Most customers aren’t very patient. Keep them waiting too long and they’ll go somewhere else. Either that or they’ll complain – either to you directly, via an online review or to their family/friends. Complaints could end up tarnishing your reputation and ultimately cost you more customers in the future.
You’ll likely know if your company suffers from slow service as you’ll have already received negative feedback from customers. It’s important that you then take steps to speed up your service before word spreads.
So if slow service is causing you to lose customers, check out the ways below, to help you speed up your business services.
Switch to a faster website host
If customers are likely to visit your website to make a purchase, you need to make sure that your website loads fast. Ideally each webpage should take less than 3 seconds to load. Anything more than 6 seconds is not good – roughly half of visitors are likely to leave if they have to wait longer than this.
There are a few things you can do to make a website load faster including optimizing images and reducing unnecessary code, however the most effective if often to move to a faster website host. Consider using a hosting site like Liquid Web or a Liquid Web alternative to help you find a speedy host.
Optimize your delivery options
If you deliver products to customers – whether they’re Amazon products or takeout meals – it’s important that delivery doesn’t take too long.
Think about how you can optimize your delivery options to make them faster. Outsourcing available drivers is one of the top solutions. If you’re shipping products over a long distance, consider looking into options like drop-shipping.
Hire a helping hand during busy periods
Slow service is often a result of not having enough hands on deck. Slow waiting times in restaurants or queues in retail stores are often the result of a lack of staff during a busy period.
Over time, you should be able to predict which periods are most busy for your company. Make sure that you’re putting enough employees on shift during these times. Alternatively, outsource help – some companies take on temp staff during winter or outsource virtual receptionists during times of busy phone calls.
Know when to upgrade your hardware
The speed of service can also be determined by the technology you’re using. You could find that your business runs slowly if you lack certain machinery or if your machinery is too old. It’s important that you know when your hardware is holding you back.
Take a coffee bar as an example. During busy periods, you may be limited by how many customers you can serve if you only have one POS station. If you don’t have a card reader or your card reader doesn’t accept contactless payments, this could further slow down service. Meanwhile, if your coffee machine has a low water capacity and only one group head, this could further slow things down. Upgrading all of this machinery could greatly speed up everything from placing orders to processing payments to preparing the coffee.
Occupy customers while they wait
Sometimes providing good service requires a company to be meticulous. If you cannot speed up service, then the best thing you can do is to find a way of occupying customers while they wait so that they don’t get bored or frustrated.
This could include anything from placing some free bread or olives on a table while customers wait, to letting customers track a delivery on an app. This post offers a few great examples of ways to occult customers while waiting.