Waiting in line may not be so bad anymore. More research is being done on the psychology of waiting – and businesses are listening.
Richard Larson is one of the people who studies waiting – he’s a professor at MIT – and he’s found that nowadays, people want to be busy and productive at all times. It’s a product of the smart-phone / hyper-connected world we’re living in. So our tolerance for waiting has decreased. Professor Larsen says, people have forgotten that we used to wait to even get a telephone call through!
Well, thanks to that impatience, now waiting rooms are being equipped with tablet computers, laptops and video games – to make waiting more enjoyable. One car dealership in Plano, Texas is installing a dog washing station for customers to use when they bring their car in for an oil change. While they’re waiting half an hour for their car, they can wash their dog for free.
Another car dealership in Los Angeles has a Starbucks in the waiting room. They say it not only makes waiting more enjoyable – but people come in just for the coffee – which means more people are seeing the cars they have for sale.
At a DMV in Kansas, they have a text messaging service. Customers now go grocery shopping and come back when they’re texted for their appointment.
And an orthopedic surgeon in Illinois says he’s increased business 15 percent by putting internet enabled tablet computers in his waiting room.
And some doctor’s offices are using the website and app Med Wait Times. It’ll tell you what the estimated wait time is anywhere from a hospital ER to a dentist’s office.