Changing Waiting Time Perceptions for an Impatient Audience

How digital signage can help manage impatience.

There is surely no doubt that, over the last few years, the human race has become a more impatient species. For example: when online, if web pages don’t open in a moment, frustration quickly builds. Past generations were perhaps far more accepting of the need to queue, reflecting a world that was generally slower-paced than today’s, which seems to demand an instant response or immediate action.

Many years ago, Hungarian-born author George Mikes caught the mood well with his thought that: ‘An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one’. For many companies and organizations, effective queue management is becoming a business imperative; waiting times being as frustrating for them as for their customers.

How digital signage can help manage impatience

Business management expert, David Maister, put it succinctly when he observed that: ‘Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time’. Our truDigital team knows well that building involvement and providing helpful information can reduce the level of frustration which can quickly grow inside those waiting. There are two powerful ways in which effective digital signage can help in this area…

1. By providing a welcome distraction from the wait itself

Where the waiting audience is fairly static, such as sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, standing in line at supermarket tills, for a flight check-in, waiting in line at their bank (digital signage is already in effective use in around two thirds of the nation’s banks), or at a bar waiting to be seated in the restaurant, then vibrant and often animated digital signage content can help move their focus away from a frustrating wait. Information relevant to the audience can be provided. This can cover areas such as news or sports updates and latest weather details. Companies and organizations can also take the opportunity to reinforce their own key brand, promote a specific product, show a service being delivered, or highlight current marketing campaigns.

The importance of such moments is reflected in the finding that around 70% of people have admitted making a purchase because a sign caught their attention. Quick-service restaurants or fast food outlets can position screens, showing dishes at their best, to help those queuing make informed choices, stimulate their taste buds, and make queuing more palatable.

2. By managing wait times

Strategically positioned and regularly updated digital signage screens can deliver effective content regarding wait times and better control and direct customer flow. People are often more frustrated by the unpredictability, due to a lack of information about the likely length of their wait, than the actual standing in line itself. In such circumstances, how often do you hear the complaint ‘Nobody’s telling us anything’? Agile signage can keep them involved in the process. In the travel industry, for example, reasons can be provided for any service disruptions, highlighting external causes, describing emergency situations, and the like.

How can our truDigital signage team help you better deal with wait times?

If part of your operation involves people waiting, talk to our experienced team about powerful ways to deal with impatience through agile, cloud-based content management processes. Whether for a single location, or across multiple outlets, we can show how content can be delivered almost instantly. This keeps your customers fully advised of waiting times and situations, and can provide a vital distraction to counter their impatience. Your obligation-free conversation covering this key business area can begin as soon as you call us at 1-801-852-9898...

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