How to Create Customer Delight with a Virtual Queue
It’s a simple fact that happy customers will stick around longer than unhappy ones. What’s not so simple is cracking the code of happiness. How can you make your customers happy? Is happiness enough or should we strive to go so far as to “delight” them?
Marketing software provider, HubSpot, offers this definition of Customer Delight:
“Customer delight is exceeding a customer’s expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand. By going above and beyond to create a memorable customer experience with things like discounts, gifts, promotion, or spontaneous outreach to your customers, you can foster an emotional connection and sense of good-will that will make them more likely to be loyal to your brand long-term.”
In today’s competitive world, customers have almost-endless options and choices of where to take their business. If yours fails to delight, they can easily walk down the street, re-route their plans, or press a few buttons to take their business elsewhere. And losing that customer will cost you big time. According to some estimates, it costs 6-7x more to attract a new customer than it does to keep that customer.
One proven factor that impacts customer satisfaction is the physical waiting line. According to a TimeTrade survey of business customers, the average person is not willing to wait more than 10 minutes for service. Other research shows nearly half of all customers will actively avoid a retailer or brand in the future if their wait time exceeded five minutes. If a waiting line appears too long, or a customer’s wait-time threshold has been met, many customers will simply choose to leave rather than endure the wait.
Waiting in line is generally considered a “necessary evil,” but does it have to be? Is there a chance to create customer joy in your waiting lines?
We think so. One way is by trading in your physical waiting line for a virtual one. Virtual queuing systems leverage technology to help manage customer flow and optimize service delivery. And they improve the customer experience by allowing customers to wait where and how they want.
This queuing approach can help create customer delight in the following ways:
- Diffuses waiting crowds – A virtual queue can help avoid the unsightly appearance of a crowded line as it allows customers to continue shopping, run nearby errands, or wait in a more comfortable setting.
- Creates a more pleasant waiting environment – With a virtual queue, you can arrange a waiting area that is not limited by the need to keep people in a physical line.
- Frees customers to shop while they wait – Allow your customers to be more productive with their limited time as they can continue to shop while they wait for service or assistance.
- Decreases perceived wait times – Since customers are free from the physical waiting line and able to stay busy or at least relaxed, their wait time can feel shorter than it would otherwise.
- Allows customers to arrive for service when you are ready to serve them – With a virtual queue you can arrange for customers to check into the waiting line—either remotely or on the spot—and then be notified or scheduled to arrive back when it’s their turn to be served.
- Matches customers to service personnel who are most qualified to serve their specific needs – By collecting information when customers are added to a service queue, virtual queuing systems can report on a customer’s needs prior to service, and inform service agents so they can be prepared to meet the customer’s needs ahead of time.
If customer delight is your aim, you’ll need to have all of your bases covered. The waiting is just one, but as it turns out, it’s an important one. Is a virtual queue right for your business and your customers?