How to Make Waiting in Line Better

184393421_43d9c31904 Lines have to be one of the most annoying parts of any customer experience. There are plenty of jokes about Disney World and how there are lines to get into lines there. Of course, this isn’t unique to Disney and happens at pretty much any theme park or busy place.

So how can lines be managed? They seem to be an unavoidable part of the customer experience. While you may not be able to avoid lines, you may be able to make the wait a lot less painful through these methods:

Don’t be stingy with the signs.
If your line is usually long, but moves quickly have a sign saying so. Consider placing “average time” signs every so often that explain something like “If you’re here, it is probably another 10 minutes.” Just provide some updates and information while people wait in line.

Be productive in line.
If possible, have a few “stations” before people get to wherever they are going. The stations can help check tickets, answer any basic questions, etc. If those things can be addressed before, it will help things go faster and break up the wait.

Design for lines.
Disney is pretty good about having lines in the shade. If the line is indoors, it obviously isn’t that much of an issue. However, wherever the line is should be comfortable (not too hot or too cold, not too cramped, etc.). Design with that in mind if you have a business that will tend to create lines.

Orderly lines.
While it is annoying, it’s necessary. Have barriers, dividers, etc. so that lines are orderly. I am personally a fan of the one line that goes to different people (most airports do it this way) instead of several shorter lines, but it depends on your business and how you can set it up in your space.

Be tasteful.
It is incredibly annoying to have to wait in line and hear the same information over and over again, see advertisements, be forced to listen to loud music, etc. The line experience should be done tastefully. You have plenty of time to show your “personality” and inform in more subtle ways.

Be innovative.
The New York restaurant The Shake Shack (pictured above) almost always has a sizable line outside. But they were innovative and installed a camera that can be accessed from their web site. A good idea and very useful.

Be friendly.
Like with a lot of things related to customer service, being friendly is always really helpful. If staff members are available to answer questions with a smile, direct people to the right place, and so on it will really help the experience.

You’re certainly waited in line for something. Have you had a better than average experience waiting in line before?

Photo courtesy of monkeyone.