Entertain your Customers while they wait

“Want to keep a customer for life, shock them with a random act of kindness or exceptional customer service experience.” – Melanie Dodaro

Entertain your customers while they wait – simple yet exceptional customer service! Irrespective of how hard a business may try to avoid it, waiting for customers would inevitably creep in since immediate resolutions are not always feasible or possible. However, what your company can do to make the wait easier is to entertain your customers while they wait. It may seem simple but altering their waiting experience might just set your company apart from all the other players in the market – give you that competitive edge that is so vital in the frenetic world of business. It is critical to entertain your customers while they wait because it is a great way to let them know that they are important and valuable to your company and that even though there may be reason to make them wait, your company would like to ensure that the wait is endurable. Research has proved that the longer customers are made to wait (and any amount of time seems long), the less satisfied they would be with your company and its customer service.

Entertain your customers while they wait since this is the way to keep their attention on your company else they may be distracted by the many competitors vying for their business. If your company does not give them ‘something to do’ while they wait, the customers might just use the information around them and head off in the direction of a company that will provide service at the pace they deem appropriate. Waiting is never fun (for anyone) but if your company can entertain your customers while the customers wait, the time would pass quicker without them even noticing it. What does your company do to entertain your customers while they wait?

Waiting can be for anything – the important thing is to give the customers something to do / think about as they wait. One of the top ways to entertain your customers while they wait is to incentivize or reward the wait. If there is a request for customers to fill out survey or feedback forms, offer them a reward or discount for doing so. For any engagement via social media, offer some kind of incentive to ensure that customers participate and lend their ‘voice’ to the endeavour. Doing so would make them feel valued, enhance your company’s presence on the social site and ensure that non-customers can see how much importance your company places on its customers. This would serve to get others interested in doing business with your company too. Customers do not always use the self-service methods your company may provide for a number of reasons and this adds to the amount of time they might need to wait before receiving a response. To encourage them to use these methods, your company could offer a reward such that they not only get answers quicker but the number of calls and queries your company may receive, would drop. Overall, customers would not mind the wait time since your company would have made sure that they incentivized and entertained while they wait.

Waiting times could potentially leave your customers open to the enticements offered by your competitors. Entertain your customers while they wait by giving them more information about your company – advertise and promote the latest offerings, let them know of any changes and upgrades to your company’s products and services, inform them of the steps taken to make it easier for them to do business  with your company and other such vital and engaging information. Customers are always in search of companies that not only have great products but can also offer customer service excellence and a ‘waiting strategy’ does not only appeal to existing customers but also to potential customers. A strategy is required since in a bid to entertain your customers you could be violating their space and time if you overdo the ‘entertaining’. Allow the customers leeway to accept the offers to the extent they want – do not try to impose as this could potentially drive them away.

Many companies have used interactive videos, with some humour ‘thrown in’ in order to entertain the customers. Such videos do not only provide additional insights about your company, but also build a connection with the customers, which is a great way to ensure their sustained interest in your company. Customers are a rushed and harried lot and they are sure to appreciate your company’s endeavours in making things lighter for them through such ‘interactions’. Imagine how you would feel as a customer if you knew that the company you are in business with had made every effort to ensure that even the wait times were entertaining and were aimed at forming a connection with the company? This would certainly strengthen the feeling of being wanted and valued.

It is extremely frustrating to wait and with the number of choices customers have with most companies; it would seem futile to wait. The problem for customers and wait times occurs only in certain business relationships – one’s bank for instance. Given the fact that it is not easy or prudent to keep changing one’s bank, customers have no option but to wait for certain transactions. However, for the convenience of customers, your enterprise could put in place certain strategies to entertain your customers while they wait – taking the standards of customer service to a new level and ensuring that your customers encourage others to do business with you.

For you company to entertain your customers while they wait, it is imperative that it has a sound understanding of the customer’s preferences. Customers may not expect that a company would put in place any efforts to entertain them while they wait and when they do receive such ‘treatment’, customers see more value in doing business with the company. The most frustrating of all waits is possibly holding on call. Find ways to entertain your customers while holding on – think of innovative ways such as allowing them the option of choosing the message or music they would like to hear while waiting – will keep them busy and their mind away from the onerous task of waiting.  Ask your employees and customers for suggestions on how to entertain your customers while they wait – you would be surprised at the kind of innovative suggestions you receive!

Everyone is ‘high’ on the internet. It is unlikely that you would find a group of people in which no one is ‘busily’ tapping away on their smart devices. In order to entertain your customers while they wait, it would be a great idea to offer access to free internet. It allows them to remain occupied and access to whatever information, gaming, social media networking and even emails they may desire (free of charge!). Keeping customers waiting is never a good idea, but despite best efforts wait times are inexorable and it would behove your company to entertain your customers while they wait so that their mind remains focused on your company rather than being ‘waylaid’ by the many competitors ‘lying in wait’ to take them away from you.

To entertain your customers while they wait means that you are giving them something to do other than keeping a watch on the clock. Anyone would know that time seems to pass slower if one has nothing to do apart from checking the time! Customers, as per research, as it hate having to wait to receive assistance / responses and companies that do not focus on making the wait less unbearable, find their customers getting more easily frustrated. Entertain your customers while they wait in order to enhance the chances of setting your company and its service apart from your competitors and therefore keeping your customers for long.

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