How long do customers have to wait to pay you? Why do they have to wait? Do you have enough registers open for the number of customers currently in your store? Do you have enough customer service reps to handle people waiting on hold? Even one hang-up or walkout is probably a lost sale. You’ve spent valuable time and money to get customers into the store, so once they’ve made a decision, take their money! Don’t make them stand in line like school kids—it gives them time to second-guess their purchases.
Technically, a person is not a customer until the transaction is over. Don’t let potential customers get buyer’s remorse while standing in line. If you’re the owner or manager of the store, why not open a register yourself until the line lessens? These people came into your store to make a purchase, so let them pay—quickly and cheerfully, of course. If you don’t, someone will get fed up and walk out. And then you’ve not only lost a purchase, you’ve also lost that person’s repeat business and possibly referrals.
When you’re standing in line, time seems to go more slowly. Make an effort to provide quick, pleasant checkout service. And on phone orders, don’t leave people on hold too long—a manager should be able to pitch in as needed. Remember, you’re not the electric company, where customers have to wait—your customers do have other choices for where they can spend their money.
If it’s the holiday season or you’re just overwhelmed with customers that you didn’t expect, have some type of backup plan to process them quickly. Even hiring a call center for off hours can help during very busy times. You’ll have happier customers who want to come back, and that always builds your business.