Attracting queues of customers is generally a sign of success. However, if queues start to get too long, you could find that some customers start to get disgruntled and this could lead to a negative customer experience.
You may even lose out on customers who don’t want to bother waiting in the queue. On top of this, long queues are generally daunting and tiring for you and your employees. Consequently, it’s worth finding ways to reduce queues. Below are just a few tips for tackling those long queues.
Get more staff at peak times
If you’re a brand new business, you may still be working out when your most busy periods are. However, if you’ve been open for a while, you should be able to work out when peak times are and when it’s worth getting in more staff to serve more customers at a time.
Certain times of the day, certain days of the week and certain months of the year are likely to be more busy – by using sales analytics, you can work out the busy times and you can make sure that there are enough staff in.
Upgrade your POS technology
It’s worth also considering your POS technology. Ideally you want a fast and easy to use POS system that will speed up the rate at which you make transactions. If you’ve only got one POS terminal, it could be worth setting up an extra one to help serve more customers at a time.
These could be fixed terminals or mobile terminals that you can take around the store. Also consider your POS system layout and whether certain buttons could be rearranged (it’s worth having shortcuts to popular items on the home screen rather than having to select subcategories within categories).
Create separate stations for time-consuming tasks
For complaints, returns and general enquiries, it could be worth setting up a separate ‘help’ desk – providing you have the staff to man this extra desk. This could help to prevent queues being held up by time-consuming customers.
Consider a virtual queuing system
Virtual queuing systems usually involve giving customers a number and asking them to wait until their number is called. This could be given to customers via a ticket or even a mobile ticket on an app (you could even ask for their number and text them). Customers can then browse around the store or even go to another store to occupy themselves until their number is called. This doesn’t work in all settings – it tends to work best with slow-moving queues.
Entertain people while in the cue
Another strategy for dealing with long queues is not to reduce them but to make them less boring for those that are waiting in them. This can prevent customers from getting annoyed. A few common strategies involve playing music in the store, adding digital display boards with adverts on or getting staff to hand out tasters or freebies to customers in the queue.