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Everyone who hates waiting in line, raise your hand - tips for you who run a shop

I'm waving my hand, do you see it?
Customers hate to wait in line, but they hate even more having negative feelings when they're waiting - like watching how inefficient the checkout is or worrying that you have chosen the slow queue again. It's simply a waste of time.
Studies have shown that people who have been waiting for one and a half minute have a good idea of ​​how long they have been waiting, but if more time passes exaggerations become common. -“I've been waiting for at least ten minutes”, is a common response for someone who's only been waiting for 2 minutes.

You can do something about it and here are five suggestions:

1. Let customers interact with something.
Maybe you can have a magazine rack with magazines related to what you sell. Let customers browse. Have products that are nice to look at - products that you sell. If you have clients with children - try to set up a place near the checkout (and within the parent's sight) where the kids can go and do something instead of bugging their parents while waiting in line. Good signs, informational texts and other distractions are also good to use in connection with the checkout-line.

2. Try to create a good mood at the checkout.
You could be the one who entertains people in the queue by being nice. Ask people if they got everything they were looking for. By being friendly and nice you are creating a relaxed atmosphere for the customers. Give a little of yourself. Show that you understand that people aren't fond of waiting. Say something like: “Queues are exactly what you need when you have a hundred things to do at lunch, right?”“I'll see what I can do to speed things up a bit”.

3. Keep alert and watch the way people behave in the queue.
As soon as you see sad faces and hear the sighs, apologize if there are no more check outs to open up and tell people that you intend to speed things up if possible. Make it easy for people to wait. A queue can be the world's quietest group of people.

4. Put up messages for your customers to make them think about something else besides waiting in line – “Advice and tips on re-arranging your flat” or  “5 tips on making a good soup”.

5. Make sure the lines are straight lines and not just people in a lump.
It just makes people anxious. If customers see that they will be dispensed in the same order as they arrive, they become relaxed. It's your job to create a relaxed atmosphere. No one wants a clerk shouting out loud; “Who's next?”

That's right - and why are you doing all this?
Because your competitors don't!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.