The Impact of Reducing Customer Wait Time

Impact of Reducing Customer Wait TimeI just wrote a new post for Salesforce called 5 Tips for Decreasing Customer Wait Time That Really Work where I explore ways to minimize the negative effects of wait and hold times on the customer experience.

The post contains some really interesting data that illustrates the financial interest that companies should have in reducing customer wait times. More importantly, the post addresses ways that organizations can reduce customer wait times.

One really interesting piece of research comes from Gad Allon of the Kellogg School of Management. His team was interested in the economic impacts that waiting in line had on the fast food industry.

The study found that each extra second of waiting time at the drive-thru window reduces the amount that customers are prepared to pay for their meals by at least four cents. While this statistic cannot be projected onto all other industries, the concept can be applied in many — customers dislike waiting and they will change their purchase decisions the longer they have to.

For more research on customer wait times and five actionable tips for decreasing it, read the full post on the blog here!


By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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4 replies
  1. Jeff Toister
    Jeff Toister says:

    Great to see you on the Salesforce blog, Adam! This is definitely an important topic. One of the things I discovered in my own research was that customers inflate the actual amount of time they wait by an average of 36%. In other words, waiting is bad, but in our imaginations it’s even worse.

    Here’s a link to a summary of that research, plus the factors that can counteract the feeling:

    • Adam Toporek
      Adam Toporek says:

      Thanks Jeff! Appreciate the comment.

      It’s very true about self-reports of time. It’s one of the criticisms (or caveats I should say) about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule, that the research he drew on incorporated self-reporting of hours spent practicing. And most people tend to think they spent more time practicing than they did.


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