Don’t Make ’Em Wait

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thinkstock.com/Hemera Collection

I hate to wait in line. And, I imagine you might too. How much of an impact do you think this modern-day shopping temperament has on your business?

A recent survey commissioned by Great Clips Online Check-in reveals that customers are wholly displeased with waiting even 10 minutes in a retail outlet.

The chain salon recently launched a timesaving online check-in system for customers and surveyed consumers about their experiences with waiting as part of a campaign to introduce the online check-in app.

“In all our research, in focus group after focus group, we hear that today’s busy singles and families alike are stressed out, exhausted and short on time—and today, time is money,” said Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips.

Here’s some data from the national survey:

  • 76% of respondents say a wait any longer than five to 10 minutes at a retailer is unreasonable
  • 94% say a reasonable amount of time to wait at a retail business is five to 10 minutes or less

If a retailer makes a customer wait 15 minutes or longer:


  • 63% say it shows bad customer service and a lack of respect for their time 

  • 52% take their business elsewhere

  • 48% assume the business is badly managed and not well run

In addition:


  • 87% of respondents say they would use a technology that kept them from waiting in line if it saved them 15 minutes of waiting
  • 67% would use online check-in or download an app that saved their place in line at a retail business

Respondents said their top annoyances concerning retailers are (ranked in order):

  • A rude staff

  • "They made me wait"

  • "I paid too much"

Respondents added that the top time wasters in their lives are (in order):

  • Being put on hold
  • Waiting in line
  • Sitting in traffic

Determining a maximum wait time—under 10 minutes, of course—that is allowable for your customers and then enforcing it, just may be what’s needed to give your business a leg up on the competition.

—Manyesha Batist

[Image: thinkstock.com/Hemera Collection]