It only takes a little over a couple minutes for your customers waiting in queue to become dissatisfied with their service, and even abandon their purchase altogether. Those lost customers are lost sales, lost opportunity and ultimately are losses in your bottom line.
Why is this the case? Because customers who queue up, abandon the line and leave with nothing are more than likely to voice their negative experience with their peers. The facts are that 87% of those unhappy customers will tell 9-15 people about their experience, and the remaining 13% will tell over 20. Considering the power and influence of peer reviews on buyer behaviour, optimising your queue management is a must.
Essential to this process is making sure that they not only hang around to complete their order, but are also delighted with the experience so that they come back.
Here’s how you can supercharge your checkout experience and boost your revenue.
1. Take a Point of Interest in your Point of Sale System
Your ability to put through orders is essentially determined by the limitations of your Point of Sale (POS) system. Take a good look at your POS and ask yourself whether it is able to put through the most complicated of coffee orders, handle split payment for a table of 10 university students or update availability of products in real time. If the answer is no, then there are more powerful POS systems out there that can help you increase the efficiency of your checkout time.
With the Abacus Point of Sale these situations are dealt with swiftly. By performing even the most simple things, like adding individual pictures to each of your products or colour coding products to clearly organise your menu can go a long way to optimising your queue time. Ensure your queues are as efficient as possible so that your business can reduce queue abandonment by up to a massive 96%, resulting in more sales and a boosted bottom line.
2. Train Staff to be ‘Counter-Productive’
Your POS may have all the tools, but now you need your staff to be able to use them.
Make sure your staff are well prepared for any situation that they may face behind the counter. Whether that be answering questions from customers about what items on the menu are carb-free for their keto diet, being able to make alterations and add extras to orders or taking payments through mobile loyalty apps, your staff should know all of this so that your queues are progressing with minimal delays
3. Offer the Latest in Payment Technology
Contactless cards and mobile wallets have become the payment methods of choice, and make the payment process a lot more integrated and streamlined. Orders put through for payment on an integrated POS system will automatically display the order amount, saving you precious seconds you would need to manually input the numbers. Most customers already have their cards/phones out ready to pay anyway, so it only takes a matter of seconds to finalise a sale.
4. Let Customers Take Their Own Orders
How do you reduce queues? Don’t get customers to queue up at all.
A mobile ordering app gives customers the opportunity to skip out on the traditional purchasing process and instead put in their orders from anywhere. If they don’t need to order in-store, then it is less likely that you will have a queue that is exploding out your front door.
As a bonus, instead of having 1-2 orders come through at a time (depending on how many registers you have) you could potentially have 4, 5 or more coming in within the same amount of time. This would mean that you are closing more sales within the same amount of time and with the same amount of resources, all without the negative associations of lengthy queues.
Increasing efficiency should always be the goal, and by putting processes in place to ensure your transactional process is zippy you could be helping your business avoid losses of up to 30% in annual revenue.
As your business grows, and longer queues begin to develop over time, there is a host of things that you can do to ensure that your business is well equipped to deal with the influx of new customers. By setting your business up with a powerful POS with integrated payment options, and staff that are masters in using it, lengthy, brand-damaging queues will be a thing of the past.