I ran out to get some take-out last night and of course, the restaurant was packed on a busy Saturday night. I used the restaurant’s online ordering system so my food was ready and waiting when I arrived. However, the take-out line was four people deep. I ended up waiting 20 minutes just to get my food. Why? The person manning the take-out register wasn’t communicating with customers very well.
Here’s how each person’s order played out.
Remember, it’s a busy Saturday night, most of the people in line are checking their iPhones or talking with friends, and non one is really paying attention to the order in front of them.
A customer walks up to the take-out register to place an order. Each order takes about five minutes to complete since they were for multiple people. Plus, the menu’s kinda big so it took a minute to browse through it. After getting the order rang up, the cashier told the customer the total and that it was a 30 minute wait. Naturally, each person decided to leave at that point because 30 minutes is a long time to wait in a narrow corridor with no seating.
Repeat that for three other customers and you finally get to me who’s been waiting for twenty minutes to pick up an order already placed. As we were checking out, I suggested that the cashier tell people the wait time in advance. It’s a simple tweak that would’ve sped through those other people who didn’t want to wait around.
What’s that got to do with you?
Give your customers an average wait time for contacting you. If you’re running thirty minutes on an email response, the customer will send that short question via Twitter to get a faster response time. They’ll also see that time and double-check the help pages to make sure they can’t get an instant answer there.
Having the average response time shown gives the customer more information, which makes them happier. Every customer in that restaurant that left were frustrated over the time lost placing the order.
It’s easy to head off that frustration by giving them a simple piece of data – your average response time.
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