Nobody likes a big queue. Customers hate them because those long, snaking lines are wasting their time. And business owners and retail managers despise them as they could end up with a loss of sales.
For retailers, some parts of the year are worse than others, of course. So, as we approach the beginning of the Christmas period, we thought it would be a good idea to offer you some queue busting tips. Read them now and prepare for later in the year. You should be in a much better position to manage those festive lines and get more money through your registers.
Separate your operations
There’s a good chance you offer an online service to your customers as well as a physical store these days. And if that service includes click and collect, it can end up being a lot more trouble than you think. With store assistants out collecting customer orders, it can leave you short at the registers.
So, make sure you separate your teams into two distinct groups. One can handle telephone calls and online collection orders, while the other focuses on the shop floor.
Flexible payment points
We are lucky to live in an age where we can take payments from almost anywhere. So, make sure you invest in some credit card swiper devices so that you can take payments straight away.
Customers will love it as they won’t have to queue, and it also gets them through the entire buying process in one hit. It will also have a significant reduction on your line lengths, meaning everyone will be more likely to wait it out than leave.
Drop everything when needed
Far too many retailers out there seem happy enough to keep their customers waiting. But the truth is, people don’t have time to wait for you to restock shelves. They want to get in, and they want to get out. There’s a good chance they will just put their purchases back and walk off elsewhere.
So, make sure your employees understand they should drop everything if a queue starts to build up. Unless they are with a customer, there is no excuse for filling every till. You can even have a mobile team with card readers going through the queue to slim it down.
Ensure all your money taking equipment is up to date and working. The longer it takes for the transaction to take place, the more profit you are eating up. Again, there is no excuse for broken machines. Have spares standing by in the case of a breakdown, and look into the most efficient practices.
Perhaps employees can scan faster if they use a particular technique. All these little issues may not sound like they will save you a lot. But add them all up over the festive period, and it soon stacks up.
Plan for busy periods
Good planning will reduce the vast majority of damage queues can cause. Make sure you have plenty of cover during lunch times and identify the busiest days. You also need to have robust plans in place for moments of crises. Things can get chaotic quickly, and without a plan, you can lose a lot of money.
Have we missed any tips? Let us know in the comments section below!