Fast-Laning: The end of the line for waiting in line

Fast-Laning: The end of the line for waiting in line

As customers, we hate waiting in line. Whether it’s the long line at the post office, a slow-loading website or a complicated checkout process, chances are you’ve aborted a transaction more than a few times in the past 12 months because you simply didn’t want to wait.

“Gimme simple, gimme fast” is the buyer’s anthem.

As customers grow more time-starved, you can expect demands for faster service to accelerate in the coming months and years ¾ especially when they’re spending a lot of money.

In fact, “fast-laning” is one of 10 leading trends the smart folks at Trendwatching identified for 2015 based on consumer behavior data, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Winning brands, they say, will be quick to design fast-laning solutions for all customers, and we’re seeing examples of that with Starbucks’ and Taco Bell’s new “order ahead” function on its apps, and even Kroger grocery stores offering online ordering.

For another example, in late 2014, the “Starwood, Hyatt and Hilton hotel chains all tested initiatives allowing guests enrolled in their loyalty programs to check in via their apps and use their mobiles as room keys to avoid wait lines at the front desk.”

And for a fun spin on this trend, Swedish amusement park Liseberg released an app to accompany its new Helix roller coaster. Attendees could play the free Helix game while waiting in line, and every 15 minutes the player with the highest score got a pass to skip the line.

Whatever type of business you’re in, look for ways to shortcut wait times and do away with needless steps, processes and clicks that slow down your customer’s purchase, or their enjoyment of their purchase.

Not sure where to start? Examine what customers go through when they contact you for help, or when they try to make a purchase.

What systems can you automate and simplify? And how can you enable faster communications, both with customers and among your staff?

If you want to skip ahead of your competition, it’s time to invest in ways to fast-lane your customer experience.

About Tony Johnson

Innovative helps you balance your business requirements, service levels, staff and infrastructure to make your IT as effective as possible. Tony Johnson is Vice President of Operations at Innovative and has been helping clients optimize their IT spend and operations since 1983.

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