The Psychology of Queues

From a customer’s perspective, there are two basic types of queues. (And I don’t mean long ones and short ones.) Queues are either visible or invisible. Visible queues refer to any situation where customers know where they are in line.

With invisible queues, however, customers have no way to anticipate how long they may be waiting. They don’t know where they stand and they don’t like it. When traffic slows to a halt on an expressway, what’s the first thing drivers do? Lean out the window to try to see what’s happening. “What’s going on?” “How long is this going to be?” Psychology is at work here and invisible queues can lead to poor decisions.

Learn more about queues in this video from my LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service: How to Manage Your Customer Queues.”

Visible and invisible queues from Customer Service: How to Manage Your Customer Queues by Brad Cleveland