How to Make Your Customers Want to Play the Waiting Game

How to Make Your Customers Want to Play the Waiting Game

Ellen Hartelius |November 3 2016 6 min


Think of the last time you…

•  Went to the store
•  Renewed a license
•  Visited the doctor
•  Stopped at the bank...

Each errand had its own specific purpose. But we would venture to say that all had one thing in common – it required that you wait, likely in a checkout line or for a service provider. For customers, this wait time can be a test of patience or it can be used productively. More often than not, today’s customers are finding ways to fill that time with something housed on their mobile phone.

In fact, a 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that 77% of Americans use their smartphones while waiting in general, and 53% pull out their smartphone while waiting in line - to avoid being bored.

For service providers, this trend represents an incredible opportunity. Rather than allowing customers to stand in a queue or wait for service aimlessly, providers can use these incredibly pervasive mobile devices to engage customers – and better yet – to help them learn something useful to the experience they’re about to have!

This is where Qmatic’s app MyFunWait completely changes the waiting phase of the customer journey. It engages the customer with useful information presented in an appealing interface, giving them information and a sense that time is passing quickly.

Productive time is time that doesn’t feel like a wait.

Americans and northwestern Europeans consider time in a linear monochronic fashion – one thing at a time. In contrast, southern European, Latin American, and Arab cultures tend to be polychromic. They are more inclined to multitask, accomplishing several tasks at once. These cultures also tend to be more focused on relationships between people, things, and events, rather than the clock. India has a more ‘best of both’ global solution. Individuals tend to use their time intentionally, often completing several tasks at once, with more time occupied and more tasks accomplished. 

This is what makes MyFunWait so valuable. It fills waiting time with engaging, entertaining, educational content that shortens perceived wait time and creates a more enjoyable customer journey.

Good for the customer is good for the provider.

It follows that service providers that make the effort to make sure their customers have a productive, enjoyable journey from start to finish will have stronger relationships and repeat business. Accomplishing that effort in a branded mobile interface whose function is to help and entertain customers turns waiting into benefit – for everyone.

U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices are beginning to work on implementing this mobile solution – with 44 good reasons. reports that the average wait time nationally at the DMV is 44 minutes. A CBS News study reported that 44% of people fail the written portion of their driver’s license test the first time. 

For a DMV, MyFunWait can provide an opportunity to reduce that failure rate by putting the information the people need to review into a quiz in the mobile app. The citizen can review and prepare for the test as they wait for their appointment. Here’s how it could work:

  • The citizen can check in for his appointment at a self-service kiosk, which would print a ticket showing the queue number, an invitation to download the MyFunWait app, and even a QR-code
  • The citizen would download and open the DMV branded app
  • From the app, the citizen could scan the QR code to transfer their ticket from paper to virtual (in the app) and play a MyFunWait quiz or game to pass the time in a fun, useful way
  • When his or her turn arrives, a notice would show on the app, moving the citizen to their appointment quickly and efficiently

The wait time has been used productively to learn and it has provided distraction from the wait itself, shortening the perceived wait time. Add to that benefit, the citizen has been able to spend the wait wherever they were most comfortable because they were kept updated about their place in the queue via their mobile device. And for the staff, all of this means happier, less anxious people. They can focus on accomplishing their tasks and relating with people, instead of waiting behind a desk to field questions or call out appointment numbers.

The MyFunWait app is the industry’s first mobile queue management and gamification app that actually makes a wait feel less like a wait. And you have the chance to transform a device that most people use to ‘kill time’ into one that supports a higher level of productivity and enjoyment.

Ellen Hartelius

Ellen Hartelius

Product Manager & User Experience Lead 2016-2019

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