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The QLess Blog

A Poem About Waiting Forever - Learn From Sprint's Customer Service Mistakes

Nov 26 By Tim McCune | Categories: Retail

Will Ross has posted an elegant and disturbing poem about waiting for service at the Sprint store at 72nd and Dodge in Omaha, Nebraska. He doesn't indicate how long his wait actually was, other than noting that he didn't start taking notes and working on his poem until he'd been waiting for 35 minutes.

 

Let's count all of the ways that Sprint screwed up Will's customer service, and could have improved it with QLess:

  1. Trapping Will in their store for over half an hour while he waits for service. QLess mobile queuing lets customers hold their spot in line using their cell phone, so they can wait however and wherever they choose to. This dramatically reduces their perceived wait time, even if their actual wait time doesn't change at all.
  2. Letting customers jump the line. Maybe Sprint employees were intentionally doing this, and maybe it was with good reason. But the point is that, to Will, all he sees are customers who entered Sprint's single virtual line after him getting served before him, and he finds it infuriating. QLess lets you configure multiple queues if you need to serve customers in different orders, depending on what type of service they're waiting for (e.g., new sales versus billing issues.) And QLess will make it clear to them where their spot is within their specific queue, and keep them up to date on what's going on.
  3. Letting an incoming phone call take priority over customers who took the time to come to the store, and have been waiting much longer than the customer calling in. QLess will let you redirect those callers to a virtual call-back queue, so they can simply hang up once they're in the queue, and you can call them back as soon as they have reached the front of the queue. Everyone gets served in a fair order, and nobody has to sit on the phone on hold!
  4. Angering customers who see staff "procrastinating". Those staff members may or may not have been wasting time, but the point here is that, with QLess, Will wouldn't have had to waste his time waiting inside the store, so he wouldn't have known (or probably even cared), if some of the staff were not moving as quickly as he would like them to.

Not only is Sprint damaging their customer relationships with poor service, but they're literally watching revenue simply walk out the door, as customers get fed up with a long wait for service. A recent survey found that 24% of consumers abandon their purchases, and walk out of the store when faced with a long line. In Will's story, 14 customers were standing around waiting. If only half of them were waiting to sign up for new service, that means that 2 of those 7 likely walked out of the store, and decided to get a phone somewhere else. New customers are worth literally thousands of dollars in revenue to Sprint. If they have 2 customers per hour abandoning their purchases, over an 8 hour day, that single store is losing over $10,000,000 in revenue each year, simply because their customers are tired of waiting for service.

Sprint, and other retail stores that are making the same mistakes, if you're listening, QLess can help! Let us free your customers from waiting in line, and save you from stories as embarrassing to you as Will's.

--Tim

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