Why do customers dislike waiting?
No one really likes waiting. Even those who chose to wait in line to go to a popular restaurant may get upset if the time they have to wait gets longer than expected. Customers may also become annoyed when they call the customer center and it takes too long to reach the person in charge or when they feel some steps are uncalled for.
This does not necessarily mean that we can get rid of those unnecessary steps. Neither can we take actions right away without processing the information first. Then what should we do to reduce the inconvenience that customers face? The simple answer is to either make them feel that their waiting time is not long, or to tell them exactly how long they have to wait. The reason why customers get angry about waiting is not simply because they have to wait, but actually because they feel they’re waiting “too long” and that they don’t know for sure “how much more” they have to wait.
How then can we make the waiting time feel more reasonable?
There are some ways to make the customers’ waiting time reasonable. First of all, if you received the customer’s inquiry, but can’t answer it right away, perhaps you can let them know by when you’ll get back to them. For example, you can say “we received your inquiry and we’ll get back to you no later than noon within three working days.” This helps relieve the anxiety that customers feel about not knowing how long they have to wait. Actually, in the same sense, many customer service centers already provide information such as “there are 20 other people waiting before you and the estimated wait time is around 12 minutes.” Couriers also disclose the shipping process for even items that get delivered in just a day or two.
You can also make them feel that the time they have to wait will not be as long as what it appears to be. The reason why fast food restaurants and cafes play upbeat music is to make customers feel that time is passing more quickly than it is and that their requests are getting processed fast. In addition, when there were no mirrors in the elevator before, although the time they spend waiting inside the elevator is short, it felt longer. However, it is said that people began to feel significantly less bored with mirrors installed as they can use the time to check their reflections. In short, what really matters is not the actual time or speed itself. Rather, the real reason why customers get angry is because they feel that they’re wasting their time waiting. So, if you care about your customers, and try to understand what’s causing this unpleasantness, you can make them feel their waiting time is reasonable.
GLOVIS CS CARTOON
This cartoon illustrates what makes customers’ waiting time reasonable. Why don’t we all try to think of what should go inside the speech bubbles?