The average person spends five years waiting in line.
As a business you have to look at that statement and ask yourself this:
How can I create a crowd control system that monetizes that time and benefits my business?
Oftentimes businesses see crowd control posts and retractable stanchions as an afterthought when creating or remodeling their business. The truth is that when crowd control and queuing is done correctly, you can make more money.
There are different ways in which queuing can exist within a business but not all queue styles will work for every type of business. One solution is what’s called a Single Channel – Single Phase queue. This is where you wait in a single line, deal with one station and leave. A Single Channel – Multi Phase queue is similar to what you’d find at your local fast food chain. First you order/pay, then you move to the next window to get your food, then you leave. Another queue type is the Multi-Channel – Single phase. This is like the lines you’ll find at your bank; first you wait in line, then you go to the next available window, then you leave. The Multi-Channel – Multi Phase queue is like being at a Laundromat, you can put your clothes in many different washers, move them to many different driers, and then you leave. There is another form called dispersed line queuing, which is what you might find at butcher shop counter; you get a ticket, they call your number, you place your order, then you leave.
After researching and understanding the different options available, businesses have to look at how they can reduce the effect of waiting. Engaging your customers in a queue is something that is also worth looking into when creating your business plan. If you have been to a grocery store you will see many single channel– single phase lines. These can often make customers agitated and inpatient. This also causes people to lane shift. If the lines seem too long, the customer may even leave the store, which is called a “walk-away”. When a customer has a negative experience they might think twice before shopping at that business again.
Some businesses deal with this by having a staff member, or Queue Buster, direct traffic to lines because they think this will help customers to know which line to wait in. This idea is flawed because you’re still putting customers in a queue to wait and if it seems to move slower than the one next to them, they will feel like you purposefully put them in the slow line. Having a Queue Buster is simply misusing a key person who can be doing other jobs within the business.
The truth is customers need to be engaged throughout their whole shopping experience, not just at the register. You can use stanchion signs to guide your customers and easy to follow signs can help ease people into a main queue. Using one main queue, with some in-queue merchandising on the inside and outside, will keep people captivated and utilize the wasted floor space to encourage impulse buying. Businesses cannot put hundred dollar items on these racks but more additional or add on items like batteries, gift cards, etc. The business is now reducing “walk-aways” and increasing revenue.
What did we remove? We removed the idea of faster or slower lines, took care of customer boredom, eliminated the unnecessary staff member, and lost the negative attitude. Now the investment of a queue system is starting to look like it is paying itself off.
If you are a business outside of the retail environment like an amusement park, theatre, or concert venue and you think that you might not have the same needs, think again. Lets take a magical kingdom located in Florida and think of what they do to enhance their guest experience. Their queues are part of the magic of the ride or attraction. Guests are actively interested in what is around the corner while they wait. Engagement and interaction is what creates that positive experience. When they actually get to the attraction they are excited. Upon exiting they are immersed within the gift shop or out the door to the next adventure.
Every step of the process is important and crowd control barriers are necessary to have an exceptionally positive experience within your business. Adding the small cost of the initial crowd control system will have huge payoffs and will show higher revenue numbers.