Consumer Behaviour

Marketers use “tricks” to minimize psychological waiting time. These techniques range from altering customers’ perceptions of a line’s length/waiting time to providing distractions that divert attention from waiting. Ex: One hotel chain received excessive complaints about the wait for elevators, so it installed mirrors near the elevator banks. People’s natural tendency to check their appearance reduced complaints, even though the actual waiting time was unchanged. Ex: Airline passengers often complain about the wait to claim their baggage. In one airport, they would walk one minute from the plane to the baggage carousel and then wait seven minutes for their luggage. When the airport changed the layout so that the walk to the carousel took six minutes and bags arrived two minutes after that, complaints disappeared. Restaurant chains are scrambling to put the “fast” back into fast food, especially for drive-through lanes, which now account for 65 percent of revenues. In a study that ranked the speed of 25 fast-food chains, cars spent an average of 203.6 seconds from the menu board to departure. Wendy’s was clocked the fastest at 150.3 seconds. To speed things up and eliminate spills, McDonald’s created a salad that comes in a container to fit into car cup holders. Arby’s set up on a “high viscosity” version of its special sauce that’s less likely to spill. Burger King is testing see-through bags so customers can quickly check their orders before speeding off.

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