Throw away the magazines: here’s how businesses can architect their wait experience

A poor wait experience can discourage people from revisiting the premises altogether.

The idea that time “flies by” when we are doing something is a well-placed one, as wait psychology tells us that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time.

Waiting on the premises of any business—be it a store, restaurant, clinic, or office lobby—typically means tattered magazines, awkward-looking bollards, or a TV going off soundlessly, undecipherably in the distance. Wait solutions are rarely engaging or relevant enough, and this is a tough challenge for businesses since a poor wait experience can discourage people from revisiting the premises altogether. Historically, there have been limited means to navigate this common issue—until digital signage.

Commercial benefits

A positive wait experience can bring with it more monetary benefits than happy customers likely to continue their patronage. For instance, simply by putting in place relevant content in its wait area, a dental practice in the Enterprise section of our business found an unexpected advantage.

As the screens in the lobby played (amongst other things) a video on good dental hygiene, appointment times began to take on average 5 minutes less than before. Patients no longer required a detailed how-to on this topic after exposure to the lobby screens, resulting in an extra appointment or two a week for the clinic.

Dynamic > Static

Movement attracts. The dynamic nature of a video or even a series of pictures contains more movement than what posters or bollards can afford. By virtue of this alone, people on your business premises are likely to be more attracted to a video playing on a screen as opposed to any kind of static content, like bollards. But to compare apples with apples, how does digital have an advantage over TV?

Ambience and brand

A company with digital signage gets to craft its wait experience from start to finish. Leave a TV to run and it may soon be playing an infomercial on foot tinea during breakfast in a café, or be flooded with ads, all the things that can only detract from your customer experience. In short, there’s a clear lack of control over the appropriateness and suitability of the content.

This is where digital can effortlessly manage the ambience for your brand, rather than letting a TV channel dictate it. A clinic may choose to play soothing content for waiting patients, a cafe could share popular customer reviews, and a hardware store may just opt for a DIY playlist to share ideas.

The wait management flexibility that comes with digital signage is immense, especially when you consider that…

It doesn’t have to be one-dimensional

Different brands have different strategies—some fare better with a more overt communication style, others more subtle. With digital signage, companies can choose to weave in entertainment (think beautiful landscapes, trivia, news, games such as anagrams) with company-specific or promotional content. This is an easy way to maintain an interesting blend of content, with something of interest for every viewer.

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Taking the feeling of waiting away from the wait experience is key to minimising boredom.

Taking the feeling of waiting away from the wait experience is key to minimising boredom, pleasing customers, and accelerating efficiency. Thankfully, businesses can now opt to not only alleviate frustration, but actually take the opportunity to convert their wait experience to an engaging, gamified, lucrative one.

Five Faces is a full digital solution provider with a unique solution for small to medium businesses, Entertain. Entertain is a plug and play digital player with a one-time cost, enabling businesses to run digital content easily, affordably, and instantly. Visit entertain.fivefaces.com.au to learn more. 

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