Nobody wants to wait in line – NCR’s buzzback survey for 2009 as well as those over the past few years provide numbers for the proof you don’t need as a consumer.
The recent article in the Wall Street Journal on waiting in line and the linked Numbers Guy blog post provide some interesting insight on single versus multiple line queueing and the impact of using one versus the other in a retail environment. In an attempt to address some of the shortcomings of single queues, JC Penney is testing a queueing solution provided by Lawrence to smooth front end throughput.
Table Top Media is attempting to implement table based self checkout at casual dining destinations like Chili’s and Applebee’s. Their system avoids the awkward wait between finishing your meal and attempting to get the bill by allowing access to the bill and payment directy at the table via a kiosk. It’s a great idea, but as a colleauge indicated, one has to wonder how one can tell who’s paying and who’s going to run out on the bill. Ideally there is security built in to the system to notify the servers and host staff whether a table has tendered or not.
Long a user of single queues, Best Buy has also started up BestBuy IdeaX. Much like MyStarbucksIdea discussed earlier on this blog, this solution allows consumer facing organizations an opportunity to obtain ‘free’ consulting – good or bad – as well as keep their finger on the pulse of what customers are feeling. The voting section reveals some interesting ideas NCR could assist with – electronic receipts – customer service kiosks and more.