Let’s face it, nobody likes waiting. The culture of instant gratification typical of modern society explains why customers are less patient these days. While customers sit and wait, continuously checking their watches, their opinion about your company and the type of services on offer becomes negative. Of course, this form of assessment isn’t a fair illustration of your business; however, every minute a customer waits unhappily in the lounge area adds to the danger of dissatisfied customers, negative word of mouth as well as disparaging remarks on your social media business page.
The attention span of most customers today is shorter than before, and a wait that feels short to you may feel agonisingly long to your clients. By affording them something to do during waiting time, they will not notice the amount of time that they have been kept waiting.
In this regard, it is essential to create a tolerable waiting experience for your customers to steer their opinion of that time positively. Consider the following distractions to keep your customers busy in the waiting lounge.
Today, everyone loves to be informed and entertained in equal measure. Consider buying a television package to provide latest news information while at the same time creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere in your lobby. To further improve the entertainment value of your waiting lounge, why not match your television programming with your customers’ needs. That way, they will not realise they have been in the waiting area for too long.
Wi-Fi access has today become an expectation for most customers rather than a bonus. Everywhere they go, consumers expect free and fast internet access to be available. Through Wi-Fi access, customers can chat with their friends on Facebook and Twitter, watch music videos on YouTube or respond to emails. The fact that they are busy in the waiting lounge takes their mind off the amount of waiting time. This explains why businesses that offer free Wi-Fi access to its customers often benefit from increased levels of customer contentment, notwithstanding the slightly longer waiting times. Setting up a complimentary Wi-Fi network can help improve the perception of your business as being faster and more efficient in the eyes of customers.
During the inevitable wait, why not provide your clients with reading material to keep them occupied? The daily newspaper is a good start. A bored client can read the latest news, read the horoscopes and even attempt the crossword. A sampling of popular magazines also makes sense. These may be a guilty pleasure for clients who often read the headlines in shops but don’t purchase a copy. You can also consider coming up with a company newsletter and place it in the waiting lounge. Why not consider tasking some of the creative minds in your company to come up with a newsletter or even a yearbook? Use the book to market your products and or services. As the customers wait, they can peruse the book and understand more about your company. However, to ensure you keep a constant flow of the publications, partner with a reputable yearbook printing company that will ensure you have your prints ready whenever required.
You can show your clients that you care by providing charging ports for laptops and phones. By using their waiting time to read and answer messages on social media or respond to emails, your clients can perceive their long wait as precious personal time instead of an inconvenience. Moreover, consider providing pens and notepads as well as tables. By converting the waiting lounge into a perfect co-working setup, more professional clients will naturally get busy doing their errands on the go.
A healthy snack makes waiting times feel less oppressive, and a vending machine can help you achieve that. You don’t have to offer over-the-top meals to create a good impression. A selection of water, fruit drinks, coffee, and tea accompanied by granola bars, nuts, or fresh fruit is enough. Vending machines serve a two-fold purpose in the waiting lounge. On the one hand, eating will keep your customers busy which means they will not notice the long wait. On the other hand, eating a healthy snack triggers the release of pleasurable hormones in their brains, meaning customers will associate your company with good feelings rather than frustrating delays.
Talk to them
Don’t underestimate the value of an old-fashioned conversation. A warm and courteous desk attendant or secretary can make your clients feel welcome, particularly if they entice them into discussions that make them forget the amount of time they are kept waiting.
Waiting can be considered a necessary evil; however, it does not have to be a pain for your customers. Take up the ideas mentioned above to help improve your waiting area experience, and convert grumpy customers into satisfied, long-term clients.