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Line Management is Time Management

Line Management Is Time Management

On a recent trip to my local pharmacy, I witnessed firsthand how people interpret the proper etiquette of how to wait in line. I joined the one line of approximately 6 people formed in front of the only cashier. Patiently we all waited with our baskets in hand looking at the various odd and ends at the front check out. After what felt like 5 minutes with people continuing to join the line behind me, I am next. Out of nowhere another cashier opened, stating “Ill take next in line here”. As I started to step up to the counter, I was cut off by someone from the back of the line whom proceeded to unload her basket for the cashier! Being the non-confrontational person that I am, I said nothing and continued to wait. The following events are what made this somewhat common occurrence so memorable.

A gentleman in line, turned to me and profoundly said, “I would not take that!” I shrug it off. Then another customer loudly quipped, “That’s not right!” I was then called to the first cashier who apologized to me for the woman’s action. On the way home I thought about how we witness events such as this from time to time, but far more often I’ve seen generally unhappy -even aggravated- customers hindered in the check-out process. The battle of the check-out is something everyone can relate too. Trying to select the shortest line with the most expeditious cashier with a bagger on standby is the goal. No matter how well you think you did, it never fails that there was a faster route. You had no idea the shortest line actually put you behind “that guy” that causes a delay with two price checks and a broken egg. Let’s face it, waiting for your turn is line is not anyone’s favorite activity.

While all businesses strive to enhance the customer experience, the simple fact is some retailers manage this process better than others. This is important for you business to keep score of satisfaction. For years, WCA Retail has been installing & maintaining queue management systems for hundreds of Fortune 500 retail stores. Queuing systems are an ideal solution for optimizing space and enhancing business’s operational efficiency. The most simple and basic system offers a push button service whereby the cashier instantly calls the next customer waiting. This system is also equipped with display units alerting the customer to proceed to the available counter. Queue management systems help employees manage, track and prioritize the timely service to every customer. It provides optimal utilization of staff, and improves the customer experience.

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