customers don’t have to wait for a long time, hire extra checkout employees and give them each an advanced cash drawer so the shopping experience for each customer is better than just satisfactory.
We hope the tips help you reduce your customers’ waiting time in queues.