The Great British queue and its impact on a business’ bottom line

By Leigh Moody, Managing Director at SOTI UK

Queueing is recognised as a steadfast British pastime, with the average Briton spending up to 235 days waiting in a queue or line to be serviced over the course of a lifetime. But in the age of instant gratification, queueing culture is having a detrimental effect on businesses, as the customers of today view their time as more valuable than ever before.

Customers that are made to wait for a long period of time are less likely to repeat their business with a company, which could have dire financial implications. In fact, the average person in the UK is now unwilling to wait more than six minutes for a service. So the cliché that the British are politely content with queuing couldn’t be further from the truth.

Today’s generation is accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it. The instant gratification that we get from online shopping has pervaded into everything we do, and every interaction we have is expected to be quick, seamless and personalised for our convenience.

A modern workforce for a modern customer

Most queues or long wait times are a result of manual processes and outdated legacy systems that often use traditional payment systems, contributing to slower service. But because of the Amazon effect, consumers now expect an enhanced experience around the clock. Businesses must act fast to take advantage of technology such as digital signage, tablet scanners, mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and self-checkout terminals to remain competitive.

As new technologies rapidly enter the market, there is a correlating increase in the number of channels through which businesses interact with customers, adding to the complexity and cost of those interactions. It is therefore more important than ever to recognise how a mobility strategy can help to anticipate customer needs, tailor business processes to better serve customers, and improve the efficiency of a business.

The importance of implementing a dedicated mobility strategy

A dedicated mobility strategy should be implemented across all online and offline operations to streamline the value chain and create an omnichannel experience for customers. With the correct business mobility strategy, unnecessary queueing should be relegated to the history books, as it gives workers the freedom to multitask, making them serve the customer in a more productive and efficient manner.

And from a customer perspective, easy-to-use self-service tools such as contactless payment and automated ordering services not only have a tremendously positive impact on customer satisfaction, but ultimately a business’ bottom line.

The implementation of a business mobility strategy is not a simple process, but if planned and executed properly, it can propel a business far beyond its competitors in terms of customer satisfaction and retention. This is because business mobility combines people, processes and technology to not just manage mobile devices, but also derive true business value from the digital age. It allows businesses to rise to the occasion by becoming truly mobile.