Every business is forced, at times, to put the customer "on hold." You can call it a "short wait" or whatever you want, but it is less than ideal and is liable to make customers upset. Realistically, two customers may call at the same time and one may have to wait. Or, if you run a retail store, a line may form at the checkout counter. In the endless pursuit to always keep the customer happy, how do we work around the inevitable delays?
Jamba Juice, the fast-growing chain of fresh juices and smoothies, found a great solution to their queue problem. While the line of customers wait patiently for their juices to be blended and prepared, they are invited to partake in a number of games set up in the waiting area (image above). There is a small bowling set and even a small basketball hoop.
While this may remind you of the elevator music you were forced to hear when you last called an airline or bank, the big difference is interaction. The games at Jamba Juice engage the waiting customers in something they can actually do. They can even (gasp) engage with other customers that are also waiting. Perhaps the infamous "on hold" music could be replaced with trivia or something interactive?
The Jamba Juice example just serves to demonstrate the need to be inventive in the world of customer service. As you consider the innevitable short-comings of your business, take a moment to brainstorm alternatives that can keep people engaged while they are really waiting for you to deliver.
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