Customers and Wait Times

Get Free Email Updates!

Join us for FREE to get instant email updates!

Loading

Customers and Wait Times

We human beings have a very curious perception of time.

Experiments and analysis have shown that when people wait for something for up to 90 seconds, their perception of how much has elapsed is accurate. If someone is waiting in a bank line for 60 seconds, and you walk up and ask that person how long they've been waiting, they'll say for about "one minute".

However! Beyond 90 seconds, a person's time perception begins to distort. If you ask them how long they've been waiting, their answer will usually be a very exaggerated one. If it's been two minutes, they'll say it's been three or four.

I'm sure you've experienced this yourself. Go back and think about the last time you waited at a stop light in traffic that was unusually long. Even better, think about the last time you were in your car, and suddenly, without planning on it, you had to wait for a train that crossed the street in front of you.

In these cases, you probably felt like it was an eternity, like you were really spending a long time, when in fact it may have only been about four or five minutes.

The reason for this time distortion is because at the 90 second mark, a waiting period goes from being a transactional pause to a full fledged activity on its own. If you went to the grocery store and only waited in the checkout line for 90 seconds, then when you left the store, in your mind you "went to the store". However, if you had to wait four minutes in the checkout line, then you "went to the store" AND "waited in line". To your mind, you did two different things. The fact that there's barely any difference between 90 seconds and four minutes is completely irrelevant.

It helps to be aware of this not only for yourself, but for the people you interact with, especially your customers if you have a face-to-face business. A good customer service goal is to service every customer within 90 seconds at best, or at least within two minutes. After about three minutes, you're really ticking that person off, and whether that person's irritation is justified or rational is irrelevant.

This article was originally published on May 15, 2014

Comments


  • event360works 2018-10-06 19:40:30

    event360works sharepointkicks, dougandemilyallison,

  • air jordan 6 freddy krueger schuhe 2018-12-21 14:01:15

    air jordan 6 freddy krueger schuhe nike mercurial superfly v sx neymar tf scarpe da calcio rosso bianco nerovendite maglia nba bambino chicago bulls no 23 michael jordan bianco 2017 18nike flyknit max purple venombuty air huarache run ultra 819151 102

  • chaussures nike air max 1 homme guibe1474 2018-12-28 03:54:34

    chaussures nike air max 1 homme guibe1474 nike wmns air max 1 ultra essentialsnike air huarache run f russian floral embossed ao3153 001 blackuniversity redlyst nike air max deluxe in black for mennike air max thea sneaker damen anthrazitwei脽

  • adidas adizero prime boost multicolor 2019-01-02 15:01:07

    adidas adizero prime boost multicolor nike air vapormax dark bluecheap air force ones menswhite asics mexico 66 d620n9001nike air max 97 metallic silver

  • zapatilla de mujer nike negro blanco wmns lunarconverge 2019-01-06 17:46:13

    zapatilla de mujer nike negro blanco wmns lunarconverge chaussures nike air wildwoodzapatilla nike wmns primo court canvas fucsianike air max 95 white navy black herrenike air force 180 black blue hombre

  • nike dunk low pro sb concord 304292 043 black ice blue 2019-01-10 21:43:14

    nike dunk low pro sb concord 304292 043 black ice blue real nike kd 9 black green whitewomens nike orange blue green white black free 30 v5all white air max 90 womenscheap adidas nmd

  • adidas city racer w trainers for women b01gfjxoos 2019-01-15 04:13:23

    adidas city racer w trainers for women b01gfjxoos adidas defiant bounce mens navywhite 8 0nike unisex black red jr magista ola ii football shoesnike air force 1 bespoke by mafia of sneaker freakernike blazer studio mid decon

  • fashion sneakers adidas yeezy boost 350 v2 black tiffany footwear blue boost for sale 2019-03-23 13:46:27

    fashion sneakers adidas yeezy boost 350 v2 black tiffany footwear blue boost for sale new nike hyperdunk 2014 black orangeto buy nike air presto mens shoes leopard blue blackafew store sneaker nike air max sensation blacknike lebron 16 lakers black purple yellow

  • nike air max 97 sail white ar4259 100 03 uomo 2019-03-24 11:48:17

    nike air max 97 sail white ar4259 100 03 uomo nike air jordan 23 motorsports wizards donnaelegir nike air max 2017 hombre cuero marino azul rojo baratasnike men grey retaliation tr training damesadidas ausverkauft schuhe

  • under armour curry 2 waves m忙nd 2019-03-29 10:39:11

    under armour curry 2 waves m忙nd nike air max 1 red black 04 damenike air force max cb 2 hyperfuse damesnike air max 95 la vs nyc damric flair dames

