Wait time is a perceptual thing. Depending on many factors, time can either stretch or contract. When creating your dealership’s waiting room, you want to make customers feel like time is flying — or at the very least that it’s not being wasted.
Generally, the factors that make a wait seem long is when the time spent waiting is unexplained, unoccupied and uncertain. No one likes waiting for no reason, being bored while waiting or not knowing when the wait will finally end. When designing a waiting room, make sure to address these three points. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Stay in Contact
As mentioned, one of the most challenging parts of many waiting room experiences is not knowing why you’re waiting, and for how much longer you’ll have to wait. Eliminate this anxiety by being proactive in giving wait times and explaining why something is taking longer. If the wait time is going to stretch more than expected, offer to hold their spot and contact them when their turn comes, freeing them up to run nearby errands or grab a cup of coffee. They’ll appreciate the freedom and consideration.
Put Them to Work
Another great way to cut down the wait time is by providing things for waiting for customers to do, like filling out surveys that lead to rewards or discounts. This approach maximizes the wait by both keeping clients busy and giving you valuable feedback. If there is any paperwork needed for an appointment, you can also have buyers fill it out now. This cuts down on time spent later, making up for any time taken out of their schedules as they wait.
Another option is to set up designated “work while you wait” stations where customers can sit at comfortable desk spaces and get their own work done. This way, they don’t feel as though they’ve wasted time when they’re at your dealership.
You should also consider providing customers with free wifi. Today’s shopper usually comes with a phone or a tablet and appreciates wifi where they can get it. Free wifi allows them to entertain themselves or take care of business, making the wait go by faster. Think of other modern amenities as well, such as phone, laptop, and car charging stations. All these make life much more pleasant for customers in general, and especially so when waiting.
Provide Entertainment Sources
Let’s start with boredom. It’s essential that your waiting be open and pleasant, but there’s only so many times customers can look at the same poster or out the same window. People need things to do to occupy them and take their minds off the wait.
Tried and true classics are providing reading and viewing material. When it comes to reading, if you put out magazines, make sure they’re up-to-date and geared towards your clientele’s interests or the automotive industry. You can also put out interesting books, like interesting manuals or thrillers that will help the time pass quickly. As far as televisions go, though screen time does cut down the wait, you want to consider the content carefully. Just putting on any channel could lead to an uncomfortable situation where a competitor’s ads keep running while your customer waits. Consider curating your own content to show, so the time spent with your screens is productive.
Finally, if your clientele generally brings their children, create a corner just for them with books, toys, and games that appeal to the average age who visit. The wait will seem much shorter for the parents if they’re not working hard to entertain their kids