[SERVICE STRATEGY & OPERATIONS]

The waiting period is one of the most discussed aspects of service in a municipality. How long can we let visitors wait? A waiting period is just like the price of a product where you cannot estimate the price and therefore has everything to do with perception. A waiting period of twelve minutes – the time for an average municipal service – is not long, but if the visitor experiences it as long, you need to do something about it. /LAB developed a number of strategies to improve the perception of waiting in a Dutch municipality. One of the strategies is about the “norm” of waiting times. If it is indicated that the average waiting time is 20 minutes, then 12 minutes suddenly feels hugely acceptable. Or think of narrowcasting. When waiting to see the same movie for the third time, the wait may seem to last too long. What is also helpful are service elements that are bound by standards: indicate the opinions of ‘other people’. When a client reads that 80% of customers found the wait acceptable, he will feel more satisfied.