  • womens nike air max 2011 running shoes neutral grey pink 2019-03-30 11:59:42

    womens nike air max 2011 running shoes neutral grey pink sale mens nike air max 90 navy blue light greyadidas womens shoes pureboost x tr 2mens nike flyknit air max 2016 white black qgrvamm uk shoes salebrown white mens nike free run 3 running shoes

  • acquistare 2016 adidas messi 16 pureagility fg ag rosso scarpe da calcio 2019-04-03 11:31:40

    acquistare 2016 adidas messi 16 pureagility fg ag rosso scarpe da calcio asics gel attract 4 uomozapatillas nike air force 1 white black grade school kidsair jordan 5 noir vert jaune homme chaussuresnike air max 1 trends periodical

  • reebok classic renaissance gum damskie 2019-04-09 09:16:03

    reebok classic renaissance gum damskie nike air max2 cb 94 low damskieadidas b40903 damen schuhenike pour homme dunk low pro chaussures de skatechaussures de basketball homme air jordan 4 rouge blanc noir

  • adidas adilette comfort mens slide sandals burgundy aggie size 18 cf c 2019-05-01 01:10:03

    adidas adilette comfort mens slide sandals burgundy aggie size 18 cf c lebron 13 opening night skoadidas originals zx8000 schuheair presto palm trees sportschoenenasics torrance homme

  • nike schuhe damen internationalist premium 2019-05-22 08:27:14

    nike schuhe damen internationalist premium nike acg kingman leather textile damesnike huarache ni帽a outlet baratas espa帽a 2018nike flyknit racer fucsiascarpe nike mercurialx superfly vi academy cr7 ic

  • adidas stan smith cf i chaussures de fitness mixte enfant 2019-05-24 01:37:21

    adidas stan smith cf i chaussures de fitness mixte enfant adidas baskets mode pour homme vert greennike acg air zoom tallac lite og donnanike air max 1 woven sp wit zwart 651321 106vans old skool monochrome sportschoenen

  • adidas originals mujer zx flux w puppy pooch rita ora negroblanco 2019-05-30 02:58:41

    adidas originals mujer zx flux w puppy pooch rita ora negroblanco herren nike free rn 2017 wei脽 schwarz reines platinwomens nike sf air force 1 high schuheadidas adi ease chaussures 10 0 grey black whiteair jordan 1 homme noir jaune pourpre pas cher

  • asics gel lyte v atmos black and gold 2019-06-22 04:06:16

    asics gel lyte v atmos black and gold nike air force 1 mid 07 leatherzapatillas nike blancas mujer air outlet baratas espa帽a 2018nike air max ultra breathe beigenike scarpe sb check cnvs td nero 22

  • men nike 2009 grey blue air max 2019-06-25 12:56:27

    men nike 2009 grey blue air max mens nike air vapormax cs black white rednike air huarache ultra homme bleu lagon noir blanc vn611234nike air max 95 pull tab black white-gym rednike air force 1 chaussures lifestyle nike pas cher pour homme blanc ao9286 100

  • nike 2014 air max 90 blue red shoes hyperfuse prm mens 2019-07-04 01:13:56

    nike 2014 air max 90 blue red shoes hyperfuse prm mens nike air max 90 ultra moire obsidian puur platina heren schoenenwomens nike air max tn shoes black greydiscount nike lebron 12 purple black yellow mens basketball shoes onlinescarpe ginnastica uomo nere nike

  • billige herre nike air max 2017 kpu gull svart salg 2019-07-12 02:11:52

    billige herre nike air max 2017 kpu gull svart salg nike air span ii premium herr skorair max 90 varsity pack university rednike air max mercurial especialnike air jordan aj1 rebel xx herr skor

  • catch some rays in the nike wmns air max 1 sunset glow 2019-07-17 11:42:27

    catch some rays in the nike wmns air max 1 sunset glow nike air max 90 premium womens shoe black sail dark grey black 896497 005mens nike air max 98 uk white goldcamiseta air jordan 11 cnxn masculina nikenike air force 1 mid womens black

  • nike air max 270 dames heren zwart zwart volt ah8050 011 2019-07-19 00:39:20

    nike air max 270 dames heren zwart zwart volt ah8050 011 nike cortez basic txt se m臋skie butyherren nike sb9 cs schuhe schwarz wei脽womens nike free 50 v4 skyblue greynike air jordan lunar superfly

  • donating used cars to charity 2021-01-16 19:12:37

    Well composed aricles like yours renews my faith in today’s writers.You’ve written information I can finally agree on and also use.Manyy thanks for sharing.

  • company that sanitizes house 2021-01-17 20:23:04

    Hello everyone, it’s my first visit at thgis website, and piece oof writing is gdnuinely fruitful designed for me, keep up posting such articles or reviews.

  • best car donation for veterans 2021-01-18 09:28:15

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post.Thank you for supplying this info.



Leave a Reply