If you have in-person clients, it’s important to pay attention to their whole interaction with you, including the waiting period. For example, if you own a restaurant, especially if you are short-staffed or require a particularly long time to custom-prepare meals, it would be in your best interest to proactively address what happens before the food arrives.

As I sat bored in my last pre-dining experience, I pondered what this restaurant could have done during my wait. I realized that other establishments already incorporate elements to mollify customers with such techniques as televisions, hot bread, chips & salsa, butcher paper tablecloths and crayons, music, placements with games or educational factoids, tiny board games, electronic games as part of the payment system, or bowls of Legos. Even offering a wi-fi connection would go a long way in allowing customers to entertain themselves.

If you offer nothing, people have little to do but watch the clock and grumble about how long they are waiting. It sours their overall attitude and impacts their impression when the food (or service) finally does arrive.

Whether you add music before a webinar begins, reading materials in your reception area, interactive artwork in your lobby, or free coffee to guests, do something to engage your customers so they don’t spend their idle moments pondering all the ways you are wasting their time while waiting.

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