Managing queues-Finite, Explained and Equitable Waits

While waiting is an unpleasant act for majority which can reflect negatively on the entirety of one’s service, it can also be made sufferable if the waits are finite, explained and equitable.

Finite Waits

When a customer enters a line, the thing that he dreads most is having no idea as to how long the wait will be. If, however, he/she is given an indication of the duration of the wait then it makes forever more bearable and leaves a positive impact on the mind of customer regarding the service. To make this possible, queue management system can be used, so that when a customer is generating a ticket when entering the queue, it will also give customer a tentative time as to when his/her turn will come.

Explained waits

If there is an issue and the wait has been extended then the customers should be explained and informed of the reason of the longer wait. Even if there is no delay, the customers should be given an overview as to how long they will have to wait and why the wait is so. For instance at an airport when there is an announcement of delay along with a reason then people are not as agitated as they would be if they didn’t know how long their wait would be or the reason why their flight has been delayed.

Equitable waits

One of the things that can fume a customer in a queue is if someone who entered the queue later than him/her being served before him/her. This is not only dissatisfying to customer but if he utters words close to, “Excuse me, but I was in the line first.”: then this can lead to a commotion if all the others waiting behind that person transfer the brunt of the act on the employee or through word of mouth ruin the reputation of being unfair. The idea is to make the service equitable for all by giving no favors to anyone.

The bottom line is that one should under-promise and over-deliver as opposed to it being vice versa